Case study taken July 2021
What attracted you to this job?
When I was little, I always wanted to be a nurse and have worked in care ever since I left school. At school I did a social studies course for GCSE and as part of the course I had to attend Leavesden Hospital which was an institution for people with mental disabilities. After visiting I immediately knew that was what I wanted to do as a career, and it felt very natural. I did my work experience at Leavesden Hospital and went on to do a pre-nursing course at college. Once completed, I started working as a nursing assistant/auxiliary at Leavesden hospital and then I went on to do my training to become a Registered Nurse.
Tell me a bit about your current job and what it involves
I have been with Partners in Support for 11 years and I can’t imagine working anywhere else. My current role is Assistant Director and I directly manage the service on an operational basis as well as training the staff in a variety of subjects. However, we are a small company, so we all muck in and do a bit of everything.
What training have you completed in your career so far and is there any other training you would like to do?
I did my NVQ Level 5 in Social Care Management just before joining Partners in Support and since joining I have done some PTTLS training. I have also done a Train the Trainer course in positive behaviour support which we use in the company and for Autism.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Throughout my career, my favourite part of my job is to see people develop. Whether it’s the staff and managers, or the people we support. Its wonderful to see how much the staff give to the people they support and look upon them as a family.
What do you find is the most challenging part of your job?
At the moment the biggest challenge is recruitment! Keeping the momentum going, particularly during the pandemic when things have been very tough, we need to keep the staffs spirits up. Coming up with fresh ideas, looking for something new and different that may make a difference to people’s lives.
What are your hours of work and how does this fit around your personal life?
Officially, my role is a Monday to Friday 9 to 5 job, but it never really is! I am lucky as I don’t work shifts, my work life balance is a lot easier to manage. During the last year or so it has been hard. It is important to switch off when you are not at work. We do have policies in place for the staff who do work shifts to ensure they do not work too many hours and they don’t work more than 5 days in a row and only so many hours overtime.
In your day-to-day role, how do you enable clients to live as independently as possible?
One of the ladies we support has really struggled through lockdown and not being able to socialise. Up until a few years ago she had a been in a long stay hospital and this week she just got a voluntary job in a food bank. It has meant so much to her and she is so proud of what she has done and is doing with her friend and not relying on staff to help her. This is what makes everything so worthwhile.