What is your role?
“I am a healthcare assistant (HCA) in the Emergency Department, known as A&E. There are HCA roles across both of our hospitals and in all areas our role is to assist doctors and nurses with basic care for patients. In A&E I work 12 hour shifts and I will do observations, looking at a patient’s blood pressure and temperature. I’ll do cannulation, blood tests and ECG tests. I work in all areas of A&E, in major and minor injury areas, along with resuscitation and escorting patients from A&E to wards.
“To become a HCA you need a big heart and a caring nature. Once you are accepted in a role, there is a lot of training available to you in whatever area you want to work in.”
Why did you want to do this job?
“I have been here nine years and before this I worked in a nursing home, working in the kitchen. I have always wanted to care for people and so I went for this job when I saw it. Working in A&E is hard to begin with and I would go home in tears. It’s very intense and you are given responsibility right away. But I stuck with it and started to love it. A big part of it is the team around you: I have made some of my best friends here and five of us are off on holiday together soon. I think it’s the nature of the work, the emotional aspect of it and the pace of it, it means you have to work closely and help each other through: it forges strong bonds between you.
“Being a HCA is amazing experience if you want to go on and train as a nurse, huge CV points. But in its own right it is really satisfying and that comes down to seeing so many patients. Each shift is a constant stream of new people coming in and I love working with people, I love that variety.
“There are challenging shifts and that’s when you need your colleagues to talk to and let off steam with but it’s a great job and I’m proud of what I do.”
What do you like particularly about Derby Teaching Hospitals?
“I like the staff here. I like how no one is really any better than anyone else; there’s no hierarchy and I feel confident in raising something with a consultant or asking their advice. They always have time for you.
“Everybody around you has been through so much; they’ve been there and done that and so there is always someone to talk to who understands you, understands what might be affecting you and that is a huge reassurance. It’s a great team here in Derby.”