Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
January 2016 — Present
Working alongside clinical staff to provide an extra dimension to care by providing
social support for patients with a wide range of disabilities. I am allocated to specific wards where I build a rapport with staff and patients, especially those who are hospitalised longer-term and those who are lonely, isolated or anxious. I work as part of a team and sometimes individually. I introduce myself to each patient on the ward and help the housekeeping staff provide each patient with a hot drink of their choice.
I have had plenty of opportunities to spend time with individual patients, sometimes just talking and listening, or engaging in an activity such as playing cards or dominoes. I often shop for small items in the concourse and I have been trained to take patients who use a wheelchair out into the gardens or the shops in the concourse.
My goal is to reduce social isolation, loneliness and boredom for patients and to ensure they have all they need at mealtimes, including individual attention and encouragement.
This position highlights my traits in that I enjoy talking to people, I am comfortable in the busy ward environment and able to understand and adhere to boundaries. This role requires confidence and an ability to engage, so good listening skills and an ability to take conversational cues from others are vital. I sometimes work in areas with very sick patients so I have developed a degree of emotional resilience which is necessary.
From this role I have gained great communication skills, the ability to provide feedback to other clinical staff, the ability to complete basic administration tasks including the completion of
forms, good time management and a knowledge of confidentiality requirements. My time in the hospital has enhanced the NHS trust values and behaviors that are required to work in a clinical environment, especially with regards to my chosen field - Forensic Psychiatry.