Kerry Bates Updated Final Image.jpg

Why I returned to Bupa and why I chose to work as a Nurse in care

Kerry qualified as a Registered Nurse in the early 90s, working in a hospital for a couple of years before deciding to move into the care sector. It was in the care sector that Kerry found a passion for dementia care, an area that she still specialises in today.  
How long have you been working at Bupa? 
I originally started at Bupa in 2012 and I worked in one of the care homes for 6 years. Unfortunately, that care home was sold to another provider, and I left Bupa to work with them. It was a great role and I’d progressed to Unit Manager there, but I still felt that there was something missing. So last June, I came back to Bupa and joined the team at Broad Oak Manor Care Home as a Registered Nurse.  
What made you come back to Bupa? 
When I previously worked for Bupa, I was given a lot of support. From training opportunities to Nurse Awards, there was a variety of things that I was able to get involved in that supported my development. But when I moved on, I didn't feel that I had access to the same opportunities. I did actually take a step down to return but it’s been great to get back on the floor. I love being hands on and caring for residents and I know that in the long run this is the best choice for my career. It might not have seemed like the best time to move roles during a pandemic, but I took the gamble and it definitely paid off! 
How have you found the support at Bupa with development and CPD opportunities?   
It’s been great and is one of the things that made me want to come back. My background is mainly in dementia care but the home I’m currently working in isn’t specifically a dementia home. Despite that, I’ve been really empowered to keep up my dementia care skills, completing training with the team to upskill my colleagues and taking on extra courses such as the Dementia First and Dementia Champion course. Keeping those skills at the forefront is really important for my development but it also means that when we do have that need for dementia care, I can use my expertise to guide the team in providing the best possible care to those residents. Bupa has supported me to do that and I’m just so pleased to be back! 
What would you say is the biggest misconception about working as a Nurse in a care home? 
Sometimes people in other fields think you’re not as good of a nurse because you work in care but that’s just not true. I choose to work in this area because I see the value in it for my development, my career and my job satisfaction. The role can be just as clinical as it is in a hospital environment but it’s just using those skills in a slightly different way. It’s much more of a holistic approach in care. You’re helping the whole person rather than just a broken bone for example.
From mental health and dementia to emotional and physical needs - the balance of clinical care that you have to get right can be a lot more in depth than people realise. In care, there’s now more opportunities to develop clinically and professionally than there ever has been before in the sector! There are always new things to learn, and Bupa are very good with training, ensuring that our clinical skills are kept up to date. I don’t think the negative media coverage about the care sector helps either – you always hear the negative stories, never the positive ones, and there’s so many amazing things that happen in care every day!  
What’s your favourite thing about being a Nurse in a care home?  
I’m sure everyone says this but it’s being able to make a difference to someone’s day. It doesn’t matter if that’s something small or something big – it might seem like nothing to someone else, but those little touches can have a real impact. Because you’re working in our residents’ home you get to see how all those little things impact on their overall health and you don’t always get that in a hospital or other areas of nursing. I go home every day knowing that I made a difference that day. Once I got used to that, I never wanted to leave!   
If Kerry gets you thinking about a nursing career in care, register your details below and one of our team will get in touch to discuss further.