Kari’s Story

Kari Rothwell: Clark Clinic nurse and Children’s Heartbeat Trust volunteer

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A NURSE?

As a child, like most children, I loved to cause injuries to my brothers, nothing too bad but just enough that I could play nurse. Looking back maybe it stemmed from that. As I got older I knew I wanted to work with children but I didn’t know in what profession yet. When I was 16, I went on a building project in Albania. While we were there the whole team took very sick, everyone except for myself and my auntie. My auntie was a nurse and she had to rely on the very limited resources around her to help the group. We had no medical facilities and only a very poor Albanian village nearby. Watching her nurse the group back to health using her intuition and skills really made an impression on me and from then on I decided I wanted to be a nurse and so I applied for children’s nursing. F.Y.I: My brother is totally fine and has no lasting damage from the injuries I inflicted on him when we were kids!

IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPERPOWER WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I tried to come up with an original answer for this question but failed. So if I could have any superpower it would be to be able to fly. Imagine how much travelling you could do if you didn’t have to pay for the flights. Or you get bored in a meeting and can literally just get up and fly out the window. The only downside is that I’m not the biggest fan of birds so I’m not sure how that would work out for me!

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT?

Last summer I had a moment of madness and signed up to do the 3 peaks challenge. A group of us climbed the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in 48 hours. It was exhausting but definitely my biggest achievement so far. I would love to do the same challenge in 24 hours but I would definitely need to up my fitness level!

ANY OTHER MOMENTS OF MADNESS?

I agreed to do ‘Hell and Back’ with a group from work. For any of you who don’t know what ‘Hell and Back’ is, it is literally an assault course of muddy torture! You get submerged in ice water, electrocuted and shot at. Some crazy people do it for fun. They only got me to sign up because they told me we were going to raise money for Children’s Heartbeat Trust. I realised during this challenge that I was afraid of heights. Literally every wall we had to climb over I got stuck on. It really was torture but I kept telling myself it was for a good cause!

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

Actually one of my hobbies is something I can do while climbing mountains. I love to go out for a walk and take my camera with me. I will just walk through forests or near rivers and take some pictures. Most of them are just of trees or a leaf out of focus but sometimes you can get sunset just perfect and it is a really beautiful photograph.

WHAT’S THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF?

I guess if I was going to give 13-year-old Kari some advice it would be to not spend any time worrying about something that won’t matter in 5 years. As a teenager I wasted so much time worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter at all now. So I would say don’t take life so seriously, take every day as it comes and just enjoy it.

SO FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB?

There are so many things I love about being a nurse but there is nothing more rewarding than caring for a child in their sickest days and then seeing them make progress and get home to their families. It is amazing meeting the family months later at clinic with their child who is doing well. It is definitely my favourite part of the job!

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