Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Volunteering opportunities

My idea for young people aged 14-19 years, would be to bring more volunteering opportunities, especially linked with travel, so they can experience a glimpse of what nursing entails. 

Describe your story ...

The real inspiration to me deciding to become a nurse was when I was 17 and volunteered as a carer for the sick pilgrims visiting Lourdes. This was an opportunity that my sixth form provided. I'm not religious, nor had I considered caring as a profession for later on. I was actually trying to pursue an art career and had already secured a place at university for an arts degree. I went to Lourdes selfishly to enhance my cv and to travel with friends. However, when there and volunteering I realised how rewarding and fun caring for other people really is. I felt a purpose in life and loved making a positive difference to others. The patients didn't feel like patients, they felt like friends and family and I loved helping each and everyone of them. Therefore, upon reflecting on the experiences and what I wanted to achieve in life, I changed my plans and went to university to study adult nursing. 

In conclusion, my idea for young people, aged 14-19, would be to offer more volunteering opportunities that can enhance their CV's and personal statements, but also they can experience a glimpse of what nursing would be like and if they suited the role. 

edited on Jan 16, 2018 by Heather Kennedy

Laura Anisha Habib - Innovation Champion Jan 16, 2018

Absolutely Heather.
I've worked many years in nursing but outside of that I did voluntary work in end of life care and with vulnerable children and vulnerable young adults. And although those weren't the areas I wanted to peruse a career in, this sealed on my passion for nursing and service improvement which is what I'm involved in currently (and absolutely love it). Even working full time now I also do some voluntary work but in others areas and I have and still do learn a lot.
It would be great for people to have the opportunity to volunteer or have a placement in different areas so they are able to experience nursing in real terms. Understandably, some areas this may not be appproprioate due to the risk elements, however there are places that may support this : )

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Heather Kennedy Jan 16, 2018

There's so many areas to nursing that a lot of people are unaware of and might not know is suited to them. A hospice was one of my placements and I was terrified to go! I just did not know how I would control my emotions! But funnily enough it ended up

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Heather Kennedy Jan 16, 2018

.... being my favourite placement! Experience is really the best way to learn and realise your own potentials! Well done on all your work!

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Laura Anisha Habib - Innovation Champion Jan 16, 2018

Thank you and couldn't agree more (with regards to realising our own potention through working in diffent areas), great how with different experiences we find our niche and our core passion. It's funny isn't it how people perceive a place to be prior to experiencing it. I recall a lady saying how she was scared to come onto a mental healh ward but when she did after many years she said it wasn't what she expected at all and was pleasantly surprised : )

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Millie Painter Jan 16, 2018

I was able to voulenteer at my local hospital about the age of 17. I remember there were so many hoops to jump through to be able to get this opportunity, and it only actually happened because I was going to the day care unit weekly for immunotherapy and was telling the matron how much I wanted to be a nurse, she was able to pull some strings to organise it. But I know that some of my peers really struggled to get work experience in NHS hospitals due to needing to be 18, although that's too late really as they had made there uni course choices already by then.
Voulenteering/work experience is so valuable to spark that nursing fire and passion we desperately need to get back. I wonder how the 18 age limit can be changed?

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Laura Anisha Habib - Innovation Champion Jan 16, 2018

It's an interesting thought. I value all ages and recognise the imput many different people can have given the opportunity. Perhaps some of it is to do with safeguarding and risk management depending where the placement would be including ward dynamics (safety etc)?

Great that you were able to have the experience. I was able to volunteer in a hospice also as part of the school work experience many years ago. I asked to stay on to do voluntary work for a further year and they allowed it which was good. Met some fab people that really put life into perspective. I remember even now the people I met : )

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Wendy Nicholson 11 months ago

Maybe worth a conversation with 'kissing it better' who have a greatvolunteer and intergenerational programme - happy to connect you. I volunteered before nursing: in a care home and also on the children's ward and elderly care I loved it ! I'm not volunteering again for children in need and looked after children I love it

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Lynnette Leman 8 months ago

Status label added: 3. Extraordinary career for YP

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