To highlight Nursing Support Workers’ Day, Emma Lewery, a Martlets healthcare assistant, talks about her role on our community nursing team.
Thursday 23 November is Nursing Support Workers’ Day, which shines a spotlight on the nursing support workforce across the UK, highlighting the vital contribution they make to patient care in health and social care. The true extent of the work carried out by the nursing support workforce is often hidden, and their value underestimated. Nursing Support Workers’ Day is an opportunity to amplify their voice, raise awareness, and celebrate the work they do.
At Martlets, our healthcare assistants (HCAs) are valued members of our clinical team. Our HCAs support nursing staff on our inpatient wards and as part of our Hospice at Home team.
Emma tells us about her role:
“Being able to help people through one of the most emotional, toughest times of their lives, for me is such an important gift to facilitate.
I am a healthcare assistant (HCA) for Hospice at Home, which involves working alongside the Registered Nurses (RNs) to provide palliative care and support for patients and their families in the community. We work in pairs, so it will often be an RN and an HCA working together during each shift.
We care for patients whose wishes are to die at home, or to be able to stay at home for as long as possible before being admitted to the inpatient ward. Our aim is to keep our patients as comfortable as possible, managing their pain and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and anxiety, but also to provide emotional support and advice to our patients and family members.
Each day can be quite different, as we often respond to the more urgent phone calls that come into our Martlets telephone hub. This is the first point of call if a patient is symptomatic, or if a patient or loved one has any concerns or needs advice. We always do our best to visit our patients promptly when this is the case as we know this can be a worrying time. Quite often we can see the relief on people’s faces when we arrive.
Seeing how much we are helping our patients and families very much gives me job satisfaction, and it feels so rewarding.
I have always loved my job as a heathcare worker, as I like to know I am helping to make people’s lives better. I joined the Hospice at Home team in 2021, and I am so glad I did. Prior to that I worked some shifts as an HCA on the inpatient ward, and I started off working as a carer and care coordinator for Martlets Care in 2013. I’d already had a lot of healthcare experience previously. (Martlets Care is a separate organisation providing home care, which works closely alongside Martlets Hospice).
We have a great team, and we all work extremely well together. Some days can be mentally tough, a lot of people say to me, ‘I don’t know how you can do this job’, but I couldn’t ever imagine myself doing anything else, it helps that my colleagues are all very supportive of each other. I feel very proud to work for Martlets.”
Debbi Cook, Senior Staff Nurse on our Hospice at Home team, had this to say about our brilliant HCAs:
“My wonderful HCA colleagues work alongside us as part of Hospice at Home and the community team. Our HCAs are all prepared to respond quickly to patients’ needs. They have a wide range of exceptional skills and qualities, not least in boldly going into unknown situations, and managing very poorly patients and their distressed families. All our HCAs have that amazing ability to step up, or to blend into the background when the need arises; their constant humour, tact, integrity, and professionalism makes each shift a truly valued working experience. They are also adaptable to every situation, and of course to the individual winning ways of each registered nurse that they find themselves working with!
I would love to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you and to celebrate our healthcare assistants for their dedication and humanity, not only as valued colleagues but in the service and care for our patients and their loved ones who deserve the very best.”
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