Joseph Searle – Senior Staff Nurse – Care of the Elderly

Jul 9th, 2018

– Care of the Elderly suits Joseph’s strengths –

Over the past seven years working at University Hospitals Bristol, Joseph has held five different roles, but has always felt best suited to Care of the Elderly:“I’ve always found that my skills as a nurse are very suited to Care of the Elderly in terms of communicating and supporting. Older patients are more dependent on you, which can be harder work but it’s definitely more rewarding.”

There’s great opportunities for learning in Care of the Elderly, especially for students: “If you work on a surgical ward, generally the person coming in has one thing wrong with them. But with an elderly person there’s a complex background of conditions like diabetes and COPD and heart conditions, so it’s really interesting trying to put all the pieces together. It’s a great speciality for students because you get a really good grounding of skills to take with you into all areas.”

Care of the Elderly is far from boring, says Joseph: “A lot of people think it’s not as exciting as the more frontline areas such as A&E or ITU, but they forget that these are very complex patients. They’re frail and vulnerable, and you have to think about the complex range of medical things that are going on with them, as well as psychological and cognitive issues. It tests you and really makes you think.”

Joseph says he couldn’t ask to work in a more supportive Trust. Whichever direction he’s next looking to take his career; he can always be sure that he’ll be supported with his study or training: “The Trust is really supportive in letting you move around, encouraging you to develop into the nurse you want to be. There are so many opportunities if you’re willing to go out and take them.”

The most rewarding aspect for Joseph though, is the patients themselves: “I so enjoy working with elderly patients – you meet some great characters from all different backgrounds. It gives you this whole new appreciation of life because you know that when you get to those final years – whether you’re from Clifton or Glasgow or even further afield – in the end, we’re all the same.”

“Care of the Elderly is without a doubt a speciality that will make you value everything in life a whole lot more.”


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