Tell us why you decided to get into nursing/care.
I’d be lying if I said I grew up wanting to be a nurse. Honestly, it wasn’t something that had even crossed my mind until my late teens. Having grown up in a family full of engineers, healthcare wasn’t something I had been exposed to or knew much about. I was, however, aware of the skills that I held, and planned to utilise these in a role that suited. This, coupled with the desire to help people, narrowed my options regarding future plans and helped me tailor my A-level subject choices. I decided to engage with work experience to assist me in my future planning. Having initially sampled teaching (I had a sister at uni studying this at the time) I decided to step out of my comfort zone into healthcare. Once exposed, I never really looked back. I thoroughly enjoy the caring aspects of the role, but additionally my interest was piqued by the science behind physical health problems. This combination led to me deciding that a future in nursing was the right path for me. Later that year, I applied and was accepted onto an adult nursing course at the University of Cumbria.
What is the biggest misconception or myth about prison healthcare?
I think when people think of prisons, they immediately think ‘safety’, or rather lack of it. This is not the case at all. People expect that the environment brings nothing but conflict and confrontation; whilst there is some of this, I would argue there is no more than any other healthcare environment. Moreover, the support for this in the prison environment is much more readily available.