NHS Stories: The nurse under pressure who will always be there for his patients

  • Watch Cari Davies' report

For Rayson Mwaro, training to become a nurse felt like a natural progression, he learnt to care for people around him from a young age.

He grew up in Kenya where he says, "healthcare wise it's very different and the majority of it is family who look after loved ones."

After falling in love with his now wife Tina, he moved to England in 2001 and started working as a support worker for people with brain injuries.

The couple juggled work and raising their sons, with Rayson studying to become a registered nurse in Plymouth.

He's since got a job as an Emergency Nurse Pracitioner at Newton Abbot Community Hospital's Urgent Treatment Centre.

He says his whole family is very proud, particularly back in Kenya.

Rayson says balancing a busy family with work as a nurse can be tough. Credit: ITV West Country

"When I talk to them they call me doctor but I am a nurse, they're very proud of me. If I'm honest it's like a dream that has come true for me."

Speaking to ITV West Country as part of a series of reports on life inside the NHS, Rayson says that the life of a nurse can also be hard on the family.

"A nurse's life is difficult because you've got shift work, my current role is different to what I was doing before which was nights, weekends, bank holidays, whenever I was needed to work.

"It can be challenging when you leave for work and the children are still asleep and you get home and the youngest has gone to bed, you end up not seeing them."

Rayson works at Newton Abbot Community Hospital as an Emergency Nurse Practioner Credit: ITV West Country

The Urgent Treatment Centre deals with patients with minor illnesses and injuries. It's a nurse and paramedic led service headed up by Sarah James, the Advanced Clinical Practice Lead.

She says since the start of the pandemic the range of issues that people come to the UTC with has grown.

"Because people have been accessing services over the last two years the numbers visiting UTCs has increased. We've got a great team here and between them there's many years of experience. Every day is a learning day in that respect."

Sarah and Rayson agree that the unpredictability of the job makes it both rewarding and challenging.

Rayson says helping people by uncovering what's wrong gives him great satisfaction. Credit: ITV West Country

Sometimes the department gets extremely busy and while the majority of patients understand the pressure staff are under, others can become difficult to handle.

On some rare but memorable occasions Rayson has had to ask aggressive patients to leave.

"There's occasions when they feel they've been there too long and they get cross. We have been trained to deal with those situations but we are not shielded from the feeling of, actually I feel vulnerable here. It makes you feel sad."

Those incidents haven't dented Rayson's passion for his work and pride in the NHS.

He says he wants people to understand that nurses are part of the public too and that despite the pressure, through the good and the bad he will always be there for his patients.