At the ripe age of 40, Dave decided it was time to try something new with his career, and thus began his nursing journey. After years of different roles including IT, owning a newsagents, and working as an ambulance dispatcher, he applied to study nursing and has been fully qualified for five years now! Agency work allows him to pursue his other hobbies, including working as a scare actor for the Nightmare Realm in Dublin.
“You’re too nice to be a doctor”, - Dave’s Sister, A Doctor
“I started in an acute medical ward in Beaumont and was there for three years, all throughout COVID! Once that finished I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I went to A&E for 8 months. At this point I was teaching part time in DCU as a clinical nurse tutor on the side, and discovered that agency nursing suited me a lot better than full time! So, two years ago I started doing part time hospital and part time agency.”
“For me, it was the flexibility. Not to sound cliché, but I’m very much a work to live, than a live to work person!”
As an agency nurse, having the ability to choose your own shifts to suit your schedule worked best for Dave as a man of many talents - a photography enthusiast, a drummer, amongst other things! Making sure he can control his hours is key for fitting in his passions outside fo nursing.
“I’m the kind of person that if someone turned around to me tomorrow and said, ‘I want you to run my restaurant for a year’, I'd say yes. Just because life is too short not to say no. So, the likes of agency work is just ideal to allow you to do things like that.”
For Dave, variety is key. Not only does he enjoy working in different locations, with different people, but also boasts about working with different patients, different services, different environments, different work ethics - you get to see it all! In his opinion, getting to have all of these experiences and being exposed to so many things only adds to the kind of nurse you end up being.
“There’s no such thing as a bad experience in nursing.”
Every year, Dave is heavily involved in a Halloween event in October called The Nightmare Realm. The scare experience located in the heart of Dublin, has won multiple event awards and most recently Best European Scream Park 2023. However, October is just the event itself! Prior to that, the event coordinators need to plan; holding think tank sessions, auditions for scare actors, media and content creation weekends and lots of other stuff “headaches” to push through to make the event bigger and better every year. These all happen at different stages throughout the year… If only people realised what's involved in such an event! Working as an agency nurse, Dave has the luxury of being involved with this crazy event year on year.
“Back in 2015, I heard on the radio that they were auditioning for scare actors and monsters. And I was like… that sounds class.”
No stranger to the stage, Dave had experience in performing in pantomimes and always had a good time. The Nightmare Realm seemed like the perfect opportunity to get back into that side of things. Not expecting much, Dave went along to see what would happen and little did he know that he’d end up nearly running the place!
“From 2016 and 2017 onwards, I was a team leader. The event has a couple of different houses with different teams, with 15 to 20 actors per house. Then, there is a team leader for the house who works with the system team leader to make sure it all runs smoothly. That’s what I do now!”
Although a very physically demanding job, The Nightmare Real is just one of the brilliant Halloween events that daredevils and thrill seekers around Dublin can experience, which is why Dave and many others are eager to take part every year.
“I love it. I’ll do it until the day I can’t walk!”
“Just give it a shot and see!
I think the way things are at the moment within the healthcare environment is really, really tough. This is the perfect time, if you’re feeling burnt out, to take a step back from full time work and take a step into the agency and locuming world. Get the feel for what's out there and maybe see some different environments before committing to them first.”
If you’re interested in becoming an agency nurse with Clarity Locums, get in touch today! Contact our Máire below, or check out some of our blog posts.