Agnes Traore is a charge nurse in the Critical Care department of The Royal Brompton Hospital in London. She came to Rugby via our partner IntoUniversity in London.
‘Being the charge nurse of 25 ventilated patients and staying calm in front of colleagues, and emotionally supporting them, were probably the most overwhelming forms of stress in my career to date. The challenge of fighting a disease that we knew nothing about, sitting with colleagues at 3 in the morning, crying on our breaks because we did not know how to make our patients improve, listening to loved ones saying their goodbyes on Facetime. Apologising that I couldn’t do any more. All these were surreal experiences. But the most positive takeaway has been the amazing efforts of teamwork I have witnessed.
‘My experiences this year have highlighted for me the health inequality gap between the general population and those who are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. I have enrolled in a Public Health MSc at UCL so that I can find a way to improve access to better diagnosis, facilities and treatments for those who do not the same resources.
‘I would not have chosen to enter nursing without the guidance of my Head Master whilst at Rugby. Coming from a different socio-economic background into Rugby reinforced the importance of fair access to opportunity. The idea of two students who have grown up in different circumstances having the same access to education is what I want to see reflected in healthcare.’