My name is Katy Hartley, I am 22 years old and a healthcare assistant for Kare Plus Blackburn and Burnley. I enjoy my job even though there are very tough moments and delicate situations.
I started working in care a few years ago now, I never really fancied being in the healthcare industry growing up. I always wanted to work with endangered animals, but as I watched my grandad's health fade in front of me, I knew since that day I wanted to help people. I might not be able to save the word but I would love to try. My grandad was one of my main role models in life and when he passed, my life changed. Nothing has ever been the same, but when I do my job on a daily basis I work alongside people that are reminders of my grandad and his many stories of war and olden times.
I love going to work and knowing that I am making a difference in people’s lives. I do my job properly and I am proud of my standard of work, I always treat my customers like they are my family. I always make sure the customers are well looked after and have everything they need. When you work in care the hours can be very long and you can go hours without a break. Although the job does have cons, it has many more pros.
Seeing a smile on somebody's face knowing you are the reason they are smiling is so rewarding. Some of the customers I have worked with are over one hundred years old - I mean how amazing? These people have seen what we call history; wars, new inventions, and there is always a good story to listen to. I always try and get time to interact with customers on a one-to-one basis so I can get to know them better and see what they like and what they don’t like. I work with a lot of people who have got dementia now, and when I first started working in care I didn’t understand what dementia was. Therefore, I completed all of my mandatory training Kare Plus provided me with for dementia awareness, in order to fully understand the disease. I often find myself explaining things to families who have got somebody in their family suffering with dementia.
My job can be emotional at times when looking after somebody day in, day out, but I always remember, 'what if it was my family?'
All of the homes that I work in I get along with, all of their permanent staff always have a good laugh and we work as a team. I am going to be a nurse when I have completed all of my training I need, I may then carry on to become a doctor. I have a passion for changing lives, if I could wipe the worries of the world away, I would. My employers at Kare Plus Blackburn and Burnley are brilliant, they are very understanding and are more like friends than employers. I know I can call my boss and tell them anything and they would give me advice/offer help. They are a good company to work for with a good reputation. I have been working for Kare Plus since May 2016. The checks and training before employment is brilliant, it shows they are a very professional company and make sure that they are sending staff members out that are fully trained and have a good understanding of the daily jobs and tasks we are faced with on a daily basis.
I have some favourite homes I do like to go and work at, where I know all the staff and customers. If I have spare time I always do something interactive, that way the customers are encouraged to socialise and interact with one another, it’s great for the ones who have no visitors or families that come to visit. Healthcare assistants don’t get as much appreciation and credit when they should really. I have seen some that are underpaid and undervalued, on the other hand I have seen some with excellent pay and great bonuses and appreciation.
The job is very rewarding, I feel happy when I come home at the end of a shift knowing I made a difference to somebody's life. I have been in positions were I have had to do CPR and work alongside people who are sadly at the end of their life. When this happens the main thing I do is make sure these people are as comfortable as can be. The daily roles of a healthcare assistant are usually the same personal care, emotional needs, physical and mental needs, assisted mealtimes and ensuring all of the customers' needs are met on a daily basis, with no hesitation. At the end of the day, they do not live in your workplace you work in their home.
I could write pages about my job, I could probably write a book - but that’s for another day.
Thanks for reading.
Katy F Hartley - Kare Plus Blackburn and Burnley - HCA