After qualifying as a Registered General nurse in 2018, Rebekah went to work in the NHS and found her niche quickly. “I’d always had a keen interest in orthopaedics, and I worked at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham as a general staff nurse. I was primarily in the day surgery unit, which I really enjoyed,” she recalls.
When the COVID pandemic struck, Rebekah was asked to redeploy overnight when the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital was designated a trauma centre due to the largest regional hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, becoming a COVID treatment centre. She says, “The first UK lockdown was introduced on my birthday – March 23rd – but I was happy to step up. I worked in both COVID positive and negative wards during 2020, which gave me valuable experience. I went wherever I was needed, and did whatever I could to help.”
After spending almost a year on the frontline at the most challenging time in the history of the NHS, Rebekah began to consider how her role might affect her family. “It was a difficult time and I wanted to work somewhere that was as COVID secure as possible. While I did apply for a role within the NHS, I also applied to Transform Hospital Group’s Burcot Hall Hospital in Bromsgrove. From the first moments of the showround I was given there, I knew it was the place for me. I could see how seriously personal safety for patients and staff members was taken, and that really helped me decide that I wanted to work there.”
Rebekah describes herself as an ‘all or nothing’ person and, having reassessed where she wanted to go in her healthcare career and setting her heart on the position at Burcot Hall, she was thrilled to be offered the job. “Being at the start of my career, I didn’t feel that the NHS would be able to offer me much in the way of progression for a long time because of the pandemic, so I had to move on. Once I had decided that this was the best fit for me, I had no second thoughts about going into the independent sector.”
In December 2020, Rebekah completed her first shift at Burcot Hall as a Ward Nurse. “Everyone I met was supportive, and as I got to know the company and the people I was working with, I realised that they were all very down to earth, regardless of who they were or how long they’d been with the business.”
While Burcot Hall has primarily been known as a hub for bariatric surgery, more recently the facility has widened its scope to include more modalities. Due to Rebekah’s previous experience and her wish to progress, when oprthopaedic lists were introduced to the hospital she was asked to consider becoming the Orthopaedic Lead Nurse. “It was wonderful to know that the management team had such faith in me,” Rebekah smiles. “I had already been considering my next career move, so it was very timely too! Orthopaedic surgery improves patients’ quality of life so much – you achieve holistic improvement through a relatively simple intervention. I enjoy seeing patients we’ve treated enjoying life again after their surgery – it’s exciting to be doing what I love most again.”
Rebekah has been impressed by the culture within Burcot Hall Hospital and Transform Hospital Group. “Our Hospital Manager is making lots of improvements in various areas through listening to feedback from the members of the team. You’re encouraged to speak up, so you have a real say in any changes that are made, and many suggestions have already been actioned.”
As to the future, Rebekah admits that she’s not a 5-year plan kind of person. “In the past, I’ve kind of fallen into some things career-wise! But long term, my dream is either to undergo Physician Associate training, which would be medical rather than nursing, or progress to Ward Sister. With the support that I’m given here at Burcot Hall, there’s a good chance that I can start making more concrete plans for my career after all.”