We provide high quality healthcare services primarily to the residents of East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen, which have a combined population in the region of 530,000.
“A lot of people tried to put me off nursing, telling me I wasn’t cut out for it, but I always knew it was what I wanted to do.”
This is what Ayesha Shah, Junior Sister at Pendle Community Hospital, told us when we chatted to her about International Nurses Day, and what it means for her to be able to give back to the community she has grown up in.
She spoke about the ups and downs of nursing, what it means to work for ELHT, and why she wants to inspire the younger generation to follow in her footsteps and join the NHS.
Tell us, what made you decide to get into nursing?
“When I was a child I was always interested in doctor and nursing toys, it was all I would ever play with. So from there, I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. I cared for both my grandma’s who were really poorly who sadly died and I did a lot for them, which also made me realise I wanted to care for other people.
When I was applying for University courses quite a lot of people tried putting me off but I knew it was all I wanted to do. I trained over in Huddersfield before coming to work for ELHT as a band 5 nurse for two and a half years and I became a Junior Sister six months ago.”
What do you love about being a nurse?
“I love that we’re making a change in other people’s lives. During the pandemic our patients had no family members by their side, so we as nurses were there to comfort them and be a friend; as well as look after them from a medical perspective. I think that’s a huge thing, at the end of the day you’re making an impact on someone’s life.”
What’s it like working in a Community hospital?
“I have had some experience working at a larger site when I was redeployed to Ward B20 at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital to help out during the Covid-19 pandemic. I really enjoyed seeing the acute side to nursing, but because I’ve been working at Pendle since my career began I feel like this is where my heart is. The patients we see are those recovering, they’ve been through the rough part, so it’s nice to help get them fully recovered and back home to their families.
We’ve had a lot of patients recently who have come from being ventilated on ICU and they’ve come here and actually walked off the ward. To see something like that is so amazing and rewarding, we’ve all worked together to help them recover.”
What do you enjoy about working as a nurse for ELHT?
“There’s a lot of support, everyone works in their own departments but we are all one big team. I’ve worked here since my career began and I just love it so much, I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
As a nurse who has lived in East Lancashire her whole life, what is it like to care for your local community?
“Sometimes you’re out and you see someone you’ve looked after and it’s so nice to see them recovered and back out in the community. I actually cared for someone I knew as a child when they were an inpatient at the Trust and now I always see them outside. It’s so lovely knowing that I had a hand in helping their recovery.”
What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a nurse?
“Definitely just do it. It’s worth it when you go home and you know you’ve made someone happy today or you’ve looked after someone who is poorly. It’s such a rewarding job.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I’d like to progress in my nursing career but at the moment I’m really enjoying getting stuck into my Junior Sister position, and taking on those roles and responsibilities. Who knows what the future holds, there’s no boundaries!”