Oana Cojocaru’s story
Watch my short film and read my story:
I work for Brunelcare as a Registered Nurse, in Saffron Gardens care home.
My nursing career started in Romania, where I grew up and trained as a nurse, completing my nursing degree and working in a hospital; making diabetes my chosen specialism.
My passion for nursing goes back to my early childhood when I looked after my grandfather at one stage and decided I wanted to be a nurse!
Everything changed for me 12 years ago when I relocated to the UK, and with a lapsed nursing PIN, and starting a family, I found work in the restaurant trade instead for a few years. The health and safety, and food safety aspects of managing a restaurant did have some synergy with my nursing training.
Then, two years ago, with a yearning to work as a nurse again, I enrolled for a ‘Back to Practice’ nursing course with University of West of England (UWE), Bristol. At the same time I came across Brunelcare’s Saffron Gardens care home and contacted their Clinical Lead Manager to see if Brunelcare would sponsor my University course. They interviewed me and agreed that they would! Not only this, but they employed me on a part-time basis whilst I was completing my course and paid my nursing PIN. I started working for Brunelcare in October 2017 and finished my requalification course in March 2018, when I became a Registered Nurse with Brunelcare’s Saffron Gardens care home.
What I love about my new nursing career with Brunelcare is the relaxed atmosphere in which I work, in comparison to a hospital setting. It’s like ‘being a nurse in your own home’. The work conditions are less rigid, there is less paperwork and clinical time and instead much more time spent with those in your care. I am mum to a toddler so I also enjoy the flexible work contract I currently have, enabling me to make the most of my nursing and my own family.
To those thinking of joining the care home sector as a nurse, I would say don’t believe everything you hear about dementia care. It’s one of the most satisfying nursing environments where you can give people cuddles, dance and sing with them and generally ‘be’ as you would with your own family.