Emily, Health Care Assistant (Inpatients)

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Why did you want to get involved with the apprenticeship scheme?

All 16 year olds have enormous pressure on them to decide what it is they want to do with their lives, I didn’t know what job I wanted to do when I was 16 It wasn’t until a few of my friends pointed me towards the Trust’s apprenticeship scheme that I knew for the first time what I wanted to do. 

I was instantly interested in the scheme after I read about what it would entail, and for the first time in my life I had an idea of not only the job I wanted to do, but the career path that I would take to get there. I had always had a passion to care for others, and I grew up caring for family members through play. It was reading the scheme on offer at the Trust that opened my eyes up to the possibility of caring for people for a living, and I am so happy that I went ahead and applied for the scheme.

Why did you want to join Team North West Anglia?

I have a strong connection to Peterborough City Hospital, it is my local hospital and I have grown up seeing how it has developed and how it has continued to support so many people across my local community. I have seen first-hand how the hospital has helped me, helped my family and friends and from a young age it helped me to develop that passion of wanting to support and help people. The values held by the trust really resonate with me, placing the patient first is so important and I feel proud to be part of a Trust that has that at its core.

Tell us about your role?

My role is centred on distraction therapy for elderly patients, mostly those who have a form of dementia, delirium or Parkinson’s disease. I would assess the best way to communicate with the individual, whether that is engaging in a conversation verbally, using puzzles, drawing, or using photographs in order to connect with them. All the information I collated about the patient, I would write in a booklet called – ‘This Is Me’ which ensured that my colleagues could understand why a patient might behave or react in a certain way, giving them pointers to know how to calm the patient down or distract them to ensure their safety. This is therefore incredibly important to ensure the best possible practice with each individual.

What do you love about your role?

There are so many things about this role that I have fallen in love with. I love that I’ve been able to meet so many different people and take time to listen to their interesting and heart-warming stories. I have learnt so much from these patients and the conversations I have had with them have helped me to develop into a better, well rounded individual. I enjoy the process of being able to find the best way to communicate with an individual, so that I can improve their quality of care and ensure that they are communicated with in the best way, lowering any feelings of anxiety or distress. I love that this role has given me more confidence and brought me out of my shell. But what I love the most is that this role gave me the clarity of knowing this is what I want to do for the rest of my working career.

What are the benefits of working for Team North West Anglia?

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has provided me with the opportunity to progress up the ladder, the Trust gives me the confidence to feel ambitious and strive to be at the top of that ladder. One of the best benefits however, is the amount of support and encouragement I have been given from so many people that have played a part in my young NHS journey.

I thoroughly enjoy my work and genuinely enjoy entering the hospital for my shift. I love that I am part of a team that works together and looks out for each other. Our goal of looking after our patients with dignity and compassion is something I am fully behind and it is great to see that all of my colleagues are behind it as much as me. I enjoy the community spirit across the Trust and I am happy with the amount of support the Trust has available, for those who want to learn, develop and progress onto new things.

How has your role developed during your time at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, tell us about your apprenticeship journey?

I have been delighted to see my role develop into a Healthcare Assistant on the ward I started my journey on. I have completed my NVQ 2 as an apprentice and I am now onto my NVQ 3, which will be my access course into my nursing – which is what I want to do. If it wasn’t for doing the apprenticeship, I would still be stuck on not knowing what path I would want to go down, but because of the amount of support and the passion I have for looking after others, the apprenticeship role made me see crystal clear, that this is what I want to do.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your role?

It has been a tough couple of months, I have been redeployed onto a Covid-19 ward, which has been extremely eye-opening. Having been used to elderly patients, to then patients that were not elderly, it was strange at first to adjust to caring for patients younger, but the skills I acquired through my apprenticeship really helped me. The team was constantly changing, people left to self-isolate etc., and new people came onto the ward. However it is something that I, like most people, had to get on with. It has been a life altering experience and I have learnt a lot. The impact on me was not negative, it was something that wasn’t changeable so therefore adaptions were made and the amount of support from those within the hospital and throughout the public, made the change a lot more bearable and positive.