Recently, we caught up with Lucas Love Healthcare Agency Nurse Jacinta King and we asked about her most memorable experiences across the many different roles she’s occupied.
When asked about her fondest memories, she says it always comes back to the relationships you build – with your colleagues and, of course, your patients.
Jacinta freely recalls some of her most memorable ones.
I have seen loads of people recently that I have worked with in a past life. I came across a lady who knew me as a student nurse in Musgrave Park Hospital in 1981. I was a nurse in the MS (multiple sclerosis) ward up there.
She was a senior staff nurse and maybe 10-12 years older than me. She was in to have her cataract done that day and her surgery had been cancelled. She came in and we had her admitted and during that process she kept asking me where I lived. I was also getting a feeling of familiarity.
She looked at my name badge and said, “Jacinta, that’s such an unusual name. Do you have a nickname?”
I said ‘yes, people often call me Sindy or Sinty.’
She went, “Did you work…” and she mentioned all the wards I’d worked in.
So, I asked where she’d worked and she said she was a staff nurse in the MS ward in Musgrave Park and I went, “What year was that?”
So, our brains collided, and at the same time we went, “Ahhh!”
She said, “I knew that I’d worked with you!”
She sang my praises and I went out of there on cloud nine!
She said, “You were always asking questions. Always torturing us!”
A different time
Back then you didn’t have the amazing hoists that you have today, and everything was done manually, and it wrecked your back. It could have taken four to six nurses to lift a person and there were loads more nurses in those days.
Student nurses were worked into the ROTA back then, but you always had senior nurses to work with. Whereas nowadays, we tend to rely on our student nurses more because we just don’t have the numbers.
The friends and colleagues that you meet, even if you don’t keep up a strong relationship and friendship with them all, which is impossible because there are too many, we find a way to stay in touch and even if it’s once a year we get together to see each other.
People remember you
The thing about nursing is that people will remember you. I have been stopped in the street I don’t know how many times, particularly when you’re in paediatrics and it’s an older baby and they’ll be about to head off to school and they’ll say, “Oh! Staff nurse King, do you remember me?”
And, I think, ’well I would if you were tiny again…’ You just have to ask when they were in hospital and then you can work your way back.
They say things like:
‘Without the love and the care that we had from the nurses, this baby wouldn’t be the way he is now. He’s at a normal school and he’s doing so well.’
Some of the twins I worked with, I’ll still meet up with their mums and have a cup of coffee or whatever.
The relationships that you make really are for life. Even if you don’t see them that often.
The thing that makes me feel really grateful for is that you become part of people’s lives – even if it’s only for a day or a short period of time. And often it’s a traumatic or emotional time and the emotional bond you get is pure magic. It’s an unspeakable thing.