Become a Healthcare Assistant to make a difference

“People should join St Andrew’s if they want to have the opportunity to make a difference to somebody’s life in a positive way.”

Our workforce is made up of people from a wide range of backgrounds, who are all dedicated to transforming lives together.

Meet Greg.

He started his career with us a bureau Healthcare Assistant (HCA) but developed to become a permanent member of staff…

When did you join St Andrew’s Healthcare?

I joined in January 2014 as a Bureau HCA but quickly settled in the child and adolescent service (CAMHS) on a ward caring for females with learning disabilities, and in May 2014 I was offered a permanent role on that ward.

What were you doing before joining us?

Just prior to joining St Andrew's I was working for an IT company, but before that I worked as a carer for children with autism in their home and had worked in some schools.

I missed working in a job that put me in a caring role. I could not stand being sat behind a computer and telephone from nine to five every day, and I became quite unhappy so sought to do something more similar to the last time I was happy at work.

What has been your experience at St Andrew’s?

At first it was daunting as I had never worked in a clinical environment. But I quickly settled in and found people I got on with – I enjoyed coming to work again and felt useful. Best of all I was being of use to somebody and not sat behind a desk from morning ‘til night!

After building rapport with the young people I felt like I was having a positive effect on people I cared for which made me feel good. As time has gone on I have been able to access additional training and start a university course, and have also been able to organise events for all the young people in the charity.

Have you got any favourite moments?

I have enjoyed watching patients progress and it is uplifting to see somebody move back to the community having come in to our care in the midst of a crisis.

Having the opportunity to do activities and organise outings for the young people has been exciting for me. One time that sticks in my mind was receiving a thank you card from a young person who had been discharged back to her home; she thanked me for working hard with her.

In her card she said she remembers advice I gave her when she struggled which made me feel very good about what I do.

What’s the best thing about working as a Healthcare Assistant?

When people get better and their lives improve. As a Healthcare Assistant you also get the opportunity to lead activities and that make the young people happy. I recently got the opportunity to drive some of our young people to a safari park and have previously organised a BBQ.

What career progression have you experienced and what do you see in the future?

Aside from appraisal and pay rises, I have been able to start the process of “Aspiring” to become a qualified nurse by starting my Certificate of Higher Education in Mental Health through Northampton University; provided by St Andrew’s.

What advice would you pass on to a potential employee?

You need to be prepared to learn, and be prepared to see some things you may have not ever seen in the past. As long as you are willing to learn and not afraid to ask questions, then you will be great!

Join Greg in transforming lives with us – click here to find your career with us