One day when his wife suddenly became seriously ill, Kayode was unsure of what to do. Desperate, he rang the emergency number and within 5 minutes, an ambulance was outside his house.
“Such speedy healthcare is not available in Nigeria so I was both shocked and overjoyed by the quick response” says Kayode. He was further amazed by the care and treatment his wife received once they reached the hospital. “The NHS saved my wife’s life so giving back was the least I could do!” laughs Kayode.
Prior to joining the NHS, Kayode had been an accountant for almost 20 years. Although he had a deep appreciation for the NHS, Kayode only started thinking about switching careers when his niece was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. To better understand her condition, Kayode did some research and discovered some of the long-term symptoms, which included slow brain development and learning disabilities.
“Although there was no cure for cerebral palsy, I learnt that there were treatments available to help people with the condition be as active and independent as possible, which is what I wanted for my niece,” shares Kayode. He was also happy to learn that the NHS offered a team of healthcare professionals to come up with a treatment plan that would meet the child’s individual needs.
Inspired by what he had learnt and motivated by what he could achieve, Kayode decided to join the NHS as a Learning and Disability Nurse. “It was a drastic change in terms of roles but at the heart of it, they both involve trust, diligence and care,” says Kayode. This sense of responsibility was not lost on Kayode and his passionate and caring nature is what allowed him to easily make the transition. “Before people trusted me with their money and now they trust me with their lives!” he exclaims.
Kayode soon embarked on a three-year Nursing degree, which included a placement at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. He recently graduated in 2021 and is now a qualified Learning and Disability Nurse at Oxleas NHS Trust in Dartford. In his new role, Kayode works closely with people with learning disabilities and mental health issues. His day to day responsibilities involve the administration of medication, physiotherapy, physical and mental health treatment, and liaising with other multidisciplinary team members, including social workers, clinicians and psychologists – depending on his patient’s needs.
“My role is extremely rewarding. Everyday I am helping to transform someone’s life – little by little. It’s so satisfying to watch people grow and progress and to know that you played an important part in their recovery – nothing can compare to it,” says Kayode.
During COVID-19, Kayode helped to administer vaccines for people with learning disabilities. One particular patient had a phobia of needles and was terrified to get the jab. But Kayode was able to calm him down using relaxation techniques and other coping methods that helped to reduce the patient’s anxiety. He was able to successfully administer the jab; ensuring the patient and his family were protected during the pandemic.
Kayode describes working for the NHS as a great privilege and encourages others to apply for the range of roles that are available. “If your goal is to create a positive impact on the lives of real people and you want to contribute your skills to making people’s lives better – then the NHS is the place for you,” says Kayode.
Kayode also enjoys the work-life balance that comes with the job. “My work offers me enough flexibility to spend quality time with my family,” he shares. Kayode and his family love travelling, learning about new cultures and meeting new people. “My goal is to travel the whole world, though that might need to wait until I retire!” laughs Kayode.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown, now more than ever, that the future of England’s health and social care system relies on its people. Now in its fourth year, the ‘We are the NHS’ campaign is back to champion the extraordinary work of nurses, AHPs, and healthcare support workers to inspire a new cohort to consider a career in the health service and be part of the NHS’s future. To find out more about the range of roles available, search NHS Careers.