Wednesday 23 November, marks the Royal College of Nursing’s Healthcare Support Worker celebration day, which shines a light on the invaluable contribution that our HCSWs make to their teams, patients, families and the carers they work with every day.
Healthcare support workers work across a variety of settings, including our acute, community, specialist and primary care services, and include roles like maternity support workers, healthcare assistants, theatre assistants and healthcare support workers.
Carolyn Mills, Chief Nursing Officer at the Royal Devon said: “We value all our Healthcare support workers at Royal Devon and are thankful for their ongoing commitment and the significant contribution they make to the care and experiences of our patients, and their families.
Healthcare support workers come from a variety of backgrounds. While some of our new HCSWs have previous healthcare experience, many people first begin their NHS career with a HCSW role.
Sophie, a healthcare assistant at North Devon District Hospital (NDDH) said:
“I had no previous care experience when I joined so it was all new to me. I came in as an apprentice healthcare assistant and I qualified 18 months later. It was a brilliant way of getting into the NHS and I am so pleased I did it. It’s opened my eyes to the amount of opportunities there are in the NHS and just how many additional job roles I had never heard of. I want to eventually become part of the Ambulance Service.”
All our colleagues play a vital role in providing outstanding care, and our healthcare support workers are quite often the faces our patients and their families spend most time with, building rapport and settling nerves, while completing a range of different duties dependant on their role.
Leigh, a HCSW at the RD&E Wonford said: "I feel like I make a difference. I help to ease the workload of my nursing colleagues, as I’m always around when they need something and helping them, especially when they’re so busy. I feel really appreciated and I know that what I do is really important.”
Poppy, a Theatre Support Worker at NDDH said: “I have worked at the Royal Devon for four years in total. I first started in the Petter Day Unit and I’m now in Theatres. I help look after patients during their peri operative phase, which means from when a patient arrives in the hospital until when they go home. I enjoy the diversity of this job role and working with a large multidisciplinary team. I am hoping to train in the future as an Operating Department Practitioner. This is accessible as an Apprenticeship within the Trust now.”
If you have been inspired to pursue a career as a HCSW, check out our:
- Website, which has lots of information about being a HCSW: https://royaldevon.nhs.uk/join-us/explore-roles/healthcare-support-workers/
- HCSW recruitment brochure: http://bit.ly/3AvMvQP
- List of vacancies: https://bit.ly/RDCareerGateway