Julie, support worker
I've been working here as a support worker on the Inpatient Ward for 10 years, and really do love it, although it was quite a change from my job which was looking after children in residential care. It’s given me the opportunity to meet some wonderful people, not only the staff and volunteers who work here, but our patients and their families. Being able to give them emotional and psychological support is such an important part of our role – it’s so rewarding.
Whatever shift we work, the day always starts with a handover so we’re as up-to-date as possible with every patient’s needs. We work in pairs, and that can either be with a nurse or another support worker, and we have our own patients to look after. That continuity of care is so important – it makes it easier to spot any changes in conditions or emotions.
We look after all their personal care; bed baths, feeding if necessary, checking the controlled drugs with one of the nurses and overseeing the patients as they take their medication. Because we’re so closely involved it’s easier for us to see if they need pain relief, a drink or anything else – we’re constantly checking and reporting to the nurses. And, of course, sometimes they just want someone to sit with them, or to hold their hand. We’re also very closely involved with their families and loved ones. Their care and support is a huge part of our role too. It’s such an intense and emotional time for everyone, we do form very close bonds.
All my colleagues, whether staff or volunteers, are passionate about what we do. We all want to give the best possible care. Our volunteers are amazing too, I have so much respect for what they do to make our jobs easier, we really couldn’t do without them. But Willow Wood is a wonderful place, it’s a lovely place to work and I can’t imagine being anywhere else now.