Explore: Healthcare

Senior Staff Nurse
Wolverhampton City Primary Care Trust

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David Davis

00:00:00 My name’s David Davis, I’m a senior staff nurse at West Park Rehabilitation Hospital. My job entails looking after stroke rehabilitation and making sure that the patients are healthy, fit, keeping their blood pressure intact and also liaising with a multi disciplinary team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

00:00:26 My school days, it was pretty restricted back in the 60s, pretty strict. I used to enjoy chemistry, physics, biology. At school I enjoyed chemistry so much I decided that that would be my career. I got a job at a place called Norton Villiers where they make motorcycles as a lab assistant, really, to start with and when I was at the age of 20 it actually folded. So, I got a job at the Ministry of Defence working in their laboratory there on powder technology.

00:00:58 The following year there was an advert for Qualcast for a foundry chemist and it just happened to be nearly twice the money so I left and went to Qualcast. I was there until 1983 when I was made redundant and literally my heart sank. I’ve never felt so low in my life. I got on the bus, went in the wrong direction, didn’t go home and completely confused, just did not know what to do with myself. I felt absolutely worthless.

00:01:25 And then one day a letter came through the door so I opened it up and it was from the Qualcast and they wanted me to return but not as a foundry chemist but as chief metalogist.

00:01:39 During the final years the firm was struggling and we had no pay rises and I knew the economic climate was going to change and I was thinking, “What can I do with my life because this isn’t going to last?” And this is when I made the decision to go into nursing. My sister’s a nurse and I knew a couple of nurses and I thought, “Well, I could do that, I think.” I discussed it with my wife and my family that I’d like to go into nursing and there’d be a massive financial hardship, at least for three years.

00:02:07 Everybody backed me and that gave me the confidence to actually say after 24 years, “I’m sorry, here’s a months’ notice.” To start with I actually got a job at West Park as an auxiliary nurse and then got seconded four months later to do my training at the University of Wolverhampton which I passed in 2003 and in 2007 I was promoted to senior staff nurse. That’s where I am at this present moment in time.

00:02:34 The hardest decision was actually going back to university after goodness knows what, at 45. Having to go right back down to basics from being in charge of 130 people to being a fresher and on the bottom ladder was rather hard to bear, especially in the first year of university, second and third year it was fine, fine. But first year, hard.

00:02:58 What I love makes my job worthwhile is seeing patients who come in, they’re virtually immobile, can’t talk, maybe have food through a tube and they walk out. To see them actually go after three months is absolutely marvellous. You become friends with the family and you become friends with the patient and sometimes when they go you feel upset, you know. It’s obviously the right thing for them.

00:03:24 I think when you start out in life you look pretty well in a straight line and you don’t tend to see any side corners. I never imagined myself at 16 being a nurse, good grief, the farthest thing from my mind and really, this is the most fulfilling job that I could ever, ever imagine. It’s not paid the best in the world but, my goodness me, the quality of life and the feedback from patients and the satisfaction that you get can’t be beaten.

00:03:57 ENDS

Senior Staff Nurse David Davis changed career at 45 from Senior Metalogist managing 130 people to auxiliary nurse. He returned to university and with the support of his family achieved his degree, and found the most fulfilling job that he could ever imagine.

More information about Nurses

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

15%  male 
85%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Nurses provide general and/or specialised nursing care for the sick, injured and others in need of such care, assist medical doctors with their tasks and work with other healthcare professionals and within teams of healthcare workers. They advise on and teach nursing practice.
Qualification as a nurse is via a diploma or degree course, both of which are provided by universities. Courses comprise both theoretical and practical work, including placements in hospital and community settings. Full time diploma courses last three years; degree courses last three or four years. Accelerated programmes are available to graduates with a health-related degree. There is a minimum age limit of 17 years 6 months to enter training. Post-registration training is available for a range of clinical specialisms.
  • Assists medical doctors and works with other healthcare professionals to deal with emergencies and pre-planned treatment of patients;
  • Manages own case load;
  • Monitors patient’s progress, administers drugs and medicines, applies surgical dressings and gives other forms of treatment;
  • Participates in the preparation for physical and psychological treatment of mentally ill patients;
  • Plans duty rotas and organises and directs the work and training of ward and theatre nursing staff;
  • Advises on nursing care, disease prevention, nutrition, etc. and liaises with hospital board/ management on issues concerning nursing policy;
  • Plans, manages, provides and evaluates nursing care services for patients, supervises the implementation of nursing care plans;
  • Delivers lectures and other forms of formal training relating to nursing practice.
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