Becky Bickley – A&E Nurse
When you last heard from me, I was working as an NHS triage nurse in an Urgent Care Centre at Leighton Hospital, Crewe. I was just about to finish a clinical diagnostics module at Liverpool John Moore's University which would allow me to go on to do the Non-Medical Prescribing module to license me as a nurse practitioner. In my spare time, I was working for Medacs Healthcare as an A&E nurse, travelling to different hospitals - mainly Stafford, North Manchester, Bury and Oldham.
Suddenly, my mum became poorly, my mother-in-law was recurrently pressing her care call button for help and assistance and my six year old daughter started to ask me to take her to after-school clubs and swimming clubs on a weekend.
We don’t have any family in the area and my husband, who is a paramedic, works on a rolling rota for West Midlands Ambulance Service, so as you can imagine, organising childcare and activities for my daughter has to be done with military precision.
Becoming a full-time agency nurse
Having no flexibility for family life, I took the very difficult decision of leaving my NHS role at Leighton Hospital. I did not take it lightly, as I enjoyed my job and the team I worked with, but I needed to fit my work life into my family life, not the other way around.
So, here I am – now a full-time agency nurse at Medacs Healthcare.
I don’t work the same number of hours and shifts every week. I can end up working 43 hours one week and 22 hours the next. I get to make the decision on when and how long I work, choosing from short shifts, long shifts, early starts or late starts and if I need a day off, I simply don’t ask for any work. I send my availability to Sharon, my consultant on a monthly or weekly basis and Sharon will find something to suit me; looking for the locations she knows I enjoy the most. There are never any questions asked and I don’t feel like I have to justify myself when I need some time off.
Part of the team
Going to work as a Medacs Healthcare agency nurse, I am welcomed with open arms into the A&E departments that know me well and I instantly feel part of the team. I don't have to look through NHS emails anymore and I am no longer part of any politics of the departments or the NHS.
It’s now the summer holidays and I’m able to spend more time with my family. I do miss my old job and I realise that I was close to completing my modules to become a nurse practitioner but I love the flexibility of my new role, and my family gets to see more of me, so It's a win-win situation.
Agency work has made a positive impact on my lifestyle and has enabled me to put my priorities first, which is why I am always proud to tell people that I am a Medacs Healthcare nurse.
Want to know more?
Medacs Healthcare Champion Cavell Nurses’ Trust’s #10kForNurses
New Staff Bank Framework Award for MGG member Litmus Solutions
Nurse Career Progression: How Agency Nursing Supported My Career Development to ANP
Agency Nursing as a Career: An Interview with an Advanced Nurse Practitioner