Meet Florence Star Award winner Joyce [Feb ‘24”]

This February love is in the air, and in this article, we’re sharing our love of our latest Florence Star Award winner, NHS nurse Joyce – who has known she has wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl.

We sat down to chat about Joyce’s career journey, and why she uses Florence to book her shifts…

1. How long have you been in healthcare?

I’ve been working as a nurse for eight years. Prior to that, I was a HCA.

2. Where do you work currently?

I’ve been working with Florence since 2017. In the beginning, I worked in elderly care homes, and recently I’ve switched to cover NHS shifts at my local hospital.

3. What’s the best thing about working in the NHS as a nurse?

For me, it’s being able to build your skills. I learn new things every day, even after eight years in the profession.

4. Can you share a little bit about your journey into nursing?

I’ve had a passion for care since I was a child. There are lots of nurses in our family and I was inspired by seeing others’ care. What confirmed nursing as a career for me was an experience with my grandfather; he was sick when I was a child and I spent a lot of time in the hospital with him. I was his favourite and loved being around him. I watched the nurses take care of him, and at times, I didn’t like how he was cared for, and it really frustrated me that I wasn’t able to help. I decided that when I grow up I will do this, and do it better. My grandfather very much approved.

5. What keeps your passion for nursing alive? 

What keeps me going is wanting to make a difference in people’s lives. I introduce myself to all my patients, whether they can talk or not, I chat and talk to them. I love getting to know my patients and their families.

Yesterday, I was looking after a dementia patient. With this patient, she wasn’t eating, so I got some of the other staff to sing and dance with me, and whilst we were distracting her, I was gently putting food in her mouth, and so she was eating.

It was such a surprise when her husband came over, hugged me, and said thank you – it was the first time in 2 days she had eaten.

For me, it doesn’t feel like work. I just want to make people’s lives better.

6. What do you like most about working with Florence?

I was in a permanent role in a care home previously. But it wasn’t working for the rest of my life. Now, my work fits around the kids. It’s flexible and that works better for me and my family.

I also love that Florence doesn’t call and bombard you as agencies do. You just choose the shifts on the app, and book them. No one is telling you want shifts to work when or deciding for you. It’s more like being your own boss.

7. What features do you find useful in the Florence app?

I love the alerts on the phone to say a new shift has been posted. It’s then very easy to apply quickly on the app.

8. What advice would you give care professionals considering joining Florence?

Go for it: It’s flexible; you have the app; and you can see the shifts and book where you want to be. You can choose what wards and hospitals you want to work at.

9. What advice would you give to someone starting a nursing career? 

Effective communication between yourself, the staff, and patients is the most important thing. Documentation is key.

You also need to have a passion for caring for others, not about money. If you do, you’ll end up getting frustrated easily.

10. What’s the one thing you wish everyone understood about being a nurse?

It’s about compassion. It’s not just about giving medication. It’s about showing you care and beyond any illness, it’s about being someone for person to talk to. Ultimately, it’s about connecting with people.

11. What’s your favourite memory from your nursing career?

I had a patient at a care home who had dementia and would often become aggressive. But when I came on shift, she was like my little grandma – and I even called her that. I would speak to her as family. She saw me as a daughter rather than a nurse. For me, she was calm, eating and taking her medication without any issues. Because of this special relationship her family always requested me to take care of her.

If you’re inspired by Joyce and want to join Florence, get started by downloading the app.

You may also be interested in:

– Meet Gresham Florence Star Award winner Gresham [Jan ‘ 24]

– Meet Florence Star Award winner Beatrice [Oct ’23]

– Meet Florence Star Award winner Godwin [Sept ’23]

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