This week’s article will be another Interview! But this time it’s not a new employee, we’re speaking to someone who’s been working as a Nursing associate in the NHS during these hard times. We’ve spoken a lot previously about staff shortages and my experience working in a Mental Health ward, so it will be great to hear about Nicola’s experiences working with the district nurses. 

SQ
: Hey! Welcome to SQ, it’s a pleasure speaking to you today. Can you introduce yourself?

Nicola
: Nicola White

SQ
: Nice to meet you Nicola!

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BACKGROUND. HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED IN YOUR POSITION?

I’m a registered nursing associate (NA), this is a role that started in 2017 to help bridge the gap between health care assistants (HCA) and nurses. I started as a HCA and through an apprenticeship. I attended university for 2 years doing a foundation degree to become a nursing associate. I’ve been qualified for nearly 2 years.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU GET ENOUGH SUPPORT IN YOUR ROLE? WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THIS AND WHAT SUPPORT WOULD YOU LIKE?

Where I work now I feel I get a lot of support but I think I became quite lucky with the team I am in. I originally came from mental health