Our healthcare support workers (HCSWs) come from many different backgrounds and all walks of life, but all have certain qualities in common.
All share a commitment to the Trust values – Together – Safe | Kind | Excellent – in everything you do. This applies to your behavior towards patients, staff and visitors. We expect all our staff to live these values as the bedrock of our culture of care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.
To see if being an HCSW is for you, answer the following questions. If most of your answers are “yes” then this could be the job for you.
- like working with people and want to help?
- want to make a difference in people’s lives?
- communicate well?
- enjoy helping people feel at ease?
- recognise when someone is anxious or in distress and want to help?
- care about vulnerable people?
- respect people’s beliefs an attitudes even when these differ from yours?
- feel you could preserve somebody’s dignity, no matter their situation?
- take care of people eg washing somebody or helping them go to the toilet?
- feel you could look after someone in the last days or hours of their life?
- think you could cope with work shifts that could start early and/or finish late?
- have the stamina to be on your feet for most of the day, doing a physical job?
- care about supporting someone in difficult circumstances and leaving them with a smile on their face?
If so, then a Healthcare Support Worker role could be for you!
Sophie - Healthcare Support Worker
I became a HCSW as I wanted to make a difference to patients and their relatives – I think this was strongly influenced by my friend being poorly as a child, seeing her like that made me realise that I wanted to make a difference to people and help them when they are most in need.
I chose to work at CUH as it is my local hospital, but also offers many different opportunities that will help me in the future to become a registered nurse.
One of the things I enjoy the most about being a HCSW is being able to see a patient getting better. Seeing a patient from being very unwell, to then being discharged once better is one of the most rewarding things about this job.
For people who want to become a HCSW my advice would be to do it! It is one of the world’s most rewarding jobs.
Sadie – Healthcare Support Worker – Pre Assessment Ward
‘I Joined Addenbrookes in 2012 as a HCA band 2 in Pre-Assessment having never worked in a hospital! When I joined the Pre-Assement team in 2012 everyone was so welcoming and made me feel at ease. There was a lot to learn, I began greeting patients, informing them of what was going to happen at their appointment and then taking the relevant observations such as height, weight, blood pressure, MRSA swabs and urine samples. I was then given the opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills and underwent my Diploma level 3 training and now I am a Band 3 HCSW’
‘I have achieved my competency in ECG and blood taking which has furthered my career development. I find this enjoyable as I meet many different patients having various surgical procedures with different health care needs and I’m learning something new every day’
Eloise - Healthcare Support Worker and Nursing Apprentice
I heard about the Nursing Apprenticeship Programme at Addenbrooke’s whilst I was studying at Long Road Sixth Form College. I knew that I wanted to work in healthcare, but before I committed to a career in nursing I thought it would be a good idea to get some experience of working in a clinical environment, to ensure that it was something I definitely wanted to pursue. After a year of being a healthcare support worker I applied for the NAP (Nursing Apprenticeship Programme).
Being a HCSW/NAP means that I am constantly open to learning.
When working a shift as a HCSW I look for any opportunity which will help me to learn and develop, knowing that I am always supported by my colleagues on the ward. I enjoy seeing the way the ward is run from a different perspective when on my placement days.
I picked CUH as my place of work because it was conveniently located and had really good links with my sixth form college. I was also very impressed by the recruitment and apprenticeship teams when I came to find out more about nursing at one of the Trust open day events. I knew that CUH was a teaching hospital and that I would be provided with great support and different learning opportunities.
For someone starting their nursing apprenticeship, I would say don’t forget to ask questions. This is the beauty of doing an apprenticeship, you have the opportunity to be constantly learning.