Date of release: 12 May 2021
Staff Nurse Ammandeep Bhangu is our next ‘staff spotlight’ in our International Nurses Day campaign.
For Ammandeep, nursing was very much a ‘family affair’. She explained: “My mum is a nurse, my sister is a nurse, my uncle is a nurse, and my cousins are doctors. I’ve been inspired through growing up with people working in healthcare professions; all doing wonderful things every day to make people feel fit and well.
“I started working in a nursing home as a Saturday job and I immediately felt passionate about caring for others. This then kick-started my nursing career.”
The mum-of-two joined the Trust in 2000 during her placement as a student nurse at the University of Wolverhampton. On qualifying, she joined the Gynaecology Ward, seeing patients with a range of conditions, from reproductive concerns, issues with the menopause to early pregnancy assessments.
Now working in the Head and Neck Outpatients department, Ammandeep can be found working independently doing micro-suction (ears) clinics, performing skin allergy tests, changing dressings, removing sutures and assisting with all manner of procedures affecting the ears, nose and throat (ENT).
But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nurse has this past year been redeployed to the Head and Neck ward itself. Here she found herself faced with patients following big operations, for example having their voice box (Laryngectomy) removed following cancer or following maxillo-facial reconstructive surgery.
The 41-year-old said: “In outpatients you see before and after the procedure but here I was getting to see everything in-between! It has been a challenge because many of our patients have communication issues following surgery, whereby if they can’t talk, they have to write down the words or make hand signals, and with the PPE it became harder for us to communicate back or show empathy in our faces. But through determination, and a little creativity, we’ve been able to interact with our patients and offer the same great support.
“I have absolutely loved being on the Head and Neck ward – it’s a totally different type of environment and you are using a range of skills. I enjoyed giving that personal and attentive care following a procedure, whether it’s giving medication, supporting with feeding and supporting with pain and infection, it’s been a great experience.”
When asked what was most rewarding about the role she replied: “It’s the reaction to the little things. There was recently a lady who felt really down while in hospital, so I made the effort to wash and brush her hair, soothing her hands with cream, helping her to feel fresh and clean etc., and she felt so much better for it.
My late father always taught us “If you’re looking after someone, look after them as if they’re a family member. Treat them as your own. I think it’s being able to make a difference in those small ways.”
Thinking about International Nurses Day, Ammandeep remarked on how good it is to be recognised, but how “everyone has an important part to play.”
She said: “It’s a team effort to care for patients – from the nurses to the doctors, the domestics to the office. I’m proud of everyone in the Head and Neck team for their efforts and I’m extremely proud to be a nurse!”
Thank you Ammandeep!