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The Career Story of Sharai, Deputy Manager at Blenham House

I was born and brought up in Zimbabwe and, from a young age, I realised I wanted to help others in the community and one day train to become a nurse. In Zimbabwe, nursing career opportunities are very much limited to general nursing but I knew that I wanted to specialise in the care of the elderly and, when the time was right, I started to look further afield. I was attracted to the United Kingdom where I found out that there were many opportunities for nursing across many different specialisms.

I chose to live in Edinburgh as my sister lived there and worked as a nurse and, of course, the city is so beautiful. I love everything about it – except the weather! I didn’t know anyone else but that was soon to change when I started my nursing studies at Edinburgh Napier University and, after three years, received a Degree in Mental Health Nursing.

Whilst English is my second language, there were some Scottish phrases that took a bit of getting used to. For a while I didnae ken who the bairns were!

After graduating I applied to Randolph Hill Nursing Homes and was pleased to join the Bank Staff team. At this time I was also pregnant with my second child so the flexible hours and shifts suited my needs perfectly.

Once I returned from maternity leave, I was offered a permanent nursing post with Randolph Hill at Blenham House with a shift pattern that would enable me to balance work commitments alongside bringing up a young family. I was so keen to offer my best nursing skills and continually learn as much as possible as I was excited and impressed with the future career prospects that this company could offer me. My mum always taught me to work hard to achieve my goals and become the person I wanted to be. She was right!

Coming from a foreign country, it can take a while to learn new systems in new environments and build confidence but I have always been encouraged by Randolph Hill to ask questions and continue to train and develop, all with the support of the team and management around me. I never tire of learning and I have found here that everyone has an equal opportunity to develop their skills and work towards goals.

At Randolph Hill, I continued to develop my knowledge in many areas including wound management, catheterisation, ear syringing and palliative care. I have become quite the specialist in wound management. On one occasion, a resident had presented with a severe infection in her leg and the medical advice was to amputate. It is one of my proudest achievements that I successfully treated the wound over a period of time for it to heal completely.

I am now a mentor for new student nurses and I organise and deliver training in moving and handling, fire safety and dementia for the staff in Blenham House.

Over the 14 years with Randolph Hill, I have been able to progress my career from Nurse to Senior Nurse and then a further promotion to Charge Nurse. I was recently appointed to Deputy Manager at Blenham House.  My role now is to ensure that staffing levels across the home are in place and the building and facilities are maintained. I also ensure that resident care plans are reviewed and implemented along with responding to the needs of relatives. Every day can be different and I enjoy the variety along with continuing to do what I always wanted to – to help others.

I firmly believe that there are opportunities if you set your mind to it and do your job well. The sky is the limit with Randolph Hill! Go for it!

Click here to find out more about the career of a Nurse at Randolph Hill