Two things set Sarah-Louise Neilson on her route into nursing.
The first was witnessing her father-in-law with cancer. “It left him severely disabled and he had to learn to eat and drink again independently, and also how to walk. Watching his recovery inspired me to be a nurse,” says Sarah-Louise.
The second inspiration was her children. “I wanted a career that my kids could look up to and be proud of their mum.”
Sarah-Louise’s first placement as a student nurse was on an orthopaedic trauma ward, in 2009. But something about working with the older generation appealed to her. “They have so much to give and the experiences they share with us are amazing. It’s just very rewarding and you get a lot of job satisfaction.”
After working at Balhousie Wheatlands in Bonnybridge, Sarah-Louise became Interim Manager and then Manager at Dalnaglar in Crieff. She’s so committed to the home and to her new job that she is moving to Perthshire from the Falkirk area.
What does she love about it? “Dalnaglar is a beautiful Victorian building. It’s relatively small, which makes it feel homely. The staff are amazing and all work together as a team. They have been really welcoming and supportive to me as a brand new manager.”
Sarah-Louise has made her mark on the town too, developing excellent links with local high schools, community groups and GPs. “Each of our homes is part of the community so it’s important that we make the most of that. I feel that our residents and staff have so much to give, and it just make sense, especially in a small place like Crieff, for us all to keep the community active and engaged.”
Of working for Balhousie Care Group, Sarah-Louise says: “I have always been made to feel part of a family, not just a team – that was the case at Wheatlands. I have always been supported by management to progress in my career, and that has led me to where I am today.”