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Nurse Harry D. in the interview

Harry, when on Monday morning you view your work for the coming week, what do you look forward to?

I always enjoy seeing my colleagues. When I was in my third year of training, these colleagues came up to me and asked if I would like to work with them after my exams. That was a great affirmation for me.

That sounds like good teamwork. Could you describe how you experience your team?

There are 21 staff members on the ward and we work together very closely; now and again we discuss nursing questions, sometimes quite heatedly, but everything remains objective and ultimately we learn from this. In the breaks we drink coffee together and we laugh a lot; if anyone has made a mistake, it is talked about openly and then that’s the end of it.

Incidentally, I have colleagues in all age groups. The older ones have a huge wealth of nursing experience from which we younger ones can greatly profit. I find the relationship between us nurses and the doctors here very special. There is a lot of friendly cooperation and great mutual respect.

I think you can do a lot yourself to make your team function well. For example, I consider it very important to hand over my area correctly. Then the colleagues coming after me have no additional work.

In your opinion, what qualities are required in order to do good work as a nurse here? 

Stress resistance. We often work under time pressure and in spite of this, we need to keep track of everything on the ward. I didn’t find this easy to begin with, because I wanted to do everything perfectly or even more than perfectly as a nurse. Now I can set better priorities; it was a learning process.

What is part of good nursing for you?

It’s important to find your own path. For me it is important to like yourself in the way that you nurse. For example, it is often said that as a nurse you should keep a certain personal distance, but that’s not always the best way. For example, we had a patient here who was very ill. And I had the feeling it was important for her that I chatted with her and took time for her. I have sometimes even played cards with patients or had supper with them. If I have the impression that it will do the patient good and I can somehow make time, then I do it. That’s what I mean by liking yourself when you nurse.

How do you process all these impressions?

If something has affected us a lot, then we talk about it in the team. That helps. Sometimes, there are also tears if something very sad happens, but that’s ok. Nobody here needs to be afraid of showing vulnerability. It’s all part of things here. Once a year we have a psycho-oncological discussion group. There, we talk with a psychologist about things that trouble us. How we nurses are feeling matters here. It does me good to sense this appreciation and the hospital’s trust in us nurses.

How important is it for you to work at a maximum care hospital?

For me, it’s absolutely important. New things happen constantly; you see the rarest clinical diseases and are always learning something new. But it’s not for everyone. I had a nursing colleague who found it too much and wanted more routine. She then moved to a smaller hospital.

You thus need the ability here to adapt constantly to the unknown. It's also great that we have an infinite number of specialist fields here at UKW. This means that as a nurse, you are not stuck in one field for all time, but can change your field from time to time.

And from a patient’s point of view, it’s great that we can always guarantee care. No matter how many people are injured in a mass accident on the motorway, we can cope.

Is there anything that has made you happy recently in your nursing work?

On my birthday, I was on night duty. At midnight on the dot, my boss phoned me and wished me a happy birthday. I was really thrilled about that.

And I was asked if I could say something about the nursing care of melanoma patients at a congress. I have given several talks on this in the meantime, sometimes in front of 50 people, sometimes 180. These have been exciting experiences for me.

What’s the next step for you?

I’ve registered for the course as a practical instructor. As a practical instructor, I will then be responsible for new staff; for example, I’ll set up introductory schemes or supervise student nurses on the ward. I’m very much looking forward to that.

Thank you very much, Harry, for those personal insights into your work as a nurse at the UKW.

Here the colleagues on the ward can give you insights into what is involved in their work as a nurse.

I try to bring a breath of fresh air into nursing, to break old habits.

Angelika K. talks about her work as an academically qualified nurse.

Tailoring the work to one's own talents and phase of life - that is possible here.

Daniela E. talks about her personal and professional development at UKW.

Nursing has always been more than just a job, even before Corona.

Andreas M. talks about his nursing tasks during the Corona pandemic.

You want to work with us? Then we look forward to seeing you!

If you would first like some orientation, then you can gladly come for a couple of days’ observation and form your own opinion. You can contact us by email at pflegedirektion@ ukw.de or by phone at the number +49 931 201-57102 so that we can arrange an appointment. We will also be glad to answer any of your questions then.

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