As a Working Mum, how would you describe managing life as an Agency Nurse alongside your parental responsibilities?
Danielle: As a working mum, I find that working for Cavity provides me with the flexibility I need allowing me to effectively manage my time. Agency work enables me to be there for my child while still enjoying my career. It’s great to have the opportunity to balance both work and family life.
Katarzyna: My little one goes to preschool and I share drop offs and pick-ups with my partner who works shifts. So, sometimes I can’t leave for work before a certain time or I have to be back for pick up time. Working for Cavity gives me flexibility with my working hours to accommodate that. It’s difficult to manage parental responsibilities in any job but I feel that working for Cavity takes some of that stress away.
Leanne: It has been challenging over the years being a working single mum, but Cavity has made it so much easier. There is a level of understanding and flexibility that eases the pressure.
Tanya: Managing life as an agency nurse alongside parental responsibilities can be challenging, but with proper planning, support, and flexibility, you can balance your career and family life. I definitely feel like I have this balance with Cavity.
Can you provide a little bit of background on becoming a working Mum: Did you join Cavity as a working Mum already or did this happen after you joined the company?
Katarzyna: I joined Cavity as a working mum, when my little one was 18 months. I then moved house and left my previous practice all at the same time - it was a stressful time! Jools, who I chatted with about agency work over the phone, was very informative and reassuring, she came to my home to do an induction and met my family. I explained I couldn't start until I had found a nursery, and she said it was no problem and we could just keep in touch in the meantime. I think, a week later I had my first day as a Cavity Nurse and it’s now been almost 2 years, and I haven’t looked back once.
Danielle: After maternity leave, I continued nursing part-time in a practice, however, I struggled with part-time work; I didn’t feel like I was part of the team or able to progress my skills any longer. I found it challenging to settle into the practice environment, which is why I decided to try working as a locum nurse. This turned out to be the best decision I could make, I’ve learnt so much more by working in different places, and most importantly, I don’t get bored! I feel like a valuable part of the team and so much more appreciated.
Leanne: I joined Cavity as a single mum, I wanted to enjoy my career with more flexibility. I was burnt out before I joined, trying to balance the importance of my career and the responsibility of being a mum. I needed to make a change to my life that allowed this balance.
Tanya: I have been a dental nurse for 11 years now. I joined Cavity as a working mum already on a part-time basis so I can manage life as a single mum.
What would you consider the challenges Working Mums specifically face and do you feel Agency Nursing can offer support to these challenges?
Danielle: I feel that Cavity has supported me when I have needed to take time off work due to family issues, having that flexibility has also really helped.
Katarzyna: With having a child, there is always the risk that you will get a phone call in the day from school or nursery letting you know your child is poorly and needs to be picked up, or they wake up poorly and you have to stay home if you don't have anyone around to help. If you feel under the weather, you go to work and get on with it but you can’t do that with a child. Working with Cavity, I don’t feel like I’m letting someone down if I call in when my child is poorly, because I know they will be able to find cover. The management team are really supportive and I can be flexible with my working hours to accommodate childcare.
Leanne: Working mums face constant turmoil of trying to manage their time around their children’s needs, the responsibility to their families needs and at the same time wanting to pursue their own career and also try to find time for their own needs, which is usually at the bottom of the list. The flexibility Cavity can offer definitely supports these challenges.
Tanya: The challenges could be early starts or late finishes, but Cavity has been supportive through those years, and it allows me to have some flexibility if I need to adjust my days or times due to childcare, which I’m very grateful for.
How long have you been working with Cavity and what do you enjoy most about Agency Nursing?
Danielle: I have been a locum nurse for 5 years and joined cavity 2.5 years ago. It’s by far the best agency! The support network is above and beyond. What I enjoy the most is visiting different clinics, getting to know different people, and learning from others.
Katarzyna: I’ve been with Cavity for almost 2 years. I love going to different practices, meeting new people and being able to nurse for a variety of treatments. No day is the same. And if you happen to go somewhere you don’t like, you don’t have to go back.
