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1. Why did you want to become a HCSW?
I wanted to become a HSCW to help people. Also, I wanted to extend my knowledge to understand better their illness and needs, and so help them in a more efficient way.
2. What do you find rewarding from your role as a HCSW?
I know that I have done everything for my patients to be as independent as they can. I like their smile and thankful face.
3. What is your “Top Tip” for someone waning to become a HCSW?
Love and accept people. If you like to study, it is a benefit for you as we need to learn something new every single day.
Why did you join GICU?
During the pandemic my medical ward changed to a covid ward and I found I enjoyed the change. I dealt with a few critical care step downs which gave me some insight into ICU, and it looked like a challenge I would enjoy.
How has the move to GICU developed your practice?
I moved from being in charge of 20 beds to 1 to 1 nursing in ICU, it is a completely different challenge. There is so much to think about, you need to plan ahead and really utilise your time management, leadership skills and critical thinking. There is a lot of autonomy, I’m expected to check bloods and take the initiative when caring for my patient. I would urge anyone considering ICU to make the move, it really changes the way you think about things. Working here has also opened my eyes to other specialist roles and all the development opportunities available in the department.
What do you enjoy the most about your role?
Here in GICU I am at the bedside, I get to make and see a difference for my patients. I speak to families regularly and see the impact of my care on a daily basis. There is a real satisfaction in seeing patients’ achievements, my favourite is hearing a tracheotomy patient talk with their own voice for the first time. You are part of their journey and get to learn a lot about them.
What’s the best thing about working at UHBW?
I love the Trust, it’s great for teaching and helping people find the right role for them. I’m currently studying an intensive care course at the University of West of England which offers progression up to a Band 6 role. There are so many opportunities in GICU. The support has been next level, I had 6 weeks supernumerary when I joined as well as study days, plus regular support from our Practice Education Facilitator.
Barb has been working on UHBW’s Bank for the past 2 years, most recently she has been playing an important role as an Administrator for the Vaccination and Testing Hubs.
The flexibility, I can agree to work certain shifts a week, but if I need time off I just say that I will not be available.
A normal day is really varied. There will be some computer based admin tasks e.g. working on spreadsheets, printing off orders and checking them against a database. Then there are the person facing tasks such as booking in staff for their covid and flu vaccines, dealing with patient queries and liaising with staff members.
Keep in touch with the Bank, they are really good at accommodating their staff and providing flexibility. Treat every assignment with the same enthusiasm and dedication to get the most out of your experiences.
Zora has worked on UHBW’s Bank for the past 8 years, during this time she has worked on almost every ward. She enjoys the challenge of working in new wards and working alongside doctors and nurses to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Being able to choose my shifts and where I work, I enjoy the diversity and the challenge of working in new departments. The wards always value my different experiences. Plus the weekly pay!
Working with the nursing team and paramedics to make sure all admissions and discharges from the ward are up to date. Preparing patient notes. Dealing with ad-hoc queries from patients and staff.
Write everything down. Being organised makes it so much easier to prioritise your work.
Having worked in the NHS for almost 10 years I’ve seen many changes come about. Some for the better, some for worse. I feel I was lucky when I started, having some impressive LGBT role models that I could approach and ask questions of. Now I like to think of myself in that role, with my team being responsible for inducting the new starters within the hospital and impressing the importance of their attitude and behaviour towards others. I’ve always tried to get involved in the LGBT+ network here, and took up the Rainbow badge pledge, to be visible as someone that can offer support and advice to anyone struggling with their sexuality. I feel it is important that everyone that comes to work, or to the hospital for treatment, feels comfortable and confident to be their true selves without discrimination.
Pride month, to me, remains a very important time to celebrate and mark the progress we’ve made towards LGBT equality – and also accept that we have a long way to go yet.
The LGBT community still receives unacceptable discrimination and stigma – evident within the media and on social media, ranging from the increased risk of domestic abuse, homelessness and a landscape of worsening mental health.
We are committed to reducing health inequalities within the NHS and working on supporting the LGBT community is a big part of that.
Pride month gives us the focus and awareness to try and increase our efforts and address the outstanding issues. We will be working closely together with Brigstow (a HIV support charity) and the University of Bristol to address, and understand, stigma relating to people’s HIV status within the next few months and are looking to bring some national training on-line to support this.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the very first pride march in the UK. Our chance to be visible and remember that we continue to fight for equality.
Why did you want to become a HCSW?
I wanted to do meaningful work, which makes significant difference to the lives of other people and be able to protect them when they are most vulnerable. I always felt a huge satisfaction from being able to help, perhaps even a sense of pride from being one of those people who represents and dedicate their life to care giving.
What do you find rewarding from your role as a HCSW?
Working as a HCSW is a very fulfilling job. It brings a lot of satisfaction from working with patients and colleagues. It is a place where you can give a bit of yourself, share what you know, use what you have learned, bring comfort and a little light to someone’s, who might be in the dark place throughout time of sickness. Working in healthcare raises self-worth, confidence, and it is influencing many aspects of our personal life, increasing prisms and value of life.
What is your ‘Top Tip’ for someone wanting to come a HCSW?
Follow your gut. If this is something you always think about, do it. Do it and never let yourself have any regrets for not trying.
Remember,“ One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value”.
1. Why did you want to become a HCSW?
Because I want to care for people and give personal and compassionate care to help our patients and make a difference to their experience in hospital.
2. What do you find rewarding from your role as a HCSW?
The job may be demanding but the satisfaction from helping patients has made it worthwhile and has made me feel appreciated . I feel like a valued member of the nursing team
3. What is your “Top Tip” for someone waning to become a HCSW?
It is a rewarding field which can provide you with a lifetime of opportunities.
“It is a rewarding field which can provide you with a lifetime of opportunities”
Where did you start your career?
I trained as a nurse in Italy before moving to the UK. Before joining GICU as a Band 5 staff nurse, I had only ever worked in ICU as a student nurse, but I knew it was where I wanted to be. The team have been really supportive and helped me to build my confidence, especially during my first year when I was learning how to deal with more complex patients in an intensive care environment.
What have you enjoyed most about working in GICU?
GICU is ever changing and challenging, we have a huge and very supportive team and a nice sense of teamwork throughout the unit. I work closely with other professionals in the unit including healthcare support workers and doctors. During the pandemic we have also collaborated with colleagues based in CICU and PICU to share and develop new ways of working. We are a very diverse team with international nurses and doctors from many different countries, there is always an opportunity to share and learn about other cultures.
What are your future career goals?
As a University Hospital there is a real focus on career development and so many opportunities to progress. The Trust secured funding for me to undertake a postgraduate masters course in conjunction with the University of the West of England. I’m now working towards becoming an Advanced Clinical Care Practitioner. With GICU expanding there will be so many more opportunities available, and I’m keen to follow and support all our new starters as our team grows.
I joined in 2014 working in a respiratory ward. I had always wanted to work in an intensive care role but was afraid of the challenge, however after a year working at UHBW I’d had good exposure in an acute ward and decided to go for it. I applied successfully and have been working in the Critical Care team since 2015.
I trained as a nurse in India before moving to the UK in 2002 and working in a nursing home. I started at UHBW as a band 5 nurse, after a year in Critical Care I completed an ITU course and applied for a band 6 role. Over the past three years, with support and funding from UHBW and the Bristol and Weston Hospitals Charity, I’ve completed more courses at the University of the West of England and I’ve just been offered a developmental band 7 role. I’m now working towards gaining a permanent band 7 role in the future. I always thought band 5 was my comfort zone, but I’ve had such supportive colleagues here, and so many learning opportunities, that it’s given me the confidence to progress my career further than I imagined.
I love the interaction with patients, it’s very rewarding, I get so much job satisfaction. I’ve never regretted coming here. It’s a big team and seniors are always around to help support you. You don’t have to struggle by yourself, there are always people available to ask questions to, I’m learning every day.
