Merryn, Senior Therapy Assistant

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Why did you want to move into the role you’re currently in?

I had a very enjoyable experience as a young apprentice within the rehabilitation department at the Trust. My apprenticeship was rotational, allowing me to gain experience in a variety of departments across the Trust, but it was my time on a medicine ward that I enjoyed most. The apprenticeship provided me with the opportunity to learn about the work undertaken in therapy, it showed me a career path that I wanted to take. When an opportunity arose within therapy I was delighted to be offered the chance to move into the team permanently, I am so happy to be in a role I enjoy at the start of a career I am looking forward to progressing in.

Why did you want to join Team North West Anglia?

I have always had an appreciation for the NHS, I am proud to be an NHS worker. I live in Peterborough, so it is great that I am able to work for my local Trust and support the community I live and grew up in. I find it extremely rewarding to care and support people, I love that each day I can go home following my shift knowing I have helped someone. My appreciation for the NHS and my Trust has only grown whilst I have worked here. 

Tell us about your role?

I have a varied role that enables me to constantly learn and gain experience. I support qualified Physiotherapists and Occupational therapists to arrange safe discharges and progress people’s abilities, it is rewarding to help people to progress along their treatment. Another aspect of my role is to work with carers, families, and the patient to establish a safe discharge. I also make sure that upon discharge the patient has all the equipment they need to continue their recovery at home. Upon all of this, the Trust are supporting me to complete a foundation degree course in therapy.

Due to the variety of my job there is no ‘usual day’ however there are a few themes of work that I do daily. I identify the patients who need to be reviewed by therapy, helping to review their abilities with the support of a qualified therapist. I order and issue necessary equipment as advised by our therapists. I also gain valuable experience by supporting qualified therapists daily, this is important for me as I complete my foundation degree.

What do you love about your role?

There is so much I love about my role. The main enjoyment and rewarding factor for me is being able to help people. I love working with our patients, their families, and carers, it makes me smile to know I am helping to make a difference. My role has an aspect of problem solving to it, I enjoy solving a problem to establish a great outcome for our patients. The team I am a part of, they are great, they are supportive and help to create a productive and happy environment to work in. The wider multi-disciplinary team are the same and I feel lucky to have so many wonderful people around me.  

What do you love most about working for Team North West Anglia?

I am immensely proud to be part of Team North West Anglia, the team, both immediate to me and wider is both friendly and hard working. Everyone says hi and I am proud to work alongside people who put the patient first. I was fortunate to begin as an apprentice and the apprenticeship team are so supportive and helpful. They helped me to recognise a career path and then supported me in taking my first steps along that path.

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

I started at the trust in 2017 as a young apprentice (therapy assistant apprentice), completing my NVQ level 3 during this time. I was successful in gaining a Band 3 Senior therapy assistant role, while completing this NVQ. Once the NVQ was completed I was able to gain a place completing a foundation assistant practitioner degree (This is a course that will allow me to get onto the occupational therapy apprenticeship). I have just been successful in gaining a band 4 Therapy assistant practitioner within the medicine therapy team.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your role?

Covid-19 has impacted on every part of the hospital. For me, it has meant I have worked more hours and had to support more new starters or less experienced staff who have needed support in getting to know their environment.