Leanne: I have been working for Cavity for 5 years. I always tell people I wished I joined earlier! I enjoy the variety, visiting new areas I’ve not been to, no two days are the same. I get to work around the school run and school holidays, allowing me to tweak my hours accordingly.
Tanya: Five years, I like that I can work in different practices as it gives me variety and makes me enjoy my job even more. Also, I meet new people, and it keeps me updated with different dental technologies. I feel as a nurse, your abilities are limited.
You are doing it, so I guess you would agree that working Mums can have a successful career as an Agency Dental Nurse?
Danielle: Definitely, being a mum doesn’t mean your career is over! Agency work has provided me the opportunity to progress and develop new skills. And there are several options with Cavity to progress further.
Katarzyna: They definitely can! And within Cavity there are many opportunities to develop and grow, from doing post grad qualifications to training new nurses. I, myself, am a qualified assessor working for Cavity, supporting our trainees.
Leanne: Absolutely! You get to utilise all your skills and acquire more. I have worked with so many different dentists with all different skill sets and in a wide variety of settings. I find agency nurses are more resilient because of this. Cavity has been supportive in many ways, it can get lonely out there on the road all the time. There are training opportunities also, you do need to be self-motivated in your personal development.
Tanya: Yes, totally, and for someone thinking of joining, I would recommend giving it a try. It can be challenging initially, but you learn how to adapt to it quickly.
Being a working Mum, how do you factor time in for your own personal needs and self-care?
Danielle: I always find time for myself. Most evenings after work, I go to the gym, which is my saviour! Gym time is “me time”. If I didn’t have the gym I would struggle mentally as well as physically. And it's always nice to have the occasional early finish, which I most definitely wouldn’t get in a practice.
Katarzyna: With long working hours and my partner working shifts, I haven’t mastered that yet. But I'm trying my best to have some ‘me time’ on the weekends, even if it’s just 15 minutes doing exercises.
Leanne: All I tend to want to do is relax after a long day at work. Travelling around can be tiring. But I am happy at home on the sofa with a cuppa! I do try to go to the gym at least once a week and get out for a long walk twice a week, exercise is important to me and being in nature I find, is really grounding.
Tanya: To be able to meet my personal needs, I must be organised and be good at time management. I have a day off in the middle of the week where I do all my admin jobs and appointments as well as have some time for myself, which works well for managing work/life and my well-being as a working mum.
Cavity offers an internal and external Health & Wellbeing platform which is a space for the Team here at Cavity to reach out and talk confidentially about personal or work-related issues. What are your thoughts about Cavity having this in place for their Team?
Danielle: I think it’s great knowing that you have someone to talk to on your “dark days”. Mental health is very important to me and knowing I have this option feels good. I regularly use the Cavity app to communicate to other nurses and managers, I always get a response for any concerns I have.
Katarzyna: I know Cavity offers support with health and wellbeing. I haven't felt the need to use it yet, but I think it is a great idea and you can talk to someone who is also a nurse, who knows what you are going through when it comes to work related issues.
Leanne: I think it is vital to have this in place, we tend to work out there alone so it's reassuring to have a support network in place.
Tanya: Amazingly, the company offers a Health & well-being platform; as a staff member, knowing I can talk to someone within the company when I don’t feel at my best could be beneficial.
What would your top tips be on how to successfully manage life as a working Mum alongside your parental responsibilities?
- Effective time management: prioritise your tasks and create a schedule to efficiently manage your work and family time.
- Open communication: maintain clear communication with your area manager regarding your needs and potential adjustments to your work schedule.
- Set realistic expectations: understand that it's ok to ask for flexibility and that you can’t do everything perfectly every time!
- Utilise technology: Use apps or tools to stay organised and keep track of appointments/commitments.
Katarzyna: I need a structure in my life, so I plan. I plan what I will do in the week, how long will travel take me, what to have for dinner, I do batch cooking. Make sure you have some time for yourself, but like I've said I’m still working on this.
Leanne: Be organised, good time management, be self-motivated, get a good night's sleep. Remember how amazing us mums are and what a great job we are all doing!
Describe working for Cavity in three words.
Special thanks to our lovely nurses Danielle, Katarzyna, Leanne and Tanya.