March 2013, I land my perfect job…
After years 30 years of working in the NHS, many years as Emergency Nursing Sister , endless study, late nights, shift work and putting my patients needs before my own – I had finally made it! It was the role I had dreamed of since the day I stepped into that department as a student nurse… Or was it?
Well, as it happened, my dream job taught me more about myself and the organisation than any text book could ever teach. I wanted to make a difference, to carry my team in a new direction and build a thriving, efficient department. I wanted my patients to have the best care by well trained, experienced staff. I wanted people to say wow! hasn’t Andrea done a fantastic job, the department is thriving, but of course that was my huge, big fat ego talking and obviously it wasn’t to be… hospital pressures, government targets and capacity issues meant we worked under extreme pressure every single day and I actually had very little power to make any changes.
Be careful what you wish for!
Looking back I made mistakes – hell yeah! I worked behind the scenes endlessly challenging senior management and fighting for my colleagues, but they never knew! I was so busy trying to get it right that I lost sight of the problems these nurses were facing day in day out, not just with the job but with their personal life too. These were real people, my friends and I was their leader. I failed them.
In short I hated it, the responsibility, the pressure, the targets and the feeling that you are completely alone in a role that no one supports. I missed my patients. I was stressed and my health suffered. My family life and my marriage suffered. One day I walked away from it all, I left the job, the marriage, my home and I went on retreat.
The healing journey
Here’s where my life began again, don’t get me wrong, I’m sparing you the details of the “twilight zone” but needless to say I began to unravel my feelings of failure and slowly began to realise I didn’t fail anyone, the system failed us all. Putting nurses in management roles with no training or support is unfair, unsustainable and unthinkable in any other corporate business!
Anyway, step by step I got the help I needed, I started to heal myself through the help of holistic therapies and my emotional, spiritual and physical health began to recover. My marriage withstood the test and we have a stronger than ever connection and understanding of each other.
I needed a change of direction, a new career and I knew exactly where I was meant to be. I researched courses, costs, qualifications and eventually found a course I believed in and made the commitment to study for the next 12 months, whilst working part time in nursing.
Step by Step to Barefoot Soul
5 years on, I have my own business, Barefoot Soul Holistic Therapies and I have my own practice at Sansaw Business Park. A stunning location, it is everything I have ever dreamed of and this time my ego sits on the back burner, this isn’t about me – its about helping my clients to be the best version of themselves. I never claim to cure or diagnose, but the skills I have learned in my nursing career serve me well. This is the essence of nursing in practice – to honour, respect and nurture my clients back to health.
I work with my clients to help them find balance within their body and their life. I offer a clinical reflexology service (which aims to work with clients with long term health conditions, pregnancy & palliative care) in the most relaxing, nurturing environment, I will hold space for you to just be or to be heard, if that is your need at that time, I do not offer counselling but can refer if necessary. I am home, I truly believe this is what I was meant to do in life and my advice to you is “just do it!
Follow your dreams in life and trust in yourself!
With love & Blessings