Caroline Marshall – The Whittington Hospital – Secondary / Community Care

Before becoming a nursing associate, I worked in sexual health and contraception. I was a receptionist, then promoted to a healthcare assistant.  

When the nursing associate role came up I thought ‘why not apply for it?’ My mum, my sister and my aunty overseas all work in the healthcare profession and I’ve always wanted to get into nursing, and this was the best route. My next stepping stone is to become a registered nurse then to work in midwifery.  

Being a nursing associate is very hard, but it’s a rewarding role because you get to meet people, care for your patients, get good feedback, learn new skills and gain more knowledge. It’s a great opportunity if you want to get into the healthcare profession.  

It’s also been great to learn new skills – how to do ECGs, how to take bloods, how to give medication, learning about the medications we give, making sure I know how to take observations properly and giving oxygen.  

If you’re interested in becoming a nursing associate, go for it. It’s hard, you have to have determination and time management but just make sure you have a supportive background behind you – your family, your colleagues, and uni. Don’t be scared about how much there is to learn, there are people there to help you. It’s a good opportunity and in this role you’re always learning.  

The best thing in my nursing associate journey has been meeting and getting feedback from my patients on the care I’ve given them, that they’re really happy and it was a great experience. They’ve come here and said I made them feel at ease and welcome and they’d come back. Also just knowing I can help patients and look after them.  

As a nursing associate I’m bridging the gap between a healthcare assistant and a nurse, so if a nurse is busy with another patient and a healthcare assistant isn’t able to do what is required, I can step in and make sure that patient is getting the care that they require.”