Ross Sheridan is a third-year MSc Learning Disability Nurse here at Edge Hill University. Having worked in Healthcare for six years, Ross started his career working in a Nursing Home after finishing his BSc Degree in Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool.
Ross had been working at the Nursing Home for one year when a resident’s family, who had teaching experience, advised him to train as a Nurse. Shortly afterward, Ross left to work as a Support Worker at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust where he stayed for 3 years working in Inpatient and Community services before being granted a secondment to study Nursing.
We asked Ross what inspired him to start working in the Health and Social Care sector, to which he replied:
‘I have always been around Healthcare as both my parents are Nurses. What really sparked my interest was seeing my mum studying for her diploma. I sat with her in our living room, watching the film Patch Adams. Seeing how the patients were viewed as real human beings and not just a bed number, condition or disease has stuck with me every day.’
Direct from Patch Adams, Ross shared his favorite quote, ‘You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome’.
Ross explained that his Mum is his biggest inspiration and having worked in Nursing for 40 years, he shared that she is his ‘Nursing Hero’.
‘I have to say she is a beautiful woman. The kindest person you will ever meet, she has made me the person I am today.’
When questioned about how men are making a difference in the Health and Social Care sector, Ross responded:
‘From my experience, men (myself included) are notoriously bad at seeking out help when they need it. This stems from the British culture of the ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ and how asking for help shows weakness. However, with men now talking about health needs to their peers, they are improving the way they look at their own mental and physical health. Nowadays there are increased support networks for men’s health needs and men are changing their perceptions on asking for help. This is helping services to supply the right care they need.’
He also added that he would like to see more public schemes and media coverage about male Nurses in society to drive recruitment.
‘Men are starting to stand up and be proud of being a Nurse, but when you look at adverts or media, it’s very hard to find any with male Nurses included.’
Ross advised that he would like the Nursing frontline to be more visible in society to change the public’s idea of what it takes to be male.
‘Having to deal with difficult (and potentially hostile) situations and not being afraid to get your hands dirty to help your patients should be shown to the public, rather than simply being a hand to hold and a person to talk to.’
The final question we asked Ross was, ‘What one piece of advice would you give to a man debating entering the Health and Social Care sector?’ He replied:
‘I would say DO IT!!
I have loved my journey and have met some amazing people. Yes, at times it has been difficult but I have grown and learned from it. I say to myself every time I go to work, “No matter how hard things get, as long as I make the people I care for and their family smile at least once a day, I know I’m doing my job right.’
We’d like to thank Ross for contributing to our series of blog post interviews as part of International Men’s Day 2018.