Thursday, 2 October 2008

The HCA post

Being a HCA is not the most glamorous of jobs at the hospital, and indeed the stories i've heard so far have been proven to be true. It's really hands on, the smell can sometimes be unbearable, my feet ache, and my hands are extremely dry from all the hand-washing after each and every patient; BUT it has been a great learning opportunity to work in a caring environment, and to experience the long shift hours working in the NHS.

After the first day, i seriously wanted to quit, the ward was quiet and i spent almost 4 hours sitting around hardly moving a muscle. The day was spent making beds in the morning, recording blood pressure, pulse, O2 saturation and temperature from most patients, and occasionally emptying catheters from others; and with a 7.45am start and a 20.15pm finish, i was dead tired at the end of the day, and was just glad to see my shower and bed.

On the second day the ward was full at most times, and i was running around doing all the above, but having given a lot more responsibility to look after the patients, the job was actually quite satisfying. I learnt to take out cannulas, take blood glucose readings, and the most fun came when the staff nurses and other HCAs tried to teach me how to take blood pressure readings on them using a stephoscope and a mobile sphygmomanometer. Sadly i am absolutely rubbish at it, and can't get by without using the electronic sphygmomanometer.. hopefully it will be practice makes perfect as i guess it will come in handy for future OSCEs, when i eventually get into medical school.It really is a good experience, and i've already learnt so much over the last 2 days in terms of what its like to work in a hospital, and what a caring job involves, but the pay is awful.

So being rather honest, i wouldn't say the job is AMAZING..nor is it the best option for Gappers. It does have an intersting and caring side which i enjoy, but on the other hand, the job is rather mind numbing, and i feel its a shame not being able to utilise any of my skills picked up from the Biochemistry BSc.

i am still waiting for my referee to attatch my reference and to send my ucas form.............. i may have to give him a call on monday if he still hasn't done it by then!

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