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Rebecca Shinn
Healthcare assistant

As a newly qualified HCA, there's still plenty for me to learn and develop on, but the assessors Glenn and Steve are brilliant and there's always someone around to ask for help.

I've been here for four months, after working in a nursery. Eventually, I'd like to train as a midwife, and this a great starting point.

My ward is the emergency assessment unit for elderly patients, who usually stay with us for anywhere from three to five days, but some do stay longer if they're very ill. Almost all of our patients come from the emergency department, and can be admitted for all sorts of reasons, including falls, heart conditions and cancer emergencies. 

It's very busy, and you have to feel comfortable working on your own at times, although the team does work together really well. It can be hard getting used to the shift patterns at first, but it's an important role and one which is still under estimated by a lot of people.

Being an HCA can be challenging, but I do enjoy it. It's very rewarding and there are plenty of opportunities to develop a career.