11th June 2019 Written by Skills for Health

Image: A ‘Day in The Life’ of an unsung hero, our healthcare support workers.Our Health Heroes awards is all about recognising the unsung support workers of our healthcare system. Behind the scenes, there are thousands of dedicated people who work tirelessly, day after day, to keep the health service running smoothly. Without these people, our healthcare system simply couldn’t survive.

The Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2019 Award celebrates the crucial role that clinical support workers play in facilitating the effective delivery of high-quality healthcare services across the UK.

Here, we take a look at a ‘Day In The Life’ of a Healthcare Support worker and the significant contribution they make, all in a days work.

“I have been on this ward, in this job for five years now. I have learnt so much in this time. We have to work as a team to make it the best possible experience for the patient. No-one chooses to be in hospital.

I support patients with all their personal needs, and help them, if needed, to eat or drink. I was a bit shy at first, seeing people with no clothes on, but it's about maintaining the patients’ dignity, whilst respecting them and their wishes. It's about treating the patient how they want to be and not how I think they want to be looked after. We all have different likes and dislikes and different beliefs. I report back to the qualified nurses if I see any changes in the patient that is either worrying them or worrying me.

I have to be vigilant, observing what patients are doing, what they have eaten, or if they have been to the toilet. Talking to the patients, and I mean to them, makes the difference. You need to listen too. Sometimes as the healthcare support worker, the patients tell you more as they don't feel as intimidated by me, not being professionally qualified I mean. That doesn't mean I am any less important to the team or in the care of the patient.

Of course, we have similar things to do every day, making beds, helping the patients with all their needs, writing down certain things that help the qualified nurses in their assessment of their patients. We have up to 33 patients to care for on a shift. We do 12 hours shifts. It can mean that I get up at 5.30 in the morning to be here for 7a.m. and I won’t get home until about 8pm at night. I work 3 of these days a week.

It’s very important to be on time, in a clean uniform with the things we need, like my identification badge, different coloured pens for the charts and so on. You have to be responsible for yourself, as it is part of the role. There is always something different every day. I can now do observations and a few other things after training which helps the nurses in their daily tasks.

I didn’t have to go to university to do this job and the things I can do now I have learnt here at the hospital. You do need to be good at talking to people, and making them feel at ease. This is the part of the job I love.”

Our Health Heroes Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2019 Award celebrates and recognises support workers just like this. Individuals, who are making a difference and improving the patient experience of care, on a daily basis.

If this sounds like someone you know, then please nominate them and let us give them the recognition they deserve, as Our Health Heroes.

Nominate now

Nominations close midnight Saturday 29 June.


For more information on how to become a support worker see www.healthcareers.nhs.uk, www.jobs.nhs.uk and www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk or for more support worker training, see the Skills Platform