‘I left the NHS as a nursing sister to protect my wellbeing and fulfill passion’


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Community Nursing Sister Natalie Hutchinson, 28, may hold a different job to Adam Kay in hit BBC drama This Is Going to Hurt, but the job she held before leaving was just as intense

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More than 27,000 medical staff left the NHS last year as the relentless conditions left workers struggling to cope.

Among the thousands who left was community nursing sister Natalie Hutchinson, 28, who worked for a Rapid Response Team in Derbyshire.

The nurse, who joined the NHS in 2016, quit her staff job after realizing the effect the immense pressure it was having on her mental health.

Her huge workload and stressful job mirrors that of Adam Kay’s in This Is Going to Hurt, a TV show chronicling the former NHS staff members bestselling book.

Natalie made the tough decision to leave last year after realizing that the ‘negative environment’ was impossible to carry on working without forfeiting her own wellbeing.

She said: “There are some amazing nurses out there and it’s sad because you can really feel their frustrations.

Natalie loved her job as a nurse
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Image:

Natalie Hutchison)

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“It seems to have turned into such a negative environment and I think the reason for this is because staff are not being heard and that there seems to be no forward movement or positive changes.”

Working in the community, Natalie helped respond to urgent care calls that didn’t require hospital admissions.

But she found herself working overtime constantly, and struggled to keep up with the immense pressures piled on the system thanks to Covid.

She said: “The demand got so higher during Covid, especially from care homes. It was a very high demand job. But it wasn’t being a nurse that was the problem, it felt like there was only so much you could do while being stuck on this merry-go-round.

“I was devoted to my patients and the community to ensure they received gold standard care. And like many of the workforce, we go above and beyond to try and support the service needs and demands.

“Leaving my career was not a decision I took lightly but multiple matters over a period of time eventually took their toll.

“I am such a passionate person and I am really keen to develop not just myself but whatever I am working on and towards. So when you are met with constant blockages day after day, you soon begin to lose your fight and feel very deflated. “

Staffing was a constant issue, says Natalie, which became worse during the pandemic, as workers had to shield or stay off for 10 days after testing positive.

One of the main themes in This Is Going to Hurt is the constant struggle junior doctors face where they are treated dismissively by senior colleagues.

In Natalie’s experience, staff often felt like they were on a “constant merry-go-round of discussing the same concerns over and over again in regards to staffing, staff wellbeing and overall patient safety,” added the 28-year-old.

She said: “Often things feel like a tick box exercise and I feel a lot of matters are brushed under the carpet. But what is the answer? More money? More staff? Who knows.

“But with there being a 25% increase of nurses leaving the profession in 2021, where does this leave the NHS in years to come? It is a sad reality.”

Things came to a head last April when the nursing sister realized the impact this was having on her mental health and handed in her notice – as the pandemic prompted her to reconsider her lifestyle.

Now she runs her own business
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Image:

Natalie Hutchison)

She’s spoken out about the immense pressures
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Image:

Natalie Hutchison)

She said: “We were always off late.

“Even if you did get home on time, you were still on the phone to colleagues as they needed to offload.

“You’d go to work and you would still be working at 10pm because you didn’t have time in the day, or you were chatting to colleagues. It was always about work.”

“Once you step out of the environment, you actually see it for what it is. Whilst you’re in there, you are a bit of a firefighter, trying your best with what you have,” she added.

“After you step out, your eyes open.”

But she’s keen to stress her love for the NHS – alongside highlighting why thousands of staff are leaving.

She added: “I think Covid has made a lot of people realize that there is more to life than working yourself to the ground and using your days off to catch up on work tasks you didn’t have time to do during your working day.

“So I left, without any clear plan of what I was going to do.

“I didn’t even have a business idea at this point. I just knew I wanted to do something for myself, I was putting that much effort into something and hitting a brick wall, so why not put that effort into something for myself?

“It was emotional but exciting at the same time. Being a nurse becomes your identity as a person, so learning to move away from that has been a whole new experience.

“It’s not that I don’t love being a nurse because I do, but actually being able to do the job without forfeiting your wellbeing is a totally different ball game.”

Now she runs her own business – Manifesting Minnie – which she runs from Chesterfield.

“So with my business, my aim is that I motivate and inspire other people that there is more to life than feeling like you are on a constant merry-go-round and that when you put your mind to it, anything is possible,” she explained

“Leaving a stable salary was scary, but fast forward to now and I am earning more than I was working full time as a nursing sister all within 6 months.

“I’m still gaining the same level of fulfillment by supporting other people in reaching their own goals and dreams. It all feels like a dream.

Check out Natalie’s business here or follow her on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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