I’m so fortunate to work in AMU as a nurse, we see people from all walks of life during their most intimate, challenging and frightening moments – hence despite all challenges we stick together as a team to provide care, concern and make a difference in people’s lives. It is going to be a year now since I joined AMU and this has been undoubtedly one of my best career choices to dare. Come and join this incredible team and make our family even bigger.”
I have worked as a pharmacist on AMU for over 5 years and have seen the department go through a number of changes, but the one thing that remains consistent is the amazing team that work here. We have an integrated pharmacy service on the unit, with senior pharmacists specialising in flow and admissions, medicines management technicians and rotating junior and trainee pharmacists.
Having worked on AMU since being a junior pharmacist, I have cared for a wide variety of patients with different medical conditions, and there is always something new to learn. There is always support on the unit from all senior members of the team, including the medical and nursing teams. I have been supported through my clinical diploma and my independent prescribing qualifications, and have developed my leadership skills throughout my time on the unit.
I love my time working on AMU and look forward to you joining our vibrant team.
I love working with acute medicine at the BRI because no day is ever the same and when the day is challenging, the entire team work together to tackle the challenge. There is variability in the work day; with AMU, SDEC and the medical take to work in, not to mention pioneering acute clinics that we have set up within the department. The team in particular make this department unique, in my opinion. I have never worked somewhere where the MDT is so varied, approachable, inclusive and collaborative. This leads to the best outcomes for patients but also hugely increases staff morale. From a personal perspective, this department has allowed me to develop my leadership style and encouraged me to enhance my advanced clinical skills by supporting training, courses and participation in national conferences.
I have worked as a nurse on the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) for over 2 years. One of my favourite things about working here is being able to be part of such a supportive team. The fast paced environment of AMU means that we see a wide variety of patients with different medical needs. Being one of the “front doors” of the hospital we are able to provide the first impression for patients and their family members to the BRI, making them feel safe and valued during a particularly stressful experience of their lives.
It has also given me the opportunity to work with extensive members of the multidisciplinary team, for example, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Dieticians, Speech and Language Therapists to name just a few. There are vast learning opportunities on AMU and working here will open so many doors for your career. I came to AMU at the BRI as a Band 5 Registered Nurse and was able to build up my confidence and develop into the Band 6 Senior Staff Nurse role with continued learning and support from all members of the team.
My name is Dr Ivan Collin and I am a consultant in intensive care and acute medicine. I joined the trust in February 2021 having trained in the region. I thoroughly enjoy my time in the acute medicine department. We are a small team with big plans and vision for the future. I enjoy the fast pace, the variety and the shared team ethos of ensuring as good a patient experience as possible. Come and join us to help shape the future of acute care services at UHBW.
Oh, okay. My name is Maureen. I work on a care of the elderly ward. I'm a war sister for the last five years, but worked in the army for 20 years. And so why to work on. I've done a lot of other nursing sort of speciality came back to care the elderly, because it's not something I thought I would love. I actually passionate about it, because we've cared elderly, we're looking at a holistic approach to nursing, we're not just looking at the, you know, the heart because you're on a cardiology Ward, you're actually looking from top to toe. You got a lot of other MDT involvement. So like palliative care, psychiatry, team discharge team, OT physio, and might be stroke, physio stroke, OT, the medical team are very holistic in their approach, and they work very close with us. And it's a, it's really a privilege to look after the elderly, because you know, they're in that vulnerable state where they actually need our help. They can be challenging because they're either confused, or they've got an infection, or they actually got medical history of dementia or Alzheimer's, something that's causing their confusion. And when you see them recover from that confusion or delirium, it is, it is really rewarding, because you've actually achieved something for them. And sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes it takes, you know, within weeks, sometimes months. And it's just nice to see them, you know, when they come in, they can't walk, and suddenly they can walk when they go home, or sometimes is a bit sad, and know they have to go and get some help. But that's a good thing. It's not always a sad thing, because then they get help, and quite rightly, why should they get help, we need to respect you know, we're all getting older. So I would wish that when I get older, there'll be passionate nurses looking after you know, thinking about incontinence, thinking about your medical history, thinking about your infection control issues, think about your cognitive impairment, making sure you're safe in hospital. So there's a lot to think about. And it really uses all your nursing skills. And also your basic nursing skills is you know, that's what we're trained for. actually looking after somebody making sure their toenails are cut to their nails or cut, you know, they're well looked after their, you know, their their hair comb, make them feel really looked after, even though they're actually in hospital because they're ill, you know, you are the one that is going to stand up for them be their voice when they cannot speak, speak up.
So look like speak into otter day. It's just that care that comes across, which is obviously what you do as a nurse, but it just seems even more kind of like deep rooted in curiosity. Yeah,
I mean, I've started off as a general, acute medical ward. So it wasn't care, the elderly, it was diabetes, gi is a bit of everything. There's really hard work, loved it and then sort of left to go to it, you did a bit of acute nursing, really, all the pumps and things like that, you know what everybody wants to do. But you know, I came back and then we went to care the Lv Ward, because our Ward shut them and there's lots of history on there. We shot then that's when I actually knew what I actually liked. And that was carried Yardley, because I met a really, the medical team seems so caring and they seem to think from top to toe. You know, I've been doing diabetes and all they think about is the you know, the insulin and everything about you know how they're going to look after them at home. How are they going to sort of look after them? Are they going to need to poke? Yeah, they're not thinking about anything like that. I just think about you know, one thing and that was it and and that's probably why I love it because they think about the whole thing and they make us think about the whole thing the whole person is Yeah, that's the whole person.
And that's obviously what is you know, when you're coming out hospital, you want to be looked after as a person. You're right like that, obviously when you've got the really
specific specialties and it's about the you know, the more passionate about is the complex issues, whether discharge planning. Sometimes it takes a long time because once we come to the end of our assessment, they might be waiting for a nursing home and that might take a while but working towards that. You know, you have to deal with a family you have to deal With the patient themselves and you know, trying to get to the right decision, the right pathway home, so that they're safe. And that involves a lot of conversation, sometimes very difficult conversations. So as a nurse, you learn a lot because everybody deals with things differently. So you might have a family whose Yes, we understand needs to go to nursing home, then got another family who in you know, who are so distressed? And you have to think your nursing skill? How did you know? How do you communicate with them? How do you make them understand that how do you make them come to a decision that is safe for their loved one? But yeah, it's really interesting school legs. Like all of that bit, and the cute nursing doesn't mean care the rd learning the Q Lessing. They do involve cute nursing. You know, just because you think the elderly is boring, it isn't. And I'm sure everybody in their life got somebody who's a older person. So they really, really need to think that, you know, really get the cardiology speciality, you know, out there. big bold, because if you can do that, you can do everything. Yeah. So if you look after cardiology person, you can go to Ed, you can go to ICU, you can go to admission, IMU, wherever, to really sort of set you up. It does, yeah, it gives you all the grounding skills that you need. So most of my nurses who've left here, they've actually gone with all the skills they need to go to it you to go to Ed and go to admission Ward, go to the heart, Ward as well. And then vhi because they've all they got that branding. So I've had nurses come from, like from the bhi from the cardiology. Some of them are just stand there don't really know how to wash a patient who has most of them are independent. So you know, you've got like that. So it's definitely a good grounding skills. Yeah, they do everything. I mean, they just sense. This. Yeah. And I think it's a privilege to look after them. Because you know, their life skills, their life stories, their life experience is part of who they are. And if they and most of them can tell you. You know, the war times is lovely. That, you know, I haven't been in there. It's nice to hear. Get that experience. You think, gosh, they've done all of that. Yeah. And you're just starting your life. Yeah. So it is a privilege to look after them because they deserve our respect. Yeah, basically. Yeah. Well, you're just setting this theory.
