A day in the life of a healthcare assistant

March 30, 2015 Written by Sam Brown

Healthcare assistant Nicola Stiles writes about her work in the Urgent Care Centre. 

“The role of the healthcare assistant is diverse and depends on the individual healthcare setting. However I can’t think of an environment more rewarding for a Healthcare Assistant than the Urgent Care Centre.

“I joined the reception team at the South Bristol Walk-in Centre fourteen years ago. When it moved to South Bristol Community Hospital, we all had to re-apply for our jobs. It was a time of uncertainty as there were not enough positions for all of the receptionists. However two healthcare assistant jobs were created, these posts were completely new to the department and it seemed an exciting opportunity. I got the job and in April 2012 I started my new career as a healthcare assistant. I also pressed to do my advanced apprenticeship in Clinical Healthcare at Level 3. Having been absent from academia for twenty seven years, I was a bit worried that I had a target to complete it within two years. I actually did so well that I finished it in just under 12 months and before anyone else on my course. Now at Band 3, I have learned so much in the last two years I can hardly recognise myself.

“I love the unpredictable nature of this job, not knowing who will come through the doors next but knowing that the skill base of our team will deal with whatever task is at hand to a high standard.”

“I work under direction of the Urgent Care Clinicians whose experience and knowledge provide a constant source of learning for me. Engaging with people and helping them on their journey to good health must be one of the most rewarding jobs a person can have.

“I love the unpredictable nature of this job, not knowing who will come through the doors next but knowing that the skill base of our team will deal with whatever task is at hand to a high standard. I feel privileged to be part of the team.

“Part of my role is to be able to leave a job at a moment’s notice to carry out a task to support my colleagues. This could be anything from a dressing change, a blood test or conducting an electro cardio gram on a patient suffering with chest pain, or providing crucial emotional support to a patient or their family. Ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary, my job is certainly not a dull one. One of my highlights has to be my first CPR, and being part of a team which restored a life. Making a difference doesn’t mean you have to be a lifesaver, however. There are so many little things which can mean so much: taking the time to listen, time to care and time to hold a hand.”

Our Urgent Care Centre provides all the services of a Walk-in Centre with the addition of being able to refer for on-site x-rays and other diagnostic tests. No appointment is necessary, patients can just turn up to during opening hours.

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