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Rachel Hedges
Healthcare assistant

Before starting as an HCA I worked as a school dinner lady, and as a representative for Avon, so I’ve always been around people. I also worked in dementia care with BUPA for a while, so when the time came for a change, this role seemed like the most natural progression.

I would eventually like to do my nursing training, and there are so many opportunities for learning here – especially in a unit like mine (endoscopy), where HCAs take on a lot of practical clinical duties; sampling, monitoring, and assisting with procedures.

There are around 15 HCAs in the unit, and we’re all very highly skilled. I’ll typically see between 10-15 patients per day, and they all have very different needs in terms of what they want from me as a care-giver. Some people are quite comfortable staying quiet, while others might want to chat all the way through their procedure!

I’ve been here for about 18 months now, and there’s still plenty of variety in my day-to-day work.

This is a very rewarding job, with lots of opportunities to develop, as long as you’re willing to put yourself in the patients’ shoes.