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A Couple of Minutes with...

Vincent Balayi, Registered General Nurse


Vincent is a registered general nurse and works around the Thames Estuary in the east of England across multiple locations. Below is a brief interview with Vincent discussing what he enjoys most about his job and his future goals.

1. Nursing can be a very emotionally challenging profession. Do you have any advice on coping with distressing incidents?
I usually try not to take things personally but that’s not always easy to do. So, in most cases, when it’s appropriate I take time out to clear my head and make sense of the situation, reflect and take the best possible course of action.

2. Who have you learnt most from during you nursing career and why?
I have learnt a lot from various people across the span of my career. In addition, just like in life itself one learns from own experience. A great deal of learning comes from my own past experiences as I always try to reflect to every challenges or any unfamiliar settings that I come across.

3. What is the best thing about working on an agency basis?
I love the flexibility and financial reward that come with working on an agency basis. I enjoy having the freedom to choose what kind of shifts I want to do and where I want to work. I can choose a work pattern that suits my family life. As to the financial aspect, I am quite happy that I get paid weekly rather than monthly, and my pay rate is much better.

4. If you could do one thing to improve patient care what would it be?
One thing that can drastically improve patient care is to increase staffing numbers on wards. Many hospitals tend to overlook the impact that shortages or poor staffing levels have on patient care.

5. Do you have any advice for anyone studying at the moment?
Student Nurses should focus on learning the basic first since that is the foundation of their future career. They should be patient with every situation they come across knowing that this is a journey. Sometimes one might feel like giving up the course due to obstacles or hardships of all sorts. But you can withstand it by keeping reminding yourself that “I am in the journey and my destiny is to become a qualified registered nurse”.

6. What do you do outside of work to relax?
I do engage in my favourite hobbies.

7. What is your long term ambition?
My ambition is to complete my masters in advanced nurse practitioner.

8. What is the most valuable piece of advice you have ever been given in building your expertise?
A colleague once told me to always make sure you choose an area of practice that you enjoy working in, and I was also encouraged to use CPD (Continuing Professional Development) either formal and structured or informal and self-directed as the means by which you maintain and enhance your knowledge and skills related to your professional lives.

9. Day shift or night shift? Why?
With a young family, nights are the best for me as it allows flexibility of school runs but one can also feel isolated or missing out working in the night as a lot of activities such as informative meetings takes place in the day.

10. What steps have you initiated yourself to build your knowledge?
I use informal self-directed CPD (Continuing Professional Development), e.g. Engaging with junior or senior colleagues and other members of the multidisciplinary team, reading journals and reflecting on my practice