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I would just like to share with you my experience of starting my new job at ECG.

I left the NHS where I had worked for the last 14 years of my life, I left on the 7/9/2020 and started on a new career path. I did this with some trepidation as nursing was all I had known.

Starting as a clinical trainer was extremely scary for me. Yes, I had taught student nurses but that was 1 to 1, teaching them as I worked came as second nature as all I was doing was explaining what I was doing and why, I didn’t have an audience looking at me. The first couple of weeks was lovely (or extremely easy) I spent time with experienced trainers taking notes easy, so I thought.

Then my first session alone. Oh my goodness I was absolutely terrified I was to take a manual handling session, despite taking a 4 day train the trainer course on manual handling this is not something as a nurse you prioritise so teaching this to students was the worst thing I could possibly do. The morning arrived and off I trundled to the university. The only saving grace was that a trainer would be sat in the room monitoring me and would be able to step in if I struggled.

The delegates started to arrive all young students (they did not look old enough to be out without their mums). This was the next generation of healthcare professionals, I felt under huge pressure as I needed to get this right. Not only to protect them legally but to ensure they protect their health, if not taught properly they were at huge risk of musculoskeletal injury. It was the first week of their course, so this was the best time to catch them before they fall into bad habits. I started with legislation, silence! As I asked questions there was no response, as I continued to ergonomics and risk assessments still, I was getting no response just blank stares, this was the hardest moment of my life. I got through the first section far too quickly as no discussions were offered. I sent them for a break and discussed my performance with the trainer monitoring me.

He said that I had done well and gave me some much-needed advice. The students returned and it was time to undertake the practical aspect of the session. Initially the session started off slowly but as the students got into the swing of things they soon began to relax and have fun. They seemed like a totally different class of students. I relaxed and began to enjoy what I was doing, by the end of the session I found that I truly enjoyed the session. Though I had finished the session early I had covered everything in the lesson plan, and I believe that they had enjoyed the day, mainly because they had finished early.  I find that I still get nervous before teaching but not as much as the first time.

I also teach Basic life support and Anaphylaxis which I find an absolute pleasure, basic life support was my bread and butter as a critical care nurse. I try to make it as much fun as possible so the delegates will remember the session and so enable them to save a life. I do not want their mandatory training to be a boring forgettable experience, so I like to involve everyone. I get a huge feeling of satisfaction when a delegate tells me that the session was the most fun, they have had at mandatory training.

I have found working for ECG a very positive experience. The team are fabulous.

The support I have been given is second to none from the CEO, to the tech man and all the girls in the office. They are like a huge bunch of kids, this makes spending a day in the office just like spending a day with your mates, they are hilarious and there is never a dull day. They do have a serious professional side when working with clients and take pride in what they do. If I have an issue, they are there to sort it for me straight away. When or if I make a mistake, they help me without complaint. Although I have only been with them for a month, I feel comfortable and don’t feel I am judged in anyway.

In nursing it does not matter where you work, there is always some that do judge you regardless of how hard you work and how well you do. Though I do miss critical care nursing, I do not miss the 12-hour shifts, night shifts or full PPE.

Now I am of that age I need an easier way of life. I am busy but it is a different pace, I love working for this company and look forward to many more years if they will have me.

Written by Gill Smith ( ECG Clinical Trainer), Thursday 29th October 2020