A nurse looking after Crewe residents is encouraging people to consider the numerous professional pathways available in the care sector, having built her own successful career in the field after ‘falling into’ a job caring for others.
Jane Hughes, 35, never thought she would dedicate her life to nursing older people at dementia care specialist, Belong Crewe. But over a decade ago, fresh from finishing a degree reading Criminology and Psychology, she unwittingly embarked on what would turn out to be the first day of a fulfilling vocation.
She explains: “Like many graduates, I didn’t know what sort of job I wanted or even where to start. I applied for a role as a care assistant and, to be honest, it wasn’t really what I wanted to do, and so it surprised me when I fell in love with it straight away – I hadn’t anticipated how gratifying it would be.”
During the subsequent years, Jane worked hard to progress through senior care assistant and care team leader positions, before pursuing a nursing degree. Once qualified, she worked in local hospitals but felt something was missing and eventually returned to the Belong village on Brookhouse Drive, having secured the Registered General Nurse (RGN) post.
“I came back to social care because I missed the closeness and the relationships you can build with people, over time,” Jane continues. “Working in hospitals, you help patients get better; but then you never see them again. Nursing at Belong enables me to support older people’s physical health needs, as well as their social and psychological wellbeing, on a long-term basis, and so I can get to know them.”
“I’m now the village’s lead nurse which affords me autonomy to influence and implement my ideas, coach and train my own team, and continually learn whilst networking with local GPs and nurse practitioners. The best part is being able to work with and help our customers thrive independently in a compassionate setting – it’s a lovely way to spend your career.”
Cheryl Davies, general manager at Belong Crewe, commented: “We’re very pleased to have supported Jane’s development and congratulate her on what she’s achieved. It goes to show the opportunities that social care has to offer and how rewarding the profession can be. We provide extensive on-the-job training, meaning people can join us without care qualifications and go on to realise their ambitions, just like Jane.”