Kirstin Crawford who’s originally from Portgordon, Moray has taken various paths in her career to land herself a new position at NHS Grampian.
At age 17, Kirstin left Buckie High School half way through her S6 studies in 2007 - due to already having the grades to get into the college course she wanted. Upon leaving school Kirstin decided she wanted to earn some money - leading to working 6 months in a local clothes shop.
When college applications came around, Kirstin successfully applied for the HNC Health Care course at Moray College UHI to test her career preference to get in to the Health and Social Care Sector. She always knew she wanted to get into this sector and “couldn’t remember wanting to do anything else.” Along with the theory side of the college course Kirstin had to complete 3 different work placements throughout, including time at Dr Grays in the Surgical Department, time with a Community Nurse in Keith and also at Parklands Nursing Home.
“I got really into all of my placements and it confirmed to me that it was the right career for me as I loved and enjoyed them all a lot.”
Once Kirstin completed her HNC Health Care course, she then went on to complete her Nursing Degree at Edinburgh Napier – which she loved!
In 2010, Kirstin graduated from University and moved back to the local area as she was aware there were lots of jobs available in Moray. Due to having a work placement at Parklands Care Home they offered her a job as a Community Post Nurse along with working part-time as a waitress at a local hotel.
After doing two part-time jobs for two years, Kirstin decided to go abroad for two years and trained as a volunteer as part of her local church – setting up community projects. After completing her volunteer training in South London, herself and six others travelled to various parts of Europe and then extended her adventure to South Africa.
“By volunteering it helped me establish myself as a person as I found out what I enjoy doing and what I am good at. I feel really privileged to have been part of this as it really was an incredible life changing experience.”
On her way home from South Africa her previous manager contacted her to ask if she would be interested in covering shifts at a Nursing home in Banff, Moray. After working in this position for 6 months, Kirstin applied for a few NHS positions as she was very keen to start working for them – especially Dr Grays in Elgin, Moray, due to her previous experience with them.
Soon after applying, she was successful and started a job at Dr Grays as a Staff Nurse. After three and a half years in this position Kirstin applied for the Practise Education Facilitator position at Dr Grays. It was through her love of helping the student nurses when being a Staff Nurse, she decided that she wanted to apply for this job as it involved supporting students and their mentors. Kirstin was again successful in getting the position and loves every minute of it.
“Initially I was nervous to go out to the clinical environment and was unsure if I had the correct qualifications for the post. However, I applied because I love interacting with people, being there for a patient’s journey, and love the science behind diseases and research. I also really enjoy spending time with the students by giving them the best possible placement and passing on my knowledge to them.
My advice to young people today is - if you don’t give things a try, then you won’t know you like it – you might surprise yourself! Never get down about where you are, give things a go, work hard and you’ll find something you enjoy.”