Joel Tano’s story
I work for Brunelcare as a Registered Nurse, in Brunelcare’s Robinson House care home.
I’ve always taken great pride in being a nurse.
My decision to become a nurse happened at University in the Philippines, where I come from. I originally set out to study engineering but soon realised that working with machines didn’t suit me. Instead, I loved the idea of working with people, to be able to change someone’s life by making them better. That really fired a passion in me! So I switched to studying nursing, qualifying with my nursing degree.
After qualifying, I worked for 12 years in a hospital casualty department. From seeing people arrive at the hospital ill, I always derived huge satisfaction from seeing them go home feeling fitter.
My decision to relocate, with my family, to the UK was triggered in 2005 when the UK care organisation ‘Four Seasons’ were recruiting in the Philippines. Hundreds applied, but I was one of just 80 people selected and so me and my family left to set up home in Scotland, where I worked for Four Seasons as a nurse. After a while I grew increasingly concerned by a lack of career progression, development and support in that role – I had heard there were better nursing opportunities in the South at that time. I set about researching other care organisations and read some good reviews online about Brunelcare. They had vacancies for nurses so I applied, was offered the job and next thing we knew I was moving my family down to Bristol to start another new phase in our lives! So since 2010 I have been working as a Registered Nurse in Brunelcare’s Robinson House care and nursing home, in Bristol.
I have found the charity to be incredibly supportive, from the interview to the current day. Their working conditions are the best I have experienced. They pay for and encourage my continued training and development. They also provide work pattern flexibility, and I have appreciated how supportive they have been of me as a parent. For example, they agreed to me working overtime when I first arrived in Bristol and was house-hunting.
When I compare my work in a care and nursing home with life in hospital; the work in hospital was very fast turnaround, allowing very little time to get to know the people you were caring for. By complete contrast, at Robinson House I am with those I care for from their arrival with us to the end of their lives. There was also not so much training and support available to me in my hospital position as there has been with Brunelcare. My role is now all about day-to-day nursing and end of life care, and we specialise in dementia care too. My nursing role still has variety and has evolved over time, for example we have more high dependency needs that I am focused on now. Our care home excels in palliative care, for which we have been recognised with a Care & Support West award recently. A care home is definitely not a stagnant place to work, I sometimes hear them described that way.
I enjoy the higher level of interaction I have with those I care for. I have also experienced valuable growth not only in my work but personally too. I feel rewarded with my great job and the happy family life I have here in Bristol, working with Brunelcare.
In this short film, Saffron describes her nurse training at university and what it is like working as a trainee nurse at Brunelcare's Robinson House care home.