“Hello, HCA speaking…”

So I’m officially a working member of the NHS! No more observing, letting someone else deal with the issue. I’m now on the front-line of healthcare and from what I’ve experienced so far, I really enjoy it!

OK, so I don’t know where to find anything, what needs doing, or when it needs doing. But if someone puts me on the right track, it gets done! I think what I’ve learnt so far is there is a large difference between the nursing team and doctors. The nurses have so much more patient contact, which I really enjoy, bar those that can get verbally or physically abusive! Whilst the doctors have less patient contact but a more managerial role in the care of the patient.

There is a lot of intimate care involved in what I do which I still find a bit embarrassing but I think the patient is probably much more uncomfortable than I am! I always think that you never know when you may be in this position, so approach it as to how you would like to be treated.

There are some really lovely patients who were just so helpful as they knew I was new. They knew more than I did. Always listen to the patient!

The one thing I dislike doing is respiratory rates – How on earth can you measure someone’s breathing rate without them knowing, whilst they have a full blown convo with you, whilst you keep an eye on your fob watch, whilst you pretend you’re not staring at their chest so their breathing doesn’t alter, whilst trying to maintain conversation so it doesn’t seem like you’re ignoring them, and not count yours by mistake! Oh my giddy aunt!

I definitely prefer ward life to the induction which made ward life sound scary and was  just days and days of powerpoint presentations! Some things on the ward are funny though like today a doctor asked whether I knew where to find an Oxygen tubing. Now considering that this doctor is in the store cupboard with all of these supplies and I’m walking around in circles trying to get rid of a wash bowl and its contents, the chances of me knowing were obviously next to nothing. Then, oh yes there’s more, the doctor proceeds to say “It’s just that this patient is very ill”… Umm people don’t tend to be in hospital if they’re fine and dandy!

Today was also fun because I got to run around the hospital, you know like what you see in Casualty in an emergency, yes I did just refer to Casualty as if it resembles true hospital life! It was fun! The only thing though is that I didn’t know where I was going! There are two pharmacies and I happened to go to the wrong one, then when I had to go to the kitchen I ended up next to the mortuary… nice!

Although I’m shattered and can wake up before dawn has broken at 5am and feel as if my feet are being repeatedly stabbed, I really really like my job. It’s just the feeling after you’ve done something so small that makes a huge difference to the patient, it’s very rewarding. So often a patient says ‘I don’t want to put you out’ when asking for something but really, I find it more of a burden when I don’t fulfill the request of a patient because I worry that they’re now uncomfortable.

As of tomorrow I’m no longer a supernumerary, but ‘in the numbers’ eek!

Until next time…

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