A nursery nurse has temporarily swapped roles to help vulnerable adults shielding at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nursery nurse Jenny King is now working in community supportNursery nurse Jenny King is now working in community support

Jenny King, a community nursery nurse for Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, has been working with the trust’s rapid response community team for more than a month after an appeal for help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Despite knowing nothing about the job, she agreed to become a support worker and has found it completely different to her normal job, but very rewarding: “I knew that in this time of need I wanted to be of help to those who needed it the most.

“Although the job is different to that of my previous role, I realised that many of the skills I have are transferable.

“Empathy, compassion, and good people skills are something I pride myself at being good at and it is in this role that I realise how valuable those skills and attributes are to the job.

Jenny King has switched from nursery nurse to community supportJenny King has switched from nursery nurse to community support

“I feel privileged to work alongside these incredible workers, not only are they skilled in personal care but the emotional warmth and stability they show is heart-warming.”

Jenny was trained and assigned mentors to visit older people at home, those with underlying and complex health conditions and at the end of their lives. She said it felt very alien to be learning about vital signs, catheter care and end-of-life support.

But she said the challenge and opportunity to help was exciting and something she looked forward to despite lacking experience of any kind of personal care work.

Jenny was made to feel welcome and was well supported by the team: “I shadowed my mentor Karen, who guided me in new and sensitive situations, always asking if I was comfortable.”

Jenny looks forward to returning to her old job, supporting families with young children, but adds: “This new job has opened my eyes to a whole new look at life and how the NHS can support people in the most amazing ways. I feel honoured to work for our wonderful NHS in a time of crisis.”