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Staff profile block: 

Michelle Baigent

Healthcare assistant
Michelle Baigent

This is a good place to work with plenty of opportunities to develop.

What is it like?

Working in surgery, you’ll have the satisfaction of helping patients prepare for and recover from operations for a number of conditions. The areas we cover include:

  • Colorectal
    specialises in repairing damage to the colon, rectum, anus and pelvic floor caused by diseases of the lower digestive tract, such as cancer, diverticulitis or and inflammatory bowel disease such as  crohns.
  • Ear, Nose and Throat
    treats patients suffering from, for example
    • hearing loss
    • perforated ear drums
    • tinnitus (the perception of noise in one ear, both ears or the head - the noise comes from inside the body rather than outside)
    • tonsillitis
    • rhinitis (inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergy)
    • dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)
    • epistaxis (regular nose bleeds)
    • neck lumps
    • facial pains
    • sinusitis
    • snoring
    • vertigo (a spinning sensation coupled with the feeling of nausea or vomiting)
  • Gastro-intestinal
    specialises the digestive system from the mouth to the anus, especially in the stomach and intestines
  • Gynaecology
    treats women for disorders of the female reproductive system – the uterus, vagina and ovaries
  • Hepato-biliary
    specialises in surgery of the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile duct areas
  • Ophthalmology
    specialises in surgery to correct eye conditions/diseases
  • Orthopaedics
    specialises in conditions and injuries to the musculo-skeletal system ie the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles
  • Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
    treats and corrects injuries caused for example by burns, accidents and surgery for cancer ie breast reconstruction
  • Transplant Unit
    cares for patients both before and after organ transplants eg kidney, liver, small bowel, pancreas and multi-organ transplants – we are the only hospital in the UK to provide complex multi-visceral transplants involving the small bowel and liver together with the stomach, duodenum, pancreas or colon
  • Urology
    specialises in surgery to the urinary system including major open and keyhole surgery of the bladder or kidney area
  • Vascular
    treats disorders of the veins & arteries, for example peripheral vascular disease, deep vein  thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins, diabetic leg ulcers, leg amputations

What will I do?

Working in surgery does not mean that you will be working in the operating theatre. Rather you will be working with patients who are either about to have surgery, or who have had surgery and are recovering on one of our surgical wards.

Your tasks will include:

  • making beds
  • helping prepare patients for theatre
  • helping patients wash, dress and move around
  • helping people 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 urine output for example)
    • food charts by asking patients what they have eaten, and how much, to document their nutritional intake

Communication is key, with patients, colleagues and visitors throughout the day. You will be working with patients who may be anxious, ill and / or in pain, so you need to have empathy, patience, compassion and to respect their privacy and dignity.

We’ll ensure that you are well supported from the time your start with us and provide appropriate training to all our HCAs, no matter what their level of experience.