One Whirlwind Week
Life After No Case to Answer
It’s coming two years now since my Hearing. It took place about a fortnight before I got married in June 2021: I don’t think, looking back, my now-husband (a GP) had a Scooby-Doo about how stressful planning a wedding while getting ready for an NMC hearing, the better part of four years after referral, really could be!
Still, I love him anyway – but don’t doctors sometimes lack insight into just how vicious the NMC can be? He got really angry about the whole process – which actually didn’t help me at all – and then said he couldn’t “cope” with being present during the online hearing – which actually would have been really helpful! Still, never mind!!
It took place during lockdown – and, as I was a shielded patient, I had lost my substantive post. The outcome of the hearing really did “hold my future”.
Since then, I have debated returning to nursing – only finally obtaining a substantive post in May 2022 – which I left (along with the ANP and Operations Manager at the Practice) in December. I felt remaining would have placed my registration at risk owning of the number of clinical errors being made – and I used to return home stressed and shaking. So now I am back working as a locum – something I do not enjoy. Having said that – I am enjoying both my current roles as a Complex Chronic Disease Specialist Nurse in two Practices – one in Preston, the other – started this week in Liverpool – although I don’t generally care for large Practices (achieving any kind of continuity of care when there are 32500 patients is nearly impossible – and something suffers when patients are particularly vulnerable, at least in my opinion).
But I did get a wonderful piece of feedback from a student doctor I had had with me the previous week (in Preston) and a lovely hug from a patient at my new Practice simply for being willing to listen to her. I suspect from what she said that there will be feedback coming from her as well, although often people say these things and don’t act later.
On Tuesday and Thursday, I was in Chester at the University – which is where I also spend part of my life – this time I had the great joy of interviewing prospective student nurses on Tuesday. Maybe it’s just me – but I found it a real privilege.
These young (and not so young) people who want to join our profession were sometimes quite inspiring to listen to. Their experiences and motivations for wanting to join our profession were occasionally really moving – and I will be writing a reflection for my revalidation about one of them – such was the impression one made upon me. Not all are successful in reaching the required mark for entry (it’s done on a scoring system) – but for one unsuccessful candidate for the B.Nurs. course, I and my colleague were delighted to be able to recommend her highly for the Nursing Associate course – where we both felt she would be outstanding.
Thursday saw me taking a group of 50 students on my own, as emergency cover. A full lecture theatre. Huge fun – as I marked the assignment, I was teaching the session on last year or “Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once…” to coin a phrase! I just hoped they enjoyed it as much as I did! I joined the team at Chester as Visiting Lecturer in Nursing in July 2021 – almost immediately after my hearing – and it provided me with real joy in my life. I don’t think they will ever realise the true extent of the healing they have brought me. To be fair, I can’t now recall exactly how it happened because I have no recollection of applying…..
Which rather brings me back to the “other” part of my life – and the weekend spent writing for my beloved churches. The opportunity to sit back and reflect as we move into the rather solemn time of preparation for Easter is always useful.
On Sunday I will be preaching on the three temptations of Christ – instant gratification, getting noticed, and the need for power or control….
And contrasting them with perseverance, simplicity and vulnerability or love as we move towards Easter.
It makes me reflect again about the NMC and the real qualities needed to be a good nurse….
As I said to my students on Thursday – don’t let anyone ever tell you “You are “only” a nurse” – it is the greatest privilege we can have, because we get to know the whole person before us – others may have their “slice” – and from it infer that they know the rest, but only we have the opportunity to truly walk alongside our patients (or clients) and really get to know them. It sounds simple – but actually it is deeply profound. We don’t just get a “slice” of the person before us – we get the whole thing.
Thanks to Lesley for writing this blog. Since her NMC experience, Lesley has successfully trained to be a buddy with NMC Watch and now supports other nurses and midwives undergoing Fitness to Practice investigations.