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12 Jun 2020 Care

Student nurse to staff nurse

Nicola Firth joined the Kirkwood In-Patient Unit nursing team just nine weeks ago, straight out of university. Originally due to start her role in September, Nicola has seen how the coronavirus pandemic has affected working life in a Hospice first-hand. This is Nicola’s story…

Kirkwood Nurse, Nicola Firth, first applied for the role at Kirkwood hoping to begin her nursing career in September, following the completion of her undergraduate nursing degree at the University of Huddersfield.

However, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic meant that Kirkwood needed more help on the In-Patient Unit to ensure that patients could be kept safe, so asked Nicola to join the team early.

Having worked in healthcare all her working life, Nicola was a great addition to the team.

Staff Nurse Nicola Firth


“I have been a healthcare assistant since I was 19, and I have worked in various settings. Once my three children had all started high school, I decided it was time to take the leap and complete my nurse training.

“I opted into an extended placement at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it was a scary and anxious time not knowing where I would be placed. But I was delighted to be placed at Kirkwood, where I had secured a job after qualifying.

“I’m really enjoying working here, the time is flying. Nothing could have prepared me for this situation at the end of my training. But I have learnt to adapt to this new situation and work within a team. Having the support of a fab team on the In-Patient Unit made it easy to settle in.

“Working at Kirkwood is massively rewarding, it’s nice to be part of a supportive inter-professional ‘smiley’ team. I’ve loved watching the patients enjoying the sunshine in the garden and being able to go outside the Hospice and clap with my team and the local community has been heart-warming.

“Having grown up in Huddersfield, I have always understood the amazing work that Kirkwood does in our community. Kirkwood has cared for friends and family over the years and I have a massive respect for the work that they do.

“Knowing that we are caring for some of the most vulnerable people in our community can be really challenging but rewarding. I’m doing the best I can in the current circumstances.”

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