So what would you say to somebody who was perhaps thinking about LSD? But they've kind of concerned because it seems to be a bit of a stigma around it?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, definitely. They think is not a sexy speciality isn't that, and I hate that I think what they need to do is really come in and have a shift or to experience for themselves and be really brave and just come in and do it. If you don't like it, then that's fine, then at least you know, but I think most people are really surprised. They come in like I was at the beginning, I was quite surprised myself thinking we always just stick to diabetes and decrying gi and so coming into care of the elderly, but actually, I mean, yeah, I've been for 20 years now. So it's a very long show. And I still think is an everyday you come up with different they come up with different stories to tell you. And then sometimes they make you cry, because there's just you know, things that they've achieved as a LD person who can walk and some of you they're walking, how amazings up. Because you know, the the, you know, the care that you've given them while they're in hospital, it might be medical, because they were infection and then it might be now rehab. Or it might be just some kindness, encouragement to get them up and going. And sometimes persuading them, and it's nice, and then look at them, they can get to go home, you still go into care. And that's nice. you achieve. So I would say it's, it's a holistic point of view for nursing. So I love that. It's listening to the stories and they've been real people why would you want to look after one rupee or a wonderful group of people? Why wouldn't you? And you know, little things like just comb their hair and get their matted hair out and they thank you for forever. Yeah, that whole shift surely that will make you a bit tearful. And well because you've done just that tiny little bit and they're so grateful. You're like this huge amount of that much. And you won't get that anywhere else. I've worked loads of places I've done supermarket and they're not grateful those people and I think to yourself, you're capable, you're not confused and you're not a we're not in hospital and you're not grateful because I've just done your shopping. You know, they don't say thank you. You should hear the elderly, constantly thanking you for little things you do for them, cut their nails, they're thanking you forever. And also, you get all your acute nursing from them, you definitely learn a lot about complex discharges, you learn about all different pathways that are available, who to refer how to refer, and all the paperwork that comes into it. So like SRF, and things like that. progression is great, because if you if you want to progress in cardiology, you know, you can be started as a band five, and six, and seven, you can go divert into being a specialised nurse. So you could be in dementia team. So there's four of them, I believe, at the moment. So it's quite a big team as well. Or you can go into educational role of it as well like shy, or you can go go like management wise and just go from your spear or sister to being a major and then you can go that way. And there's things like the fracture specialist nurse, so there's lots of fraction specialist nurse as well that you can progress. Yeah, dementia team fracture nurses educational. And it doesn't mean you can't, you know, jump from care the elderly to another speciality. So you could go into alcohol specialist nurse, why not? You know, elderly is also got alcohol issues as well. So, you know, we're not saying you can't do that. And then you can jump into it you if you wish, and go in that way. There's lots of Yeah, lots of different ways you can go in Yeah. So like, there's so many opportunities there is Yeah, Yes, there is. I mean, people might think there isn't. But actually there is there's loads, there's loads of research says research roles I've been, I've been a research nurse, before I came with Sr. I did specialist role before taking SR courses that you can do, I'm a prescriber, so yeah, just because you're unclearly ld, you might think he's not going to go on any courses or, you know, can't have that opportunity. But you can, if you're driven. You can Yeah, I think it has to come from you as well. What you want. prettier though. Yeah, there's a lot you can do. Yeah, you said a lot to me.
Because I was gonna ask about like, so obviously, you're dealing with these patients who are very vulnerable, perhaps more so than Yeah. And in terms of looking after yourself, and the other nurses wellbeing opportunities and things like that, because what I'm getting from you guys is that you're very empathetic moreso than the average nurse. So how do you deal when things are perhaps not so good on the ward?
No. And I think then you have to be able to talk the brief, we do a lot of debriefing. And most of my nurses been in cardiology for years now. So they're very experienced. So if you're new and you're coming in, they will, they will guide you. They will teach you the top tips to how to avoid any sort of difficult situation. And I think what you're meaning is possibly a question, maybe they can hit out because obviously, they're confused, they got infection. And I think the other thing to think about is that they're not doing it intentionally, they are actually medically unwell. And that's why. So other things you can learn is how to persuade them or distract them to do something else. or sometime reassure them that you know, where they are, who they are, who we are here, you know, trying to reorientate them, we also get family involved, you know, we try and bring them out I know at the moment, you know, visiting, but when they're able to visit, it really helps. And also asking family to really like help you get to know that person and also help so when we were NATO eight, they were allowed to bring like photos, you know, bring their own clothes in is a lot of work around that where I don't know if you heard of PJ process. So there were work that we've done on around that. And that really, really there's very little research to say that you know, if you're wearing your own clothes, I mean, we don't have a Jawa So why do we keep them in their pyjamas? Yeah, make sense. So if you put them in own clothes, they get orientated, where they are, who they are. And then that way, you will avoid any sort of escalating confusion where they come so confused, they don't know where they are, they're hallucinating. And then that's when they usually are scared, and that's why they hit out. So I think if you understand all of that, because they are scared, they are hallucinating due to infection or medication. I think you will be a bit more of a strong minded person to appreciate how they feel. Yeah, actually, they're scared. They're not scared, you know, they're not just lashing out they're actually scared. So if you understand that, I think you can then help them to not to react in that way. But it's also communication with all of us. So you have to tell the medical team because then they can review the medication. Yeah, tell the nursing team, their manager or their nurse, senior nurse so that we can then re organ ourselves the way we work, sometimes they just don't like you. And then the next day, they might love you. So you know, you have to move on nurses around here to accommodate that. You're never my job is never put them in that difficult situation never sort of make them scared, make them understand education. We've got the SEO team in the grip. So they can also come in and do some teaching. We do a lot of like all what triggers, you know, for them to behave like that. And if it if we find out what the trigger is, avoid it. Yeah, totally. Yeah, and I know my nurses, my anaise are brilliant. They're so passionate. They are all range of nurses here. I've got apprentice who's 18. So you can imagine she loves it. So to speak to her and I got, you know, anaise, who are so experienced there in 60? So I've got wide range. Yeah, we've got loads of experience. So any new person come in, they will be supported on that? Yeah. There's always debriefing with the doctors even. So it's really good. If you and there's lots of wellbeing service available anywhere in the trust. And the other things, obviously, you'll be paired up anyway at the beginning, so that you learn. And then not just that, after that we just leave you alone, we still work as one big team. Yeah. So if you're struggling on Bay, we will know that we will try and swap you around, or do something else or go and highlight to Dr. W and say, Look, come on and what's going on with this. Man, I'm not sure what's going on. Is that UTI? Is it something else? So we will all talk to each other. And then in the end. It's just that he's missing a family member who, you know, can't communicate to us. So as soon as we call the daughter, they're fine. Yeah. So I think then people appreciate it because they're scared. Yeah. Who wants to be in hospital idea. So yeah, I mean, there's all that support. Yeah. And especially myself, and my band sixes are so passionate and they will get our support regardless. fab. Thank you very much. All right. But I missed them.
I’m a NQ Cote nurse, just finished my training, previously I worked in older adult mental health for 3 yeas which I really liked and I worked with stroke association when I worked in school so I’ve always had a keen interest to work with older people.
CotE defo has negative connotations and people who’ve just qualified don’t typically gravitate towards working with older people, but personally I think it’s a privilege.
I’ve only been qualified 3 months and the novelty hasn’t worn off yet. It has been difficult and stressful starting in a pandemic, but I still love the job and the patients I’ve worked with. I feel so well supported, it’s just staffing is the main issue.
We get a lot of acutely unwell patients, step downs and from a&e. To build a relationship with an older person who’s lived a very interesting life, a very different life to the ones we have now. And I feel like the older people are the forgotten ones who slip through the cracks. To be that person somebody trusts who they can confide in and to be able to provide that care it’s a really nice job.
