In episode 14 of the Our Voices podcast, we learn about Honey, a nurse from India who, 6 months ago, made the decision to leave her one-year-old daughter and husband behind in order to work in the NHS. Honey describes making this decision as “the most painful thing” she has experienced. Despite this, she is motivated by the life that she is in the process of creating for her daughter and the opportunities that her sacrifice will be able to provide.
We learn that Honey’s motivation to work as a nurse began at a young age when her grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer. There was nothing that the doctors were able to do to save her grandfather at the time; however, the care that was provided by a visiting nurse during the final stages of his illness profoundly impacted Honey. She describes how her grandfather was very frail and how he did not wish to eat or drink and yet the nurse would go out of her way to bring his favourite food saying that she had prepared it with love. This, naturally, became an inducement for her grandfather to begin eating once again.
Honey also describes how well the nurse was able to generate positivity and express empathy while in her grandfather’s presence. She was able to anticipate his needs, seeming to know when he was tired or uncomfortable even before he knew himself. Honey describes the nurse’s aura as “mesmerising”. It was in witnessing the care given by this nurse that she realised the power that nursing had to bring joy to people’s lives at the point when joy seemed so difficult to attain: “I wanted to experience this joy…it can not be given by any of the other professions.”
When Honey’s grandfather passed away, the family thanked the nurse for the care she had provided. Her humble response was that she had not given much, only “gestures and time”. Nonetheless, what she gave is remembered by the family to this very day and, in Honey’s case, it inspired an entire career.
Now working as a nurse in the UK, Honey describes how she has passed on the positivity and empathy that she learned from watching that nurse. She talks about a patient in her care who suffered a massive road traffic accident. His lower limbs were fractured meaning he could not walk or perform basic day-to-day activities. Being in such a position of dependency was very difficult for the man to cope with; however, Honey and the entire nursing team made the patient believe that he would recover and that he would one day walk again. The patient was eventually able to stand by himself and from there he gradually regained the ability to walk. Upon achieving this, he expressed his thanks to the nurses who had cared for him saying: “I’m walking today because of you.”
When asked how she had been able to help her patient, Honey replies “small gestures made him happy…he was happy he was being taken care of.” Gestures and time, once again, had made a crucial impact.
Also, if you’re a medical professional who is looking to work in the UK, and you need to pass either IELTS or OET, go to www.swooshenglish.com .