A few weeks ago, it was not last years contestants on Love Island gracing the front pages of Grazia magazine, it was NHS healthcare professionals. A doctor, a nurse, and a paramedic. A welcome change in my eyes.
Even though this pandemic has managed to cause havoc around across the globe, it has managed to do one thing that many have struggled with for years. It has brought healthcare professionals to the forefront. It has made the world appreciate their medical personnel. People who are often taken for granted.
Not that we minded. We did not get into the profession for praise and material reward. We did it to care for people. To help people in their time of need. To make a small but significant difference to people's lives. For years we have happily plodded along without wide spread appreciation.
To me what is significant about the Grazia cover and also a recent TIME cover, which featured a doctor, is we are establishing new role models. Much needed role models. Role models who put others before themselves. Role models who despite adversity carry on doing their job.
I remember when I told people I wanted to be a nurse, many said not to. Many said I should aim higher, like it was a job not worth aspiring to. I hope their opinions have changed now. There is nothing I would rather be. I hope I have inspired them to realise there is so much more to nurses than just making someone a cup of tea. Nurses are not just nurses. They are highly trained and educated individuals, who are currently driving this country and in countries across the world, through a pandemic.
I hope people find role models in not just nurses, but doctors, physiotherapists, pharmacists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, paramedics, psychologists, dietitians, cleaners, chaplains and ward clerks. All of these healthcare professionals are specially trained in what they do, and no one else can do their jobs like them. This pandemic will not be beaten without a single one of them.
I decided to be a nurse when I was sixteen years old. They told me to pick a subject to study at university and I picked nursing. However I have been thinking recently why nursing jumped out, above anything else. It was my aunt. She is a nurse, and a brilliant one at that. She has been a role model for me my whole life, and I do not think she has ever known that. I realised I wanted to be like her. Intelligent, kind, compassionate, and resilient. Who would not want to aspire to be that?
It is time our perspective, of who are our role models, to change. I want young people to aspire to be intelligent, kind, compassionate, and resilient, like my aunt, like nurses, like doctors, and like all the people I mentioned above. They should be inspired to bring about change, no matter how small. Luckily for them, there is a world full of those kind of role models.