Claudio is a Charge Nurse working in residential care
How long have you worked in care?
“I’ve worked in care since I graduated University in Portugal in 2012. I went to nursing school.”
What does your current role as a Charge Nurse involve?
“Where I work, we’ve got staff nurses, senior nurses and then charge nurses. A charge nurse essentially has the same roles as the staff nurse or the senior nurse but with a bit more responsibility when it comes to paperwork. This includes updating care plans, risk assessments and so on.
“A charge nurse also identifies any needs, so if someone needs training, for example, it’s up to me to point that out to the Head of Care. It’s basically the same as a nurse but with a few extras, more responsibility.”
What did you do before you worked in care?
“While I was studying, I worked in a cyber shop in customer care, just dealing with customers coming in. I was fixing computers and laptops.
“When I graduated, I was applying for 20 jobs a day, every day, for 18 months in Portugal. At the same time, I was working in a phone, internet and TV service – like Sky, the equivalent in Portugal – where I worked in customer care and sales at the same time. I was the best salesman six months in a row.”
“And then I finally decided to give up on searching in Portugal – at the time there were 25,000 unemployed nurses in the country. I found there was going to be some interviews in Lisbon for roles in England, so I went and got the job! I came to England nine years ago and I have been working as a nurse ever since.”
“I don’t need my boss to clap at the end of the shift or say well done because the smiles of the residents and their relatives is all the payment I need.”
What do you love most about working in care?
“Talking to people is the number one reason why you want to become a nurse, it’s not just the care but to interact with others. In care, you finish your day and by the end of your shift you know you’ve put 10, 12 smiles on people’s faces or those of their relatives.
“That’s the gratitude I get, I don’t need a thank you – I just need a smile. I don’t need my boss to clap at the end of the shift or say well done because the smiles of the residents and their relatives is all the payment I need.”
What inspired you to get into the care sector?
“Long story short, when I was 11 years old, I had a terrible car accident, in which I was in a coma for 45 days and I was bed bound for six months doing spinal traction.”
“So, when I was under the care of others, I decided I wanted to be a doctor. And not just a doctor – I wanted to be a surgeon. And I had the qualifications to do that, to apply for medicine school. I wanted to be a surgeon, someone that gets their hands dirty, rather than a GP who sits behind a desk writing prescriptions. But following my accident, I was left with hand tremors – I shake – so I couldn’t be surgeon.”
“I thought ok, I can’t be a surgeon what else can I do? Oh, I can be a nurse! That was it, 12 years old and never looked back. I could have been a million different things and I stick to being a nurse. I love my job.”
Do you think you’ll work in care for the rest of your life?
“Unless I win the lottery, yes, this is what I plan to do. I love it so much that I have a brother and he got influenced by me enough to become a nurse himself.”