My name is Asha and I’m a general practice nurse.

I provide care across the full spectrum of society. I make sure
everyone feels safe and comfortable, and that they see a friendly
face providing their clinical care. I am passionate about helping
people live well with long-term conditions and about driving
preventative health.

I do this because I believe that access to healthcare in the
community is really important.

I come from a family of nurses. Initially I
went off to uni and did a different degree,
then I started volunteering with children
and then I realised that actually, nursing is
what I wanted to do.

I used to work in A&E and loved it but I
always knew care for patients doesn’t stop
in emergency departments. Many people
require treatment and care in community settings.

I work in general practice so that I can
support people with conditions like
diabetes, from when they are diagnosed
and throughout their life. I can look after
someone’s asthma and prevent them
ending up in A&E – I can do preventative
cancer screening tests and I know
that’s making a difference, I know the
immunisations I give are making a difference.

General practice nursing is a good area to
be for career development. You can have
new projects, new ideas for the
community, which makes a job bit more
interesting for me as a nurse. It means I
can support patients, but I can also be
discussing policies and looking into
protocols and see if we can help the
community and make a difference to
getting people interested in their own
healthcare management.

My overall style and approach to nursing
is probably a friendly manner where I
want to talk to everybody like I care about
their lives, because I do. I think it’s very
easy for a patient–clinician relationship to
be very formal all the time and I don’t
think that’s necessarily needed.

In my role it’s important to create a safe
and calm environment so being friendly
and welcoming is really important,
even when people may receive sad news. I want
all people to feel cared for with
compassion and skill.

A large part of my role is health promotion
so I work closely with the trainee nursing
associate to make sure our public spaces
within the surgery are really engaging
and attract people to health and wellbeing
promotion and initiatives.

From starting my career as a nurse I have
really grown in confidence and skill – from
treating someone with an asthma attack
with the right medication in A&E, to
managing somebody with high blood
pressure in primary care. These are all part
of my portfolio of skills. I am continually
learning through my experience and
continued professional development.

I am currently training to  be an advanced
clinical practitioner where I will be able to
diagnose, treat and prescribe for my
patients. I also train others in my team, for
example, nursing associates and trainee
healthcare assistants.

As a general practice nurse I’m delivering
immunisations from babies to adults. I
take people’s blood pressure, I take their
bloods, I do wound dressings, I do smears,
I reassure patients and make sure they
understand what’s happening. But then a
large part of my job is also about
managing long-term conditions.

Many people have a long-term condition,
such as diabetes, asthma, COPD, heart
failure or hypertension, and a big bulk of
my work is to look after those patients. To
see them and make sure they know how
to self-manage their condition. Talk to
them about their diet, work out if we can
look at weight management, work out if I
can help them to stop smoking or to eat a
little bit better. And hopefully help them
improve their health.

Another really interesting part of my job is
women’s health. Contraception, sexual
health, and giving women the knowledge
so they can choose contraception wisely
and be confident in making their choice. I
have the opportunity to support and
empower women to improve and make
decisions about their health.

Every single day in general practice is
different. It’s vital to understand what’s
important to people. This helps me to
tailor the care for them. For example, the
lady who is happy that her son has finally
got a better place of care, and the man
who is able to manage his long-term
condition so he can go to the betting shop.

I love creating a safe and compassionate
environment for people, especially when I
know they are going to be nervous, for
example, seeing their baby having an
injection or someone having or receiving
results of a blood test. The best part of the
job is achieving good outcomes in a
variety of circumstances. 

I really enjoy the people I work with. We
are a great team who support each other
both professionally and personally. They
are great colleagues and friends.

One of my biggest challenges, especially
in central London, is that we see quite a
lot of people who are homeless or just
haven’t been dealt a very good hand in
life. We provide care, compassion and

support for people. We do all we can  but

I always wish I could do more.

One of the things that I’m most proud of is
that in such a short space of time, the
quality of my work has been recognised.
And it’s meant that I’ve been put forward
as Nurse Manager for two surgeries,
responsible for 13,000 patients, and that I
have been able to start my masters degree
to become an advanced clinical practitioner.

By the end of my career, I hope to have
achieved positive changes to practice. I
hope to have a positive impact on policy
that makes a real difference to patient
care. I want to create something
sustainable – something I’ve introduced
and changed policies for. In 20 years’ time,
I want to be on boards influencing
the future of nursing.