After having grandparents who were in hospital and a father with early on-set dementia, I put so much effort into the care I give because I can really relate personally to having people that I love in these circumstances in hospital and I think it’s really important that we make these people feel safe and cared for.
It’s a brilliant sarting point because we have such complex discharges, acutely unwell patients with delirium, cognitive impairments, dementia, parkinsons, its so interesting everything we see because you would treat somebody medically the same way you would without cognitive impairment but then you have to factor in how this is effecting their care, and how we are going to make this better for them to make them understand and accept it.
I hate that there’s such a stigma about elderly care because I don’t come to work and just wash people and make cups of tea. I sit with my patients I hold their hands while they take their last breaths and pass away and that is really special but then the opposite side to that is if I’ve got a spare five minutes I can play a board game with the patients and make them laugh, have tea and cake. It’s a really special job to have time with people in their darkest and happiest moments. I feel like people don’t appreciate how challenging it is but also how fun it can be. I feel very blessed with the job I can do. I feel like older people are really appreciative of the care we give and that makes it special.
There are defo challenges with behaviour, delirium or end of life care but the team are so incredibly supportive and I can rely on the nurse in charge or my other band 5. The nursing assistants in elderly care are absolutely outstanding, better than any ward I’ve ever worked on – they are a real credit to out team. There are wellbeing nurses who check in on a monthly basis, I think I cope well with the stresses of being a NQ nurse but it’s nice knowing I have someone there incase I do need it.
I started from nursing home, been there for 1 year 2007 – 08, UHBW HCA 08 – 2014. That’s when I thought of changing my career to becoming a nurse. So from there I did my access, so because I has been 8 years before going to school it was like a bit hectic, so I managed to do my access and i applied for my nursing course at gloucestershire university from 2017 to 2020 last year. so when i thought out my career in my mind i always thinking of being a care of the elderly nurse, so after that i came for my elective. So i applied for a placement in CotE. I asked the ward to come here as i’m keen, kind and passionate with CotE. Got a placement for 2 months, and the got a job after that I’ve been here now for 6 months but when I started with the pandemic it wasn’t easy but now it feels like it’s easing off and I’m getting used to everyone ad we work as team.
With CotE I have a passion for it, I like being with the elderly people. People say they don’t like CoTE but for me, looking at my parents, my mother and father are 80 and going strong. For me why can’t I be supportive because I’ll be able to look after my own parents.
Advice for those thinking about joining
Come and try it, see how it feels. It’s all about having patience, it comes from the heart to look after the eldery. Come and join us and get a real feel for the place.
CotE – you get to know the patienct as an individual and what they want. Each patient is so different and every day is a learning curve you see so many different things from each patient
Hello my name is Tracy; I have been qualified for quite some time now. My experience is mainly within the surgical specialty, though I do have 10 years’ experience within A&E. Before becoming a Practice Development Education Facilitator, I was a Junior Sister on an acute surgical ward. When this post was initially advertised in 2018, I read the job description and instantly knew this was the role for me.
I am very passionate about nursing and consider myself to be a good professional role model. Nurses are time pressured to teach, I knew this role would allow me to spend quality time with those I am working with, teaching important clinical skills on the ward. In this role I can overcome the challenges as they happen and I am able to better support people. My colleague Jayne and I cover the wards and share knowledge with our Practice development team in theatres, ITU and A&E. Being able to meet up and sharing our teaching, help us all become aligned in our approach and ultimately our goal.
There are so many things that I enjoy about this role. Being about able to work autonomously is an important part of this role. Every day is different, there of course is some structure that is “fixed”, but anything can happen meaning your day will take different turns. I am able to provide down to earth training opportunities for staff, and reduce adverse events happening. Teaching on a 1:1 basis or a small group, people feel like they can open up and ask questions or try a new skill with confidence. I guess it’s more about giving people the chance to learn skills in a more relaxed setting. We help to build confidence and competence.
The last two years have been a roller-coaster. This role had been tried before, but for many reasons it was not working to its full potential. So our Trust decided to invest in it, two of us started – one in medical and one in surgical. With just a job description and a bleep, we were involved in a 6 month nutritional collaborative, QI projects and developing new documentation for catheters and mouth care. Our teaching started off with ‘hot topics’ and developed into a weekly programme called ‘Teaching Thursday’, which went on to become embedded in our hospital culture. Specialised nurses and reps delivered a robust teaching programme, all of which covered all the risks areas such as; pressure sore grading, VIP scores, pain management, falls and wound care. Many registered nurses came in on their day off to attend our courses – to which we provided certificates of attendance to count towards their revalidation. There were many presentations of our work at ward Wednesday (weekly Matrons meeting), NMC meeting and clinical celebrations day. Some of my proudest moments in this role include receiving a nomination at the Celebration of success and I also won Director of Nursing award for teacher/educator on National Nurses day.
In the February of 2019, we were approached to provide support to our overseas nurses. Recruitment of 30 nurses had already taken place, they then needed us to step up and help them through the OSCE process. Over the last two years we have factored this into our work plan with a huge success rate, we now support in the classroom with the skills . Sometimes we can have overlapping groups, we never know how many nurses we have to support at a time – Which can be very challenging but also very satisfying when they pass!
Last year changed our lives forever with the pandemic, our jobs changed and developed as did everything else. Initially supporting ITU in the first wave and then on to providing a PPE support guardian role. We began training staff how to ‘don and doff ‘PPE, this included; estates, porters as well as clinical staff. We are continually guiding staff on how to take COVID swabs, as the process changes frequently! As flu vaccinators, we both became involved in the roll out of the COVID vaccine programme.
We all teach, mentor and support staff – but this role allows job satisfaction. Working with an individual and watching them grow and develop is truly rewarding. We are lucky enough to be able to spend quality time with individuals and support them in building their confidence. Also I see this role as a part of staff retention, Sometimes people feel overwhelmed by; a new responsibility, new place of work or different area. Our job is to provide the certain skills to help people or point them in the right direction.
This role is all about development, which includes the role itself. Everyone has had a difficult year, with many challenges. Our patients being looked after by available staff with different skill sets. With staff being moved to cover different areas and naturally picking up new skills along the way. It’s all about changing with the times- trying to find ways that will make it work.
If you are passionate about nursing and teaching, then this is the ‘Dream Job’ (It is mine).
I work on the Bank because I’m completely in control of when I work and how much I work. It’s so flexible!
I work on the Bank because it is very flexible and I work when I want to. I have the freedom to work the hours I want and being able to work in lots of different places and meet lots of people as well.
By working on the Bank it just gives me the work life balance that I want. I get to choose when I want to work, it’s great!
Working on the Bank allows me to get a taster of different areas around the hospital and work out where I might like to take my career in the future. By working on lots of different wards it has helped me become more adaptable and embrace whatever comes my way, which as a nurse, are key skills to have.
Melody is the Recruitment Lead for Weston Division. She is a skilled nurse practitioner, currently working as a Matron with over 18 years of experience in NHS. Melody has successfully managed a number of specialty wards focused on Elderly Care, Stroke, Respiratory Care, Gastroenterology and Diabetics. She is passionate, empathetic and a collaborative leader who strongly believes that nursing has given her the good fortune to make a difference in people’s lives every day.
The Weston Division pride ourselves on ensuring that our patients receive only the best care and we are privileged to serve our community, our neighbours and our friends. There are number of specialty wards and departments within the hospital include ED & Medical Admission unit.
Adelaide and Suzanne are proud of the newly merged ward they work on and are looking for motivated and innovative nurses to join their team.
‘We are now based on a newer ward with big bays and lots of glass that provides natural light for our patients and staff.’
‘Respiratory is a great stepping stone into other fantastic areas such as Critical Care, AMU, ED as well as management roles. – we have very strong links with the other wards in the Trust.’
‘This is a really responsive ward who have students, Newly Qualified nurses and TNA’s that all benefit from mentor support.’
