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“I am a healthcare assistant at St Monica’s Hospital in Easingwold, which is a GP led unit offering step-up care, rehabilitative services and palliative care.

“I started my career as a nursing assistant in 1982, following in the steps of my mum who was a nurse at the old Claypenny Hospital in Easingwold. I came to St Monica’s in 1990 as a bank nursing assistant and I have been here ever since.

“As a healthcare assistant, under the supervision of qualified nursing staff, I carry out a wide range of duties to care and support to patients and their families. This can include looking after the physical comfort of patients - for example helping them to wash themselves, taking and recording basic observations such as blood pressure and temperature, and helping patients to eat and to move about if they have mobility problems.

“It is a pleasure to work in a local small hospital where you can give every patient personal time and attention. The town of Easingwold is a small community, so as a local resident it is not unusual for me to get stopped in the street by previous patients, their family or friends who remember me and what to chat and catch up. It’s like bumping into an old friend.

“Having worked here for nearly thirty years, I have seen many changes in nursing. I can clearly remember years ago regularly washing patients clothing and pegging it on the washing line after a night shift! One of the things which has greatly improved is lifting and handling. When I first started there were no lifts or hoists to help lift patients - you simply got on with it. When I first started I remember been trained on the ‘Australian’ lift which is a type of shoulder lift used to move a patient when they were unable to assume a sitting position on a bed. No wonder many nurses have bad backs!

“I have always believed in ‘good old fashioned care’ which is the little things like getting to know each patient as an individual, understanding their likes and dislikes, listening and talking to them, as well as giving that little bit extra like regularly checking their well-being and comfort. For me there is nothing more heart-warming than seeing a patient, who comes in so poorly, nursed back to full health. I also consider it a privilege and honour to give the best care I can to a patient who is at the end of life.

“I’m proud to be part of a small team which works like a family unit and I am passionate about St Monica’s, which I love through and through - nothing makes me prouder than telling people that I work here.”

21 May 2018

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