Feeling unwell or injured? Make sure you choose the right service.
Jodi Page
Healthcare assistant

I’d like to train as a paramedic eventually, so gaining experience in a real hospital environment is very important. I work on the paediatric intensive care unit and it’s challenging seeing children so poorly, but it’s something that you learn to cope with as time goes on and you spend more time with patients and their families.

I started at Addenbrooke’s as an HCA in the staff bank, which meant I did shifts all over the hospital, but now as a trainee assistant practitioner I work exclusively on the PICU and do one day at week at university doing a foundation degree in health and social care.

There’s usually a nurse for every patient on here, so while as a new HCA you’ll get more duties like stocking up and preparing equipment, the opportunities you’ll have to ask questions and learn about children’s medicine are huge. It’s later on, as you gain more experience that you get more direct patient contact, but we work alongside the nurses and are always involved in whatever procedure they’re doing.

You need to be a strong-minded team player to do this job, and although it can be emotionally difficult at times, everyone pulls together and the support is great.