‘Having two ward Sisters means there is double the help available to our staff and patients – allowing one of us to always remain clinical.’
Jenni is the recruitment lead nurse for the Women’s and Children’s division. This is a very varied division and Jenni leads on the recruitment of Children’s Nurses, Adult Nurses and Midwives. This includes Midwifery and women’s services at both St Michael’s Hospital, Weston General Hospital and community settings, and children’s services at the specialist, tertiary centre Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
Contact – W&Crecruitment@uhbw.nhs.uk
Matt and Angela are the Recruitment Leads for the Medicine division. Within the division of Medicine the majority of our patients are emergencies and therefore we never know what comes through the door. If variety and personal development is what you are looking for then look no further. Some of the specialities in the division include ED, Stroke, Care of the Elderly, Dermatology and Respiratory to name a few.
Contact – NursingRecruitment@uhbw.nhs.uk
The division of Surgery, a large division that includes a Surgical and Trauma Assessment Unit, Trauma & Orthopaedics, Thoracic, Ear Nose & Throat, Maxillofacial, Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal subspecialties, General Intensive Care Unit, supported by a Pre-Operative Assessment Department, three surgical theatre complexes and an endoscopy suite. The Division of Surgery also includes the Bristol Eye Hospital and a Surgical Day Unit at the South Bristol Community Centre.
The Specialised Services Division could see you working in the Bristol Heart Institute with specialities in CICU, Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery and a Cardiac Catheter Suite, or at the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre which has dedicated wards for Haematology, Oncology and a Teenage and Young Adult Unit, supported by two day units, an OPD and a clinical trials unit.
Contact – NursingRecruitment@uhbw.nhs.uk
Jason joined the Bank team in November 2017. He loves the comradery that comes with working for Bank and couldn’t be happier as part of the cleaning and catering team.
Jason was looking for a job that offered him flexibility with his working hours, but that also gave him the opportunity to work as part of a team.
So, when Jason heard about Bank roles at UHBW, he signed up straight away, becoming an eager member of the Cleaning and Catering department.
For Jason, the best thing about working at UHBW are his fellow colleagues. As a real people-person Jason has always hated the idea of working in an isolated role.
Right from day one, the friendly and supportive team at UHBW have created a real family atmosphere for Jason, helping him settle in and making even the longest of shifts enjoyable.
“We really are an Outstanding Trust and it shows from the inside out!”
“I just love it here! The flexibility and variety of being able to work in different areas across the Trust make this job perfect whatever your situation.”
“If you’re looking for a fun role that offers you something different with every shift, apply today!”
After completing his first apprenticeship in HR, Harry moved on to become a Recruitment Administrator, where he proudly took on the Temporary Staffing Recruitment Project, helping UH Bristol and Weston recruit and retain temporary staff members across the Trust.
Inspired by the role he played in this project, Harry decided to pursue his passion for recruitment, but focus his attention instead on Estates & Facilities (E&F). Now, as Recruitment & Retention Manager for the E&F department, Harry works to attract new candidates and support them on their journey to becoming full time members of the UH Bristol and Weston team.
Through his apprenticeships, Harry found a passion for discovering new skills and challenging himself to roles he’d never considered before. It’s this drive that inspired him settle in a recruitment role.
Keen to share his passion for personal development, Harry is proud to work in a role that allows him really to help find and nurture new talent, supporting them throughout their learning journey and inspiring them to strive higher than they’d ever dreamed to before.
“There’s never a day when I don’t feel proud of the work that I do. When I started out, I never thought for one moment that there would be so much opportunity to learn and grow.”
“Now I’m lucky enough to spend my days helping others start their own journey to find a career that really does make a difference.”
“Staff within E&F are often our ‘unsung heroes’ and part of my role involves promoting what we all do, and making sure people in and out of the organisation see the contributions our staff make every day.”
Sarah has been working as a Radiation Imaging Physicist at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston for just over two years. Since joining UHBW, she’s been overwhelmed by the amount of support she’s had from her colleagues and the Trust, who have enabled her to start out on a whole new phase of her career.
Having completed a Masters in Physics at the University of Leeds and a Masters in Medical Physics at the University of Aberdeen, Sarah went on to train as a Clinical Scientist at NHS Highland, specialising in Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Protection.
Qualifying in 2015, Sarah moved down South to Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, where she worked in both Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine.
Originally from Wales, Sarah was keen to move closer home. So when a Medical Physics job came up at UHBW she leapt at the opportunity, taking up a role in the Medical Physics and Bioengineering department, providing essential scientific and technical support to the Radiology departments across the Bristol area.
Sarah is now in the process of completing her NHS Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) – a five year workplace-based training programme that provides opportunities to train to become eligible to apply for available Consultant Clinical Scientist posts. Now into her third year of the programme, Sarah feels HSST has provided her with so much opportunity in terms of both professional and personal development and can’t wait to get stuck in to her research, development and innovation project over the next few years.
“I’ve lived in five different cities in the UK so far, and Bristol is definitely my favourite – I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon. There’s so much going on, I can cycle to work in 15 minutes and escape to the countryside for a weekend walk in 20. It really is the best of both worlds!”
After 10-years in Marketing, Michelle decided she wanted a change in career. Starting out as a Trainee Clinical Vascular Scientist in 2009, she’s now worked at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston for over 11-years.
Michelle always felt that she’d settled in her job, rather than finding career she was really passionate about. This led her to starting a degree in Life Science with The Open University. Having always been interested in science and healthcare, Michelle set out to find a role that would offer a second chance to find a career she loved.
Drawn to UHBW for its university links and renowned research opportunities, Michelle landed a position as Trainee Clinical Vascular Scientist – a role which granted her a 3-year training programme as well as an MSc in Medical Ultrasound from UWE.
On completion, Michelle was offered a permanent position at UHBW, quickly going onto complete her practical and theory exams for the Society for Vascular Technology to become an accredited Vascular Scientist.
But Michelle’s journey did not stop there. Having always enjoyed the research that came with her training, Michelle determined that this was something she wanted to pursue further.
Applying for a doctoral fellowship with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Michelle was granted 60% research alongside her clinical practice. She completed her PhD over the course of 5-years alongside her current role.
“I was so pleased to be able to stay at UH Bristol and Weston after my training. They’ve invested so much into me and I really wanted to be able to give something back. I feel so engaged with the Trust, they’ve supported me so well and I have always resonated with the Trust Values.”
“UHBW are great advocates for helping you pursue more than just the day job. I have always been encouraged to explore my interests and then supported when I do so. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
Rowena didn’t have much experience in ophthalmology when she started out at Bristol Eye Hospital. But with support from the doctors and all the opportunities available to help build her knowledge, she soon fell in love with the speciality.
Only a couple of years later, Rowena decided to strive higher, reaching out for the Trust to fund her training to become a Nurse Practitioner at Bristol Eye Hospital.
In 2016, Rowena took up the role as a Health Educator, in charge of supporting new staff, facilitating their training and ensuring they’re always up to date. This was a part of the role she felt passionate about, having been supported in her own training at Bristol Eye Hospital.
In 2018, Rowena started in her current role as a Band 7 Sister, a role which provides her with even more responsibility, as well as the opportunity to move into the management side, supporting the Matron in improving the service, managing her clinical practice and helping build a positive image of the Trust.
“I was excited to work for UH Bristol and Weston because the Trust specialises in so many different areas.”
“Starting out as a Nurse who had no knowledge in eye treatments, all the staff were so friendly and supportive in helping me learn and develop.”
Rising Star, Ana, wanted a new challenge. That’s why she made the decision to change career paths. Having left her role in a care home back in 2016, Ana now works as a Nursing Assistant on the Cystic Fibrosis and Gastro ward at UH Bristol and Weston.
Ana has always wanted a career in care, and before coming to UH Bristol and Weston she had a steady job working in a care home. However, with limited opportunities for progression, Ana began to feel that she had more to give.
