1st year LSBU Learning Disability Nursing student, Sophia Stobbs, tells us about her time working at the Charterhouse and what it has meant to her.
To say I was very nervous before starting at the Charterhouse would be an understatement. I was beyond terrified. Not only had I come into nursing via a huge career change, but I had never really worked with the elderly and knew very little about the care they required. Neither was it on my radar as a possible future career. Even after a discussion with my lecturer and a fellow student who had been placed with Charterhouse, I still felt as if I was going into the unknown. All I knew was that I was going to soak in as much information as I could and try and enjoy the learning experience, whatever it brought.
What I didn’t realise at the time was that not only did Charterhouse far exceed my learning goals but that my experience would be far more memorable than I could ever quantify. I remember calling a fellow classmate within the first few days of my placement and as I recalled what I had learned that week, she sat and listened and at the end of it all, she told me that throughout our conversation all she could hear was my joy. She was right. Not only did I feel a sense of joy, I realised that I enjoyed getting up and going to placement. I enjoyed getting to know the residents, from getting hit on by one particular resident to the conversations about travel and history with another to sharing a love of classical music with another. These residents not only left a mark on my life, but it made me realise how important person-centred care really was and how much these residents, in the twilight of their lives, valued it and what they taught me about life.
The teamwork I witnessed was second to none amongst the staff and as I worked beside these individuals, I saw the passion they felt and how it radiated through the high standard of care they gave to the residents. That high standard continued through to the learning opportunities I was given. From learning practical nursing skills to learning about the complexities of elderly care to coming to terms with the emotions of palliative care, I soaked it up and cannot thank Karen, Stafford, Nigel and the team enough for the skills I was able to learn throughout my placement and the patience they showed me. They truly are amazing individuals and showed me what outstanding care truly should look like.
I do not know where my nursing career will take me, but I do know that as I continue along my path, Charterhouse will be forever etched in my heart for teaching me more about life than I will ever realise. As someone told me on my last day, you always remember your first placement and that’s true. I will always remember the characters I met through Charterhouse and what they brought to my life both professionally and personally.