My name is Debs, and I'm a Paediatric Intensive Care Nurse in the UK, and the person behind That Nurse Life.
I studied Paediatric Nursing at Kings College London in 2013-2015, spent one year on a general paediatric ward, before moving to PICU in the summer of 2016.
I definitely struggled when I started on PICU, it felt very overwhelming, scary + there was a vast amount of information to learn. The patients were very poorly, and the responsibility felt huge. I debated leaving a lot!! I didn't feel like I was good enough for it, or my brain could retain all this information.
I started looking on social media to get some inspiration but struggled to find a UK + PICU nursing account, and got the idea to start an Instagram page myself to fill that hole. I started sharing my nursing life, and kind of enjoyed it. I remember getting to a point with work where I needed to either leave and work somewhere else, or change something so I enjoyed PICU. And I decided to learn as much as I could, so things wouldn't seem so scary.
I made these flashcards, purely for myself, and that's how this whole That Nurse Life started. A few people at work asked me to make them some flashcards (turns out PICU is scary + overwhelming for nearly every new started, who'd have thought!), and then some people on Instagram asked me to make some for them, and now here we are 5 years later!
It took about 6-12 months to start to slowly feel like I knew what I was doing, and if you're in that at the moment, dreading going into work and what you might find, it will get better. It absolutely will. If I can do it, anybody can do it.
I now love PICU, and cannot picture ever leaving. I love the mixture of being so clinical and so caring. I love every patient, every family and every colleague.
I can't believe how this little business has started, or grown, and it was never in my life plan to do this, but I love it, and will continue for as long as it keeps going.
The other side of my life started in February 2022, when I was 30 weeks pregnant with mine + my husbands first baby, and I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. It was a traumatic rollercoaster to say the least, but after 14 rounds of chemotherapy, 15 rounds of radiotherapy, a double mastectomy, lymph node clearance, and a cheeky c-section, we have a healthy baby boy Noah, and I'm currently in remission.
Being a cancer patient has changed my whole world, and I've experienced things I can't explain to others. I have learnt so much about being a nurse by being a patient.
This little area for me to share my love of nursing, share what it's like to be a cancer patient and share my love of learning is one of my favourite things.
I am so beyond grateful for anybody joining me on this journey.
Lots of love,