By applying to work in a hospital setting, Ana hoped she would be able to discover a role that would help her widen her knowledge and take on greater responsibilities for the people in her care.
For Ana, a career at UH Bristol and Weston has been everything she hoped it would be. Since starting as a Nursing Assistant in 2016, Ana has been able to learn new skills through a mixture of training and on-the-job learning. She now feels proud to able to carry out small procedures such as taking bloods and ECGs, which she would never have been able to learn in a care home.
Of course, Ana was nervous when she started – worried that her background in care would be too limited to transfer into such a clinical setting. But right from day one, all the staff were really helpful and friendly. There’s always someone willing to help when she has questions.
“Being a Nursing Assistant can be challenging at times – it’s definitely more full-on than my job at the care home. But for all those who love to care for people, this really is the most rewarding job.”
“Not a day goes by where you don’t go home thinking, yes – I did something good today.”
Colin started as a Newly Qualified Band 5 Nurse in 2000. Always drawn to Paediatric Intensive Care, Colin continued to work in the same role for 7-years, before progressing to a Band 6 role in the Outreach Paediatric Team.
While continuing his role has a Band 6 Nurse, Colin took on a secondment as a Band 7 Site Manager. After two years’ training, he was made an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. He started in his current role in 2014 as an Advanced Care Transport Practitioner in the Retrieval Service – transferring critically ill children to the Children’s Intensive Care Unit from across South West England and South Wales.
Colin is grateful to the Trust for opening doors for him to take new opportunities and experience new roles. Without it, he would never have discovered the job he works in now.
Still keen to keep learning, Colin is now in the process of completing a Masters in ‘Advanced Practice’ through the Trust.
“There is no same day. Every day presents a different and sometimes difficult challenge. Working with critically ill children, it can be difficult sometimes to stay positive when days are hard. But staff are always on hand to praise and motivate each other. A positive spirit is so important.”
“Bristol is such a diverse and multicultural city. It’s wonderful to be living in a city where you meet people from different backgrounds, and with the Trust being located right in the centre of the town, everything is very accessible – it’s great to be able to go out and socialise after a long shift!”
Jamie started as an Apprentice Nursing Assistant in November 2017 in the Stroke ward. Having come from a non-nursing background, Jamie has been surprised by just how rewarding the job can be.
Jamie has always been in search of a career that can help her give something back. But it was only when she had the opportunity to do some work experience in a Rehabilitation Centre that she began to consider a career in Nursing.
After being accepted as an Apprentice Nursing Assistant at UH Bristol, Jamie was thrilled to be place in the Stroke ward – an environment where she feels her work really is touching lives.
For Jamie, teamwork is one of the most important aspects of working at UH Bristol, particularly on the Stroke ward where many different teams of healthcare professionals and hospital staff must work together in order to give the best quality of care.
From the doctors and the ward sisters, right down to the assistants and the juniors, everyone has their role and no-one is ever made to feel like their job is smaller than anyone else’s.
“The support I get from the Trust is incredible. UH Bristol has a very person-centred approach to patients and staff: praising people, encouraging them and providing positive feedback.”
“We have regular one-to-one meetings, so we always have opportunities to develop and find new opportunities if we want them.”
“The role can be challenging at times, but more importantly, it’s a very rewarding job. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
Kevin started off as a part-time Catering Assistant in 1996. After only a couple of months on the job, he was made a full-time substantive and remained in his role for 3 years, assisting in the preparation and distribution of the 1,000 meals served at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston every day.
In 1999, Kevin was promoted to Catering Supervisor, a role he enjoyed for 4 years before being made Deputy Catering Manager, and then later, Catering Manager in 2007.
From 2011 to 2012, Kevin took on the additional role of Senior Support Manager on a secondment. It was a role he soon found he had a passion for, enjoying the challenge of transferring his skills as Catering Manager and applying them to another department.
In 2012, Kevin made the decision to apply for a permanent transfer, and was appointed as Deputy Hotel Services Manager, taking charge of a broader team with added responsibilities. It is a post he is still enjoying today.
“No two days are the same. I love working in Facilities because it’s so busy. The days fly by, and even the job itself seems to be constantly changing and evolving.”
“It’s impossible to get bored working here, and with so much opportunity to switch between departments and services, you’ll always be able to find a role that’s suited to you.”
Joe moved to Bristol from Portugal in 2000. Being Portuguese, with English as a second language, Joe was nervous about his ability to find a permanent job with the sort of long-term career progression he was hoping for. However, he soon found a role in University Hospitals Bristol and Weston as a HSA, and has been moving up ever since.
After only a year, Joe transferred into the kitchens, where he stayed as Catering Assistant for only 6 months before moving on to become a specialist Diet Chef and then a Chef Team Manager in the bistro, managing 25 people. Joe’s determination, drive and positive attitude set him out as a sturdy team member and helped him climb higher than he thought possible when he started out.
In 2012, with 4 years of management experience, Joe covered a job as a Portering Manager on a fixed term contract. It was a role he thrived in and was delighted when the contract was extended. After one further extension, Joe was offered the position permanently.
Joe now has a L4 Food Management and a L5 Leadership and Management qualification – qualifications he would never have had the confidence to complete if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement of the Trust and his team.
“When I moved to England, I thought it would be impossible to find a job with any sort of career progression. But at UHBW, there’s so much encouragement from everyone, that climbing up doesn’t even seem like a question.”
“I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, and I’m so grateful to the Trust for making it possible.”
For Janice, her career at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston is only just beginning. Only a month ago, Janice joined the UHBW Bank after being recommended the job by a friend. Janice was looking for a job which she could fit around her busy home-life. This was something she had been struggling with, so she is relieved to have found that UHBW’s zero-hour contracts, work differently to the ones she was used to.
With Bank, Janice is able to pick and choose the shifts that suit her – she can even choose the department that she wants to work for! With three small children, this sort of flexibility is crucial for Janice, but she’s also enjoying the security of a full-time position without the commitment to a rota.
Janice only came in for a temporary role, but having had insight into so many different departments around the hospital, she’s already starting to consider joining the Trust on a permanent basis once her children have started school.
“I never thought I would enjoy going to work like I do working for Bank. It’s very friendly, and the people are always very helpful. It is also very up to date with technology, which surprised me!”
“For anyone looking to get back into work after time away, Bank is such a good experience, especially for building confidence. It’s also a great way to get a foot on the ladder to something permanent.”
Joining the Bank has made more time for Alex to do the things he’s always wanted to do and take on new challenges both in his personal life and his career, by allowing him to have the flexibility to choose his own shifts.
Alex decided to take the leap after seeing the availability of shifts the hospital had to offer.
“There are always shifts to choose from and there is a variety of shifts across the Trust to give you experience in different departments.”The team that Alex works alongside with on his bank shifts made the leap an easy one – “They are an amazing team of people, everyone is so friendly and it just works so well.”
Alex was surprised by how immediately he fell in love with this new approach to his work. Surrounded by a team of friendly, supportive staff, he soon found that going to work didn’t have to be the chore he’d expected – “It can be so much fun and you can laugh a lot with the people that you work with. Everyone really is so friendly.”
Alex now looks forward to going to work while still being able to spend time doing the things he loves, with a little extra cash along the way. Being able to choose his shifts gives him the ability to pick from across all different departments, inspiring him to learn new skills and gain more fulfillment from his role than he ever had before.
“We are a good Trust, it’s a Foundation Trust which just goes to show its accountability. Working in hospitals can sometimes be stressful but we are an outstanding Trust and it shows on the floor.”
“The people are what really make UHBW.”
“Right from day one, every team member I worked with was friendly and encouraging. There’s no hierarchy – even if you’ve never worked in that department before, everyone welcomes you in as one of their own.”
