"We supported each other.”
Varsha Carim recently qualified as an NHS nurse when she attained a BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing at the University of Greenwich in London.
Whilst studying at the institute, she has been volunteering as a cohort representative since her first year.
Although she says she is “shy”, Varsha passionately speaks about her time as a volunteer.
She recalled: “I had placements in hospital through Covid. I worked in A&E (Accident and Emergency) and ICU (Intensive Care Unit).
“It was challenging for all of us, new and experienced nurses.
“They were my mentors but none of us had experienced anything like it before. We supported each other.”
The 32-year-old currently lives in London with her husband and their pet chickens.
She explained that being multilingual is beneficial when working in the NHS.
Varsha says: “I enjoy communicating with people from different cultures.
“There are so many in the NHS, being multilingual helps with giving patients the holistic care they deserve.
“London is multicultural already, which helps me to communicate easily and understand people.”
Varsha went on to say that a Nigerian colleague made some jollof rice, a popular dish in West Africa and traditional fish pepper stew.
“I like jollof rice! And she gave me fish cooked with red peppers!
“Even knowing what a patient eats in their culture is so important.
“For instance, patients who are vegetarian or only consume halal.
“It means a lot to them when you can give them food they love.
“Our culture thinks highly of nurses and people in healthcare. It’s a caring and demanding profession.
“I’m a caring person and you have to have it in you – in your core, in your heart – to be a good nurse.”
“On a typical day, as a nurse, you’re responsible for a group of patients. Each has different health issues.
“We have to decide how to plan their care; monitor their vital signs, escalate any deterioration and act in cases of emergency.
“We administer their medication and monitor fluid intake and meals. We’re working as part of a multidisciplinary team, during 12-hour shifts.”
As a Capital Nurse ambassador, Varsha supported a project to lower the reduction in second-year student nurses.
“Some first-years left, but I encourage students to speak with someone about their problems. Don’t hold it in.
“You could go on to a great career by learning how to deal with daily challenges.”
“This course changed my life at one of the most challenging times ever for the NHS.”
Search ‘NHS Careers’ to find out more.