Hello, my name is Keith and I currently work as a Healthcare Assistant in the Enhanced Support Team. I have been doing this role for the last three years. Prior to this I was a Healthcare Assistant for three years on the Inpatient Unit at Lexden Hospital.
My normal day consists of supporting people who use our services and their families/carers/support staff during difficult times or when the person is unwell. This can be face to face, but more recently it has been by phone or video owing to COVID-19.
Working as part of a team dealing with crises
There are so many good things about the role. I like working with families and carers to enable them to maximise the person's potential, including helping them to access services that they may not have known were available to them. Often I am able to support a person using our services through their journey to becoming more independent, including moving to a more independent setting to live. Achieving the best possible outcome for the person and seeing them grow is certainly one of the most positive things about the job. Within my role I also have my views and ideas listened to as well as being given responsibility and trusted to manage my time effectively.
Apart from the obvious current COVID-19 challenges, attempting to support people who use our services to access the correct services, especially when they have complex needs and their current service(s) do not meet their needs can be a challenge. It can also be difficullt when the people involved in the person's life all have different views, goals and opinions about what is best for the person.
Support comes from a variety of places including the Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and other members of the inter-disciplinary team that work in Enhanced Support. My line manager, supervisor and the more senior nursing leads within the team also provide support.
I think in order to make a positive difference as a Healthcare Assistant, you need to be a good listener be willing to work as a team member but also have the ability to work independently when needed. You also really need to understand your limitations and when to ask for support. Being able to provide support to the rest of the team is also really important.
For those that what to progress further in a different role, then you can apply to train as a Nursing Associate within the Trust. If you don't think you want to go down the professional route and instead wish to enhance your key skills and knowledge in your current role, you can request to provide support to people who use our services where you have a particular interest.
Give it a try! If a secondment opportunity becomes available then take it. Ask if ‘shadow shifts’ are available. When you have worked in one role for a long period, you sometimes don’t realise what skills you have acquired that are transferable.