Keith has always hated the idea of working in a job where he does the same tasks every day. So when he found an opening for the Bank team at UHBW, he leapt at the opportunity to discover a job that was truly flexible.
Keith was delighted to find that his role at UH Bristol and Weston really could be as varied as he wanted it to be. Not only does Keith enjoy being able to mix up the times of day he works, but also which part of the hospital he works in.
Now Keith loves to spread his hours across a number of departements from up in HR to working on the wards, giving him the opportunity to try his hand at new tasks and work with different people every day.
“Just do it! The work is flexible and offers you so many different opportunities to learn and try out new things.”
“I’ve always loved being able to meet and work with new people, and now I get to do it every day! You always feel like you’re achieving something and growing as a person.”
“This really was the best move I’ve made in years, I’ve already recommended it to so many people!”
Having graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2012 with a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science, Kate didn’t have any prior healthcare experience. Feeling it was important to work at a big teaching hospital where she could learn on the job, Kate decided that a job at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston would be the perfect place to achieve her dreams
Starting out as a Rotational Physiotherapy Assistant, Kate has worked her way up with the support of the Trust, studying Physiotherapy at UWE while continuing to gain experience in various positions at UHBW.
Kate has now graduated as a Physiotherapist, and was awarded ‘The CSP South West Network Prize for Outstanding Clinical Performance’ and ‘The Physiotherapy Faculty Prize’ for a high level of academic achievement and making a positive contribution to both professional and faculty activities in recognition of her hard work.
“For me, moving to Bristol was the best decision. Not only is it such a beautiful and vibrant city to live in, but UH Bristol and Weston has given me the opportunity to qualify in a career I love, while working on the job.”
“I love that the Trust is so forward thinking and proactive about trying to develop and improve relative to changing demands with the aim of doing the best for patients. I’m so grateful for the incredible support of my team members.”
Tim wanted to work in a medical environment from a young age, but after university he felt stuck for direction. Taking up small admin jobs, Tim decided to try and pursue his dreams, applying for a summer job in the Admin & Clerical department through the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Bank (a scheme set up to help fill staffing gaps during busy periods, and offer staff the opportunity to pick up extra shifts).
From here, Tim moved into a full-time role on the Rheumatology reception and then on to the Radiology reception. It was here, that Tim discovered his true passion.
With a new career in sight, Tim managed to get extensive experience working in Ultrasound appointments and was also taken on as a Radiography Assistant to gain clinical experience, before being encouraged to apply for a Masters in Medical Ultrasound at UWE.
With support from UHBW, Tim worked hard with long hours to complete his qualifications, all while juggling a hands-on family life with a young daughter and a partner who was also studying a degree. But all his hard work paid off. Now with a distinction at Masters level and a progressive banded position, Tim is working in his dream role as a qualified Sonographer.
“I’ve lived in Bristol my whole life and I just love the city! The people are friendly – if you smile and strike up conversation, more often than not you’ll get something back.”
“UHBW boosted my confidence and gave me something to work towards. It’s so rewarding to work in patient care, to know that my diagnostics really do help in finding the best way for a patient to be treated.”
“I don’t see myself leaving UHBW anytime soon.”
Having previously worked at Frenchay Hospital, Gloucestershire, Simon was on the lookout for an opportunity to take his career in a new direction. After recommendations from a friend who was then working at UHBW, Simon took the leap; taking up a role as Senior Radiographer. This was just the beginning of Simon’s journey.
As a Senior Radiographer, Simon brought much experience to the UHBW team, so when he took an interest in A&E, he was encouraged to make the switch, moving departments and putting his skills into practice in a new setting.
Having found a new professional direction, Simon fell back in love with Radiography and was soon promoted to Superintendent, before being made Principal Radiographer last year.
“There’s no working environment more supportive than UH Bristol and Weston. Everyone is keen to help you excel, encouraging every staff member to reach for career goals they didn’t even realise they had.”
“Even since I’ve been here, I’ve seen the team excel hugely. Everyone looks after one another and the constant technology advances really help us provide the best possible care.”
Leanne started working at UHBW as an Audiologist in 2004, drawn to the Trust for the size of the Health Sciences department and the opportunity it offered her to explore different aspects of her role.
While in her role, Leanne has also enjoyed becoming a mentor for younger employees and students. Encouraged to take on the mentoring position by her seniors, Leanne was surprised by how much she enjoyed it and how much it revealed to her about her role as an Audiologist.
Having had the opportunity to explore the different routes she could take to progress her career, Leanne became determined to get into STP (Clinical Scientist Training Programme) in order to progress and gain a master’s degree in her specialism.
“I fell in love with Bristol when I studied here for my undergraduate degree. It’s such a beautiful city with the perfect balance of city and countryside.”
“If you’re thinking of moving, come down for a weekend trip. Visit Clifton, The Downs, The Suspension Bridge and eat along the harbourside. You won’t ever want to leave.”
Having started at UHBW in 2012 as Specialist Registrar in Academic Fellow role, Shabnum has always shown an interest in research.
Becoming a qualified specialist in Special Care Dentistry in 2015, Shabnum split her post between community and hospital, enjoying the variety in being able to work in various community dental hospitals and assist patients with more complex, specialist needs.
Now working as a substantive Consultant at UHBW, Shabnum is looking forward to pursuing her love of research and teaching further.
Initially attracted to UHBW for its being a close proximity Trust with an easy flow of resources between different areas, Shabnum was further drawn in by the vast opportunities to get involved in medical research and make connections with visiting specialists.
Some of Shabnum’s greatest achievements are her various publications in peer reviewed journals including internationally renowned medical journal, The Lancet. She is also co-author of the Royal College of Surgery Oncology’s guidelines, enjoying her involvement with Undergraduate teaching for Special Care and the Primary Care Unit at UHBW and associated universities.
“The community dental service allows for a flow of resources between the Trust and smaller community dental practices – this is quite a unique model. It’s great because it creates a sharing of resources, expertise and a better patient flow for complex cases, allowing for increased learning opportunities, as well as improved standards of care.”
“Another important aspect for me has been the links between the dental hospital and the University of Bristol. As UHBW is a teaching hospital, there are so many more opportunities for research and teaching than you would get elsewhere.”
Dan undertook General Paediatric training at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston from 2005 to 2013, taking a year out to study for an MSc in Epidemiology. His initial attraction to the Trust was the main children’s hospital, a tertiary centre and major trauma centre for the South West of England, where he really felt he would be inspired to excel in his speciality.
In 2015, Dan qualified as a Specialist Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine. Now working as a senior member across Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, he is dedicated to providing quality healthcare of the highest level and inspiring young doctors to strive for the top.
The things that really stand out for Dan in the children’s hospital are the quality of care, the standard of the medicine practised, the commitment to innovation and the compassion and dedication of the people who work there. Dan is proud to be a part of the wider team and eager to support his juniors.
Dan is particularly focused on spot-lighting doctors’ well-being, both on mental and physical health. His firm belief that staff sickness is primarily related to stress, drove the creation of “You Got This”, a programme designed to support staff with innovations, events, blogs and sign posting to resources which provide well-being support.
“I have worked in various hospitals around the world including in North America and Africa and none and compete with the quality of care that UHBW offers.”
“The Bristol Royal Hospital for Children is an inspiring place and it’s the people who make it. The staff are amazing and the teams in which they work are fantastic. They are kind, dedicated, caring and make it a pleasure to work here.”
Becky first came to University Hospitals Bristol and Weston in 2004 as an ED SHO. She did all of her training in South West Deanery, so spent a lot of time in the area exploring and settling into life in the South. She has now been a consultant in ED at UHBW for 5 years and feels she could never move.
What Becky loves most about UHBW in comparison to other Trusts, is the immense sense of team spirit, especially in ED, which she says feels like a huge extended family.
