Nurse roles regularly top the vacancies tables across the UK with Cornwall not being any different. In 2022, the NHS advertised 4,807 jobs in Cornwall, that’s an average of 400 vacancies a month.
Did you know:
We got to speak to Sadie, a Healthcare Support Worker at West Cornwall Hospital.
Can you tell us a little about your role?
My role is primarily in place to support all patients through their procedures, whether this is a procedure using local anaesthetic (they are awake) or general anaesthetic (they are asleep). I look after their comfort and their safety, admit and discharge them, run routine health observations (blood pressure, oxygen levels etc), ensure all equipment is up to par, talk to the patient and distract them, pass the operating surgeon tools required and work as a team to ensure the patient receives the best care possible.
What previous experience do you have in a healthcare setting?
I have previous experience in health and social care after working as a domiciliary care worker, but this is my first pure healthcare role.
Do you need a degree to be in the current role you’re in now?
No degree is needed to join the NHS as a Healthcare Assistant, Ward Clerk, Catering staff or as a cleaner. Just a positive attitude and to be a people person. A commitment to wanting to provide fantastic and accessible care is a must. The feeling of satisfaction knowing you’re making a difference each day is so rewarding in itself.
What made you choose this kind of work?
I have experience in mental health care, learning disability care and community care and really wanted to try the hospital setting. How a hospital operates has always interested me and I am very much a people person. The NHS were so wonderful during the outbreak of Covid-19 and I wanted to give something back to the community.
What’s the next step?
I can either train on the job (funded by the NHS) as an Assistant Practitioner (similar to nursing) or as a Nursing Associate (the latter being where you can register as a nurse after completion).
What are the driving factors in this decision?
I am leaning towards the Assistant Practitioner course at the moment due to wanting to be more clinically able and support the surgeons in a different way to how I do now, such as setting out the tools needed for an operation and having skills and knowledge around each piece of kit. Nursing requires more responsibility, but this is a course that can easily be accessed later on down a career path as a step into the next pay banding.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering the health sector but doesn’t have experience?
I would suggest a good entry into the sector would be perhaps volunteering or joining as an entry level candidate in a role such as Healthcare Support Worker or Domestic Assistant. The NHS is very good at recognising good colleagues and rewards them with access to an array of courses and apprenticeships.
What do you think are the top skills (soft skills – not qualifications) someone needs to pursue the kind of work you do?
You need to possess kindness and compassion, genuinely care about others and have a positive attitude. Teamwork is an absolute must and good listening skills. Above all, to be an approachable and caring individual.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering the health sector but is worried about the current challenges it is facing?
I too am worried about them, but I try not to let the current challenges deter me from doing a great job for an amazing national service that has been there for us for so long. There is a national shortage of all levels of healthcare worker so there will always be guaranteed work.
We’re here to help you find out what it is you’d like to pursue! We can provide advice, guidance and also funding towards training. Get in touch with us and we can get the ball rolling.
Tel: 0333 015 0699
We can’t wait to hear from you!
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