I'd been working as a crew member for an airline for a number of years but kept working one night a week in A&E until my mother passed away in 2017. The distress and grievance meant that I let my NMC registration lapse in 2017.
When Covid-19 started to really impact people's lives I wanted to be part of the response as I knew I had the skills and compassion to make a difference. After joining the Covid-19 temporary register, I initially worked at North Middlesex Hospital, treating patients who came off the intensive care unit. But I came home from work every day feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. I questioned my ability.
Following the approval and rollout of the Covid-19 vaccinations, I signed up to work at the Dugdale Centre in North London and I absolutely love it there - what an amazing place to work. Every single person wants to work there and every day I feel that I am making a difference.
I come home every evening and have a spring in my step
A moment that stands out was a middle-aged person who was brought to me by a nurse. They were anxious and explained that they'd caught Covid-19 and were put on a ventilator for three weeks. They explained that they were scared about reports of side effects from the vaccine if you'd already had Covid-19.
It struck me just how frightened and vulnerable the person was, and how their partner couldn't join them. I quickly realised how special this moment was not just for me, but for the person I was helping to take vital steps toward normality. By listening and being empathetic, I helped to calm them and administer the vaccination shot.
On the same day, an elderly person came alone and they were hyperventilating - petrified of vaccinations. It took some time but I managed to calm them to the point where they didn't realise they'd been jabbed with the vaccine. The difference in their emotions was remarkable and they were over the moon.
When I worked in the North Middlesex hospital we would give patients who had recovered from Covid-19 a guard of honour. It really was something to celebrate and I brought this approach to the vaccination hub - this was a special moment for their lives and they had been incredibly brave.
To be part of the vaccination programme and to work so closely with people, listening to their stories and sharing their excitement, I find it humbling and I am privileged.
I didn't realise the value of my registration and the impact of letting it go
When you lose something you truly appreciate the value of it. The Covid-19 temporary register has been my gateway back into nursing. I now remember why I chose to train as a nurse and know that a simple gesture I do can help to change someone's life.
As I reflect on this experience, I would love to take the steps back to the permanent NMC register. This time I will hold onto it and while I may not work full-time, I'll make sure to use it. I feel terrible that it's taken Covid-19 to make me remember the love I have for the profession but having my registration is an asset.
As I look back, I recognise the impact that I'm having on people's lives. But I also recognise just how important it is to be surrounded by such an amazing team. I wake up every morning excited to get out of bed and head to the Dugdale Centre. While Covid-19 has been incredibly challenging, there have been some positives for me personally.
I'll look back and remember the connections and memories shared between myself and the strangers I met every day. I also know that they will look back on this day and remember that I was part of their journey.