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Staff profile block: 

Grace Mills

Healthcare assistant
Grace Mills

For me, it's about providing holistic care for people who really appreciate it.

What is it like?

Medicine is one of the most diverse, busiest and most energetic areas in the hospital. It covers a wide range of areas:

  • Acute medicine
    treats patients admitted to the hospital as emergencies – these patients may suffer from a wide range of conditions
  • Cardiology
    specialises in the care of all things associated with the heart and the arteries/valves
  • Care of the elderly
    detailed information about care of the elderly
  • Gastroenterology/Endoscopy
    specialises in disorders of the digestive system
    detailed information about endoscopy
  • Hepatology
    specialises in the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and biliary tree (which carries bile from the liver to the intestines)
  • Infectious diseases
    cares for patients with highly infectious conditions, many of whom may need to be isolated to stop the spread of their illness
  • Medical Short Stay Unit (MSEU)
    treats acutely ill patients, who are not expected to stay in hospital for long – the ideal time maximum time is three days
  • Nephrology / dialysis
    treats patients with kidney disease
  • Planned short stay unit (PSSU)
    patients attend for a wide variety of planned treatments, tests and investigations, ranging from biopsies to transplant assessments and including an infusion bay for patients who need drug treatment via a drip
  • Respiratory medicine
    specialises in all lung diseases including, for example asthma, pneumonia and coronary obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Stroke and rehabilitation
    cares for patient who have had a stroke and helps to reach the highest possible level of independence so that they can lead as productive a life as possible – this can be a long term process, which is different for every one of our patients and we get to know them very well during their time with us

What will I do?

Although medicine is so diverse, most of the tasks you will perform as an HCA are similar, no matter where you work. These include:

  • making beds
  • helping patients wash, dress and move around
  • helping patients eat and drink
  • assisting with toileting
  • taking observations  ie temperature/pulse/blood pressure and respiration rates
  • observing and reporting any specific changes to the team
  • completing
    • observation forms to document results of the observations you undertook
    • fluid balance charts by asking patients how much they have had to drink and measuring their urine output 
    • food charts by asking patients what they have eaten, and how much, to document their nutritional intake.

Working with people who may be very ill, frail, confused or in pain requires compassion and excellent communication skills. You will also need to be confident communicating with visitors and your colleagues. We expect all our staff to live the Trust values – kind, safe and excellent – and to respect the dignity of all of our patients.

Working as an HCA is very rewarding but we know that this can be a challenging role. In medicine we are dedicated to developing and nurturing our staff and will ensure that you are well supported in every aspect of your role.