Our healthcare support colleagues are a critical part of our workforce. Put simply, we could not deliver excellent care to our service users and patients without them.
This week we have been celebrating Healthcare Support Workers Week by sharing stories, saying thank you and encouraging others to come and join our Trust in a support worker role.
Kicking off the week, our Chief Executive Paul Roberts shared a thank you message for all healthcare support worker colleagues:
Teams and services across the Trust have been celebrating and saying thank you to their colleagues with tea parties, certificate presentations and small gifts.
Megan talks about her career so far, starting out as a Healthcare Assistant and how her chosen career path has given her progression in a job she loves but also the flexibility to have a family.
At the age of 18, I had just finished as a Nurse Cadet, and needed a ‘pocket money’ job, so I joined the bank as a Healthcare Assistant for Severn NHS Trust. I loved providing care and helping those that were in need.
Although I did bank on the inpatient units for the Dilke and Lydney Hospitals, I found a love for the out of hours sector of nursing and working within the community. Some would say I was a night owl – but I enjoyed working the unsocial part of the sector.
I covered the Gloucester and Forest localities and worked the ‘twilight’ shift. At this stage it was assisting with putting people to bed, instilling eye drops and working alongside the registered nurse.
I also worked the 7pm – 3am shift in which I was then on call until 8am. Living in the Forest I would drive back into Gloucester as was needed. One night I can remember driving in and out 5 times.
In 2008 I started my nurse training at The University of Worcester, at this stage I was able to take a small 8 hour contract for twilight in the Forest. Even though I was working as a Healthcare Assistant I worked alongside the Registered Nurse and took every opportunity that I could to learn something new. This twilight team became my family and we shared and celebrated births, deaths, marriages and divorces together!
When I qualified as a registered nurse in 2011, sadly I had to leave my role as a healthcare assistant. At this stage I was saddened as I loved this role, and enjoyed each and every shift that I worked. I stayed within Gloucestershire Care Services though and took a job on the Forest Inpatient Unit – finally in my blue and white stripes!
Working at the community hospital it let me gain my competencies and my confidence. I grew here. Although I was doing what I loved, looking after those in need and promoting independence, I missed the community and being out and about.
After being qualified for 18 months a post came up with in the forest locality in the community. The role was to cover the late shift, almost a twilight but covering unscheduled care. I have always loved the fact that you never know what you are going to walk into and every bodies need was different.
During this time the twilight team had been reviewed and the service was no longer. In 2017 though twilight was back- and ‘The Evening and Night District Nurse Service’ were looking for staff.
I knew at this stage I was confident and competent in being able to apply. I was successful at interview and took a small contract as a Band 5 Community Nurse allowing me to still keep my day job!
Working as a nurse on the Evening and District Nursing Service is where I had always wanted to be, covering the county and visiting patients in different environments. I have visited places within Gloucestershire that I didn’t even know existed. One of my colleagues gets excited when we’d visit the Cotswolds as she sees it as going to the seaside. I really couldn’t believe my luck.
In 2018 I had my second child, life had changed for me massively and knew that I wanted to be a mummy but also keep my career.I was lucky enough at interview and was offered the Senior Community Nurse post for the Evening and Night District Nursing Service, it was at this time I left my day position.
In 2019/2020 I then gained a development post in which when I complete I will work as a Team Leader for the Evening and Night District Nursing Service. Due to me having another child and taking maternity leave this was put on hold. I’m back at work now and working towards my degree. With support from my peers, I am nearly there. I’m just commencing my last module.
I have learnt so much from the Trust. And each day I am learning something new, whether it’s clinically or on a management level. This position has also allowed me to still be a mummy to my 3 young children. Working as a member of the Evening and Night District Nursing Service throughout the years has allowed me to work alongside some really inspirational nurses who have taught me so much. So after 17 years and 5 different trust names I am still here and loving every minute of it. Who knows what is install for me for the next 17 years but I guess it will be by night!
Join our Trust as a Healthcare Support Worker
We have a wide range of opportunities available including rehabilitation assistants, healthcare assistants, porters, catering assistants and many more.
Healthcare support workers work across a variety of settings and services, from mental health to children’s services, from catering to cleaning. They work under the supervision of a healthcare professional, supporting them and helping patients on their journey back to full health.
You can also learn more about healthcare support worker roles at www.ghc.nhs.uk/hcsw