When she started at UHBW, Becky felt quite shy working under supervision of such experienced consultants and registrars, but was soon relaxed by the friendliness of the team. Becky feels no sense of hierarchy within the ED department, and she loves to be made to feel so valued as a critical member of the team.
In the last 15 years working at the Trust, Becky has been overwhelmed by the support network on a number of occasions. Even in such a huge organisation, she has never felt unable to ask for support and has always found help when she has sought it out.
“I have always been pulled back to Bristol as a city I once lived in – you just never want to leave! You can be in what feels like the suburbs even though you’re in the city centre.”
“There’s so much to see and do, and yet you don’t feel that horrible claustrophobia of bigger cities like London or Manchester. It’s also a great place to raise a family.”
In 2002, Stuart set out in search of a secure job, with an employer who actively supported their employees in the journey to progress in their professional career. Having been made aware of an opening at UHBW by a friend who was already a part of the Administration team, Stuart took the leap, taking up a role as an Accountant.
Stuart always knew that he wanted to push himself further in his career, so was delighted to find that the Trust were willing to support him in gaining further education while working and gaining hands-on experience within the finance department.
Today Stuart is working as Chief Accountant here at UHBW.
“What makes the difference between finance in the NHS and a private company, is that here you can really feel that your skills make a difference to people’s lives.”
“It also allows you to have contact with people working in different roles, you’re constantly having to reach out to different departments for clarification on one thing or another. I find working for such a huge and progressive organisation simply fascinating.”
Melissa started out as a Resourcing Administrator in the Temporary Staff Bureau team. Melissa’s hard work and dedication to the job impressed her seniors, and after only a year in her role, she was recommended to apply for a management role.
Taking the opportunity, Melissa had soon progressed to become a Team Manager, a role she took in her stride, transferring her skills and taking on new responsibilities as a senior member of the Administrative team.
This is what Melissa loves most about working for UH Bristol and Weston – that there are always opportunities to progress, as long as you show enthusiasm for the job you want to do.
Melissa feels tremendously grateful to have been given such great opportunities to develop her skills and advance her career. She is also thankful for the support of the team who encouraged her in taking that first step.
“The people, the atmosphere and the location – when you see people smiling, saying good morning, hello, thank you. It just makes you smile. It’s such a tight and supportive team.”
“It’s a pleasure coming to work in such a live and vibrant city as Bristol, especially in summer when we’ve got so many things going on and we are right in the centre of everything.”
Lisa started in UH Bristol and Weston in 2002 as a Band 4 Medical HR Administrator. Always keen to progress in her role, Lisa was delighted when the Trust offered her the opportunity to study towards her CIPD qualification, a qualification which on completion, allowed her to apply for the role of HR Advisor.
On achieving her CIPD, Lisa was made HR Advisor in 2004, progressing steadily to Deputy HR Manager and then Project Manager inside HR, before starting her current role as a HR Business Partner in 2012.
For Lisa, the best thing about working at UHBW has been the variety she gets in her work. Not just in her ability to progress in her role and to switch between departments, but also in the day-to-day variety of cases that she deals with and the people she works with.
“I think in the long-term, what made me stay was the security and the support that I felt while I was studying and all the progression opportunities that were given to me.”
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the encouragement of my seniors and my colleagues, and of course the immense support of the Trust. I wouldn’t choose any other place to work.”
Vicky joined the Trust in 2007 as a Newly Qualified Midwife after completing the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston Preceptorship Programme. Since then, Vicky has worked in the Delivery Suite, before continuing to work as a Community Midwife, a role she adored for the next five years.
In her current role as a Diabetes Specialist Midwife, Vicky works alongside Consultant Obstetricians and loves to get involved as much as she can, always eager to ask questions and learn beyond the limits of her role.
Vicky now harbours dreams of specialising further within her role by doing a Masters in Diabetes care. By drawing on the support of the Trust and her Midwifery team, Vicky is making a plan to begin the next step in her career, with the hopes of working in a more senior role in the Delivery Suite in the future.
“There are so many different development opportunities available within the Trust which can help you to progress your career, and so many different directions you can go in!”
“I also just love Bristol. It’s got such a multi-cultural atmosphere and so much to do and explore. It’s like having all the best bits of London on a smaller and calmer scale. I don’t think I could ever leave.”
Isabel started at UHBW in 2015 as a Nurse in the Burns and High Dependency Ward. Six months later, she moved on to become a Nurse in the Critical Care Outreach Team, helping to provide a 24/7 service to deteriorating patients, avoiding them being admitted to the ICU.
Working in this role for over 4 years, Isabel was able to explore different specialities, developing her ability to make critical decisions and becoming inspired to strive for more in her career.
Taking advantage of the support available within the Trust to develop and harness new skills, Isabel has now completed a Masters in Clinical Examination and Diagnostic Reasoning. She has also successfully completed her Advanced Practitioner Life Support training as an Instructor.
In September 2018, Isabel started her training as a Nurse Practitioner, helping her to advance in her role clinically and work alongside the doctors. Isabel’s progression has been inspired by the support of the Trust and her peers, giving her the confidence to believe in her abilities and to reach out for new and more challenging roles.
“In the time I’ve worked at UHBW we have been world leaders in certain surgeries and procedures. As we’ve been the only centre in the world providing these super specialised surgeries or procedures I’ve met patients from all over the world – USA, Sweden, Holland.”
“It’s so exciting to be working in a hospital that really is at the forefront of pioneering therapies and knowing we’re the only centre in the world for these patients!”
Tenaya started out as a Nurse in 2009, but always strived to take on more responsibilities. She’s now training to become an Advanced Clinical Care Practitioner at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston, expanding her skill set and progressing her career in the direction she always dreamed.
Tenaya completed her Nursing degree in UWE, doing all her training and placements at North Bristol Trust. However, on graduating she decided to join UHBW as a Newly Qualified in AMU, keen to explore the more expansive roles she could progress into.
Always interested in ITU, Tenaya quickly moved from AMU into the Intensive Treatment Unit where she stayed as a senior nurse for 3 years, before becoming a Senior Staff Nurse in the same ward.
Feeling she’s reached the peak of her role, Tenaya became interested in progressing in her role clinically and taking on more responsibilities. In September 2018, she decided to train to become an Advanced Clinical Care Practitioner, working alongside the consultants and registrars and expanding her knowledge every day.
“The Trust has so many avenues for progression whether you want to expand into teaching, management or a new clinical route. It was a huge challenge for me to move from a role which I enjoyed and knew everything about, to a role where I knew nothing. But the team has been really supportive – it’s such an exciting opportunity to explore and learn new clinical procedures!”
“Team work makes the dream work – that’s our slogan on the ward! It creates such a positive team spirit, it always feels like a proper community.”
Grace joined the Trust as a Newly Qualified Nurse in September 2017, and through her boundless enthusiasm and the support from her mentors, was promoted within the year to take on a position as Senior Staff Nurse.
Starting out as a Junior on the Older People’s ward, Grace successfully completed her preceptorship programme in just 8 months. Clearly thriving in her role, The Matrons were really eager to help her move up and supported Grace in applying for a senior position within the year.
As a Newly Qualified Nurse who just started a year ago, Grace did not think she would be eligible for a senior role. However, with support from her seniors, she was encouraged to strive higher, and is now keen to help others do the same.
Grace is now a part of the FLAP (Facilitated Learning and Assessment in Practice) mentorship programme, providing mentoring for Student Nurses coming up. The Trust is also helping her study a Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning module (PACR) which will contribute to a Masters.
“Having lived and studied outside Bristol, relocating was a big move! I thought I’d be terrified, but there’s so much to explore here, that I found I really enjoyed getting to know my new home.”
“There’s so much more you can get out of your career working at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston – it’s so much more than just a job! I’m currently working on a campaign known as the End PJ Paralysis, helping older patients recover and get out of their pyjamas so they can get home quicker. I feel so fortunate to have so much support from my team.”