Thinking of getting back into – or retraining in – healthcare? Great idea, because your life as a mummy means you already have a lot of the skills needed – although let’s not try any major medical procedures just yet.
You’re not squeamish – or, if you were, you’re not anymore
Let’s face it, the first year (or 18) of your precious bundle of joy’s life consists largely of dealing with bodily fluids. Whether it’s changing explosive nappies, dealing with bleeding knees or clearing up vomit after “just a shandy mum”, you’ve seen it all – and got the iron stomach to show for it.
And that’s without even mentioning childbirth…
A lot of healthcare work is similar – granted there’s a lot more skill involved (and frequently, a lot more at stake), but once you’ve got over the first hurdle it will be, to coin an appropriate phrase, a piece of piss.
You remain calm under pressure
A tantruming toddler kicking and screaming on the supermarket floor? The electricity has gone just as you wanted to start dinner? Stuck in traffic and nursery closes in ten minutes? No bother. You’re used to taking what life throws at you and dealing with it in a cool, calm and collected manner.
So, what could be better preparation for A&E at midnight on the last Friday before Christmas?
You are super organised
As a mummy, you need to know where everyone and everything is at any given time. Tom’s at football at six, but Emily needs picking up at quarter to? You’ve got it in hand, just call a mummy friend to wait with him until you get there. Jack needs his PE kit five minutes ago, but didn’t tell you it was filthy? That’s fine, you’ve already got a spare set ready to go.
With all these plate-spinning skills, remembering who needs their pills when, or which patients need blood tests, will be a walk in the park.
You have endless patience – and excellent listening skills
Despite being in a desperate hurry to get to the post office before it shuts, you will happily let your toddler splash in every puddle on the way. And later you’ll feign interest while your pre-teen goes through the Fifa statistics for every player in the English Premier League.
This level of patience and altruism will stand you in good stead should you go into healthcare. In fact, being able to listen is one of the key skills you’ll need, whether it’s letting an elderly care home resident tell you their life story, or deciphering the diagnosis from a half-hour long list of symptoms.
You can get on with anyone
You might hate spending time with your teenage daughter’s bitchy friends, or your pre-schooler’s best buddy (you know, the one who bites), but they’d never know from your behaviour. A warm welcome, a beaming smile and a tinkly little laugh as they gouge chunks from your beloved’s arm – that’s you. And this cheerful demeanour will see you right in the healthcare industry where, let’s face it, you’re often seeing people at their worst.
You are used to keeping strange hours
You’re already used to working through the night tending to someone else’s needs, and snatching sleep wherever you can, so working shifts will be no problem. Just think – those late nights waiting for your teen to come home and the 5am starts with an over-energetic three-year-old will come in useful after all!
Always remember to use these skills when getting back into the workplace – everything you’ve learnt from being a mummy can help support your return to work, and help you excel.