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The NHS is more of a family affair for Riz Malik-Rahman

30 May 2018

Riz, who started her journey in the NHS as an Adult Nurse 22 years ago, has a sister who works as a Practice Nurse, one who is an Occupational Therapist and another sister who is a Dental Hygienist.

Riz and her siblings have one thing in common – they work for the NHS because they care enough to want to make a positive change to patients’ lives and give something back to the community, no matter what hurdles and challenges they face along the way. 

Riz knew she wanted to be a nurse by the time she reached five years of age when she was given a toy nurse kit. She regularly practised being a budding medic with the toy, taking patients’ temperatures with the thermometer, checking their heart with the stethoscope and making important notes about their condition on the clipboard.

At 16 she worked for a year as a volunteer on Ward 4 at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital (L&D), before she reached the age of 17 and could start her part time role as a Health Care Assistant while studying full time. By the age of 22 she had qualified as a Registered Nurse and continued her work in the L&D and in the community across Luton.

However, not all those patient experiences were good experiences. Riz explained that during her time as a nurse she encountered some challenging patients, and on a couple of occasions had to cope with both racist and violent behaviour. But these experiences didn’t deter Riz from continuing her chosen career in the NHS.

Bubbly Riz says: “Having a good sense of humour is essential when you work on the front line for the NHS. Unfortunately at some point it’s possible that you will come across patients who are less than courteous. But the good buzz you get from helping patients by far outweighs any bad experiences you may have.

“NHS staff are the real backbone of the service. Throughout the whole 70 years of the NHS you will find staff who continue to be caring, professional, honest and above all else kind, no matter what challenges they face.

“The NHS never says no to patients - regardless of capacity – and everyone tries their best to improve a patient’s outlook and quality of life”.

After 16 years, Riz is the only one out of all of her sisters who has traded working on the front line as a nurse in favour of using her nursing experience to improve and enhance Care Homes in Luton.  

To share your story about what the NHS means to you, email NHS70.Stories@nhs.net  

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