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International Year of the Nurse and Midwife: Waheed Azeez

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


I am a registered mental health nurse working at Westways Rehabilitation Unit at Bethlem Hospital. I enjoy what I do and consider myself very privileged to be in a profession that changes people’s life positively.  

I am naturally a caring person and I am inclined to help people in any way I can. Right from childhood, I have always wanted a career within the health sector. Previously, I have worked in different industries like construction, security services, customer services and teaching. But, none of these occupations gave me the personal satisfaction that I have always desired, until I joined the NHS in 2010 as a support worker. I loved it so much that I've never thought of leaving the NHS.

Besides, working alongside nurses gave me an insight into the fantastic jobs that nurses do and the valuable contributions that they make to improving people’s lives. I decided to be part of this noble profession and that is was what motivated me to train to be a nurse. Becoming a nurse has been a life fulfilment for me and I am happy that I am doing what I enjoy to make a living.

There is no doubt that mental health nursing is a challenging role. Despite that, I still prefer it because it gives me the opportunity to look after the most vulnerable members of society. It also gives me the opportunity to interact more with patients and build a relationship with them. Helping people go through the most difficult times of their lives gives me special satisfaction that cannot be quantified. Mental health nursing is complex, holistic and specialised. The fact that every day and every patient is different even makes it more interesting.

I did my nursing training at King’s College London and all my clinical placements in SLaM. I can say that, while King’s was responsible for my academic training, SLaM was responsible for my clinical training. SLaM offered me a job upon the completion of my training and I remain in the same role now.

Proximity to my home is one of the major considerations for me working at SLaM. Most of the Trust’s sites are a short distance from my home. Also, SLaM is a household name for mental health in the UK as it is the leading mental healthcare provider in the country that any mental healthcare professional would be proud to be associated with. It is a pace setter for other trusts to follow.

I want to remain at SLaM because I've had a good working experience within the organisation. There are also good opportunities to progress and advance my career. Plenty of training opportunities and career progression, which not always available in every organisation.

One of the major highlights in my career was the onset of the Covid-19 virus which placed clinical staff in a unique position of making difficult decisions in situations that have never existed before. I am proud to be part of the team at the front line, keeping people safe and saving the NHS at a time when everyone was afraid to leave their homes.

I am keeping an open mind and trying to explore various opportunities available in the trust. My main concern is not about what I can be, but what contribution I can make to the Trust and to society at large.



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