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A passion for care

When we think of nurses, the first image that comes to mind is the bustling hospital ward or A&E, where they tirelessly attend to patients' needs. Their dedication, compassion, and expertise are a source of great pride, and rightly so.
But nurses play a similarly vital role in the social care sector, providing round the clock medical care for residents in care homes.
Parklands Care Homes is one of the largest independent care providers in the north, with homes across Moray and the Highlands.
To find out more about what it’s like to work as a nurse in a care home, we spoke to four experienced Parklands nurses.  
Care home nurses perform many of the same duties as their NHS counterparts – wound care, injections, drug rounds etc. They become an integral part of the residents' daily lives, providing holistic care that encompasses their physical, emotional, and social well-being.
“It’s not just about the residents’ health and medical conditions that they might have, it’s about them as a person and how I support them to live a really good life with the conditions that they have,” says Shiona Martin, a nurse at Lynemore in Grantown.
Lynsey Watt is a community nurse at Netherha in Buckie and has worked for Parklands for 20 years. The job is challenging, and no two days are the same, she says, but “it can also be rewarding seeing the residents live happy in their new home.”
Lynsey previously worked in the NHS as a bank nurse, but says she “didn’t feel the same connection as there was no continuity.” Working in busy wards, with a high turnover of patients, means staff have little time to get to know their patients. It’s very different in care homes, where residents can often spend many years and staff become part of their extended ‘family.’
“I can be dancing one minute or singing or painting nails, or working with the carers providing personal care,” says Shiona. And it’s that personal connection that makes the difference. “The interaction that you see with the care staff and the residents on a daily basis, the little things that make them smile, that’s what makes this so rewarding,” Shiona adds.
Diane Mackenzie is a community nurse at Speyside in Aberlour and has worked for Parklands for 20 years. She started her nursing career in 1983 on leaving college and has held a variety of roles including nurse, nurse manager, trainer and care home manager.
What attracted her to the profession? “Caring for others. Providing professional care, empathy and respect to others is why I enjoy my job.”
Diane is keen to encourage others to follow her path: “Working in a care home gives you a good grounding to gain new skills and build up your confidence in a nurturing environment.”
Pamela Wright, a community nurse at Parklands & Burnbank in Buckie, has a wealth of experience, having served as a nurse for 18 years. Her care journey began as a teenager when she undertook evening shifts in the pantry and worked as a cleaner. Once she turned 17, Pamela transitioned to becoming a carer, ultimately leading her to pursue a nursing qualification at university.
For Pamela, caring is not just a profession but her passion. “I have always wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl. I enjoy helping the residents within our care feel safe and have a happy and enjoyable time in their golden years.”

Pamela loves the variety in her role. She says: "As a community nurse my role can be very versatile - making decisions on what dressing to apply and promote wound healing, dealing with all different types and stages of dementia and working with palliative patients and their families.”
And it’s that diversity that attracts many care professionals to the role.
Shiona says: “It's the best job I've had. I've been a community nurse, I've worked on wards, I’ve done a variety of different roles. It's fun, it can be stressful - some jobs are - but the skills that you'll learn are skills that you can take with you.”

Parklands currently offers a welcome bonus worth up to £2,000 for new nurses. For the latest vacancies, visit