Real life stories:
Rachel Cole, Healthcare Assistant

RachelCole200I've been a healthcare assistant, working on Meldon Ward at the Great Western Hospital, for more than 10 years and I can honestly say that, in all the years I've been here, no two days have ever been the same. 

Being a healthcare assistant means being there to provide a more personal level of care to patients whenever they need it.

Whether it's helping them get dressed, washed or just making sure their hair looks nice, it's these simple but necessary things that can really make a difference to a patient's recovery. 

My caring nature has meant I've always enjoyed helping others and, after spending 12 years bringing up my young family, I decided to go back to a profession which I knew would make a real difference to the lives of local people. 

I initially joined the Trust as part of the Bank which was great as it gave me the flexibility to choose the shifts that worked around my family life.

It was also a great way to see if I enjoyed life on a ward, which I absolutely did. 

The team on the ward were so supportive of me and there was a real sense of camaraderie between us, I think it's because we all knew we were there because we wanted to help others. 

RachelCole200aSo after 18 months of only working Friday and Saturday nights, I became a full time healthcare assistant.

It was the perfect role for me, especially as I had never been to university or gained any formal qualifications.

Being a healthcare assistant means I'm in a great position to take my career further, or even in a completely different direction. 

The Trust offers loads of learning and development opportunities through the Academy, its own education centre at the hospital, which can help people like me gain new skills. 

I love working for the NHS, I'm proud to be a healthcare assistant and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone considering it as a career option.

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