Mum of three Emma lands community nursing role through her pandemic placement

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Emma Thomas-Jones, a mother of three, joined the NHS Abercynon District Team as a Community District Nurse during Covid-19. She started her work there through her adult nursing placement but has since become a permanent member of the team:

“During my final year, I had a 12-week placement arranged as a specialist practice nurse with a GP surgery. However, when Covid-19 started in the UK, I was deployed to a different area as a community district nurse. I was nervous and apprehensive as this was new to me, but the team have been so supportive and caring, and nothing is too much trouble. I loved every minute, so much so, I've managed to interview and get myself a job as a district community nurse!

Working in the district nursing team, I visit housebound patients and shielding patients. I do an array of nursing intervention from dressings to catheters, diabetes management, injections, nursing assessments and much more. I love my job and enjoy going to work as every day is different and has its challenges. I enjoy meeting patients and their families, helping to resolve their issues and concerns.

As a student, Covid-19 has changed the way we all work. I've found this time to be very tough, especially for the loved ones who can't see their families. Covid-19 is always a worry for me with my family, but I know I take all the necessary precautions to limit any risk. Also, I want to work, helping people, as this is very important to me and my family support me 100 per cent and are proud of me.

Most people know they want to be a nurse before going into the field. My route was not your typical one. During my time at a public house, I felt I wanted to do something different. As a person, I'm kind, sociable and I love helping people so, I decided to go to my local college, Coleg y Cymoedd, and have a chat with them. They decided I would be a suitable candidate for the Access to Health course, but I needed to sit an English and maths exam first, which I passed!

I did the course over two years at night school. At college, I discovered I was dyslexic, which made a lot of sense, as I always struggled at school. After passing the health course, I did the Foundation Degree in Community Health and Wellbeing at USW, before embarking on my journey into adult nursing. I found writing essays at university challenging during my studies. Having dyslexia makes it hard but, I’ve had excellent support from a tutor who has helped me during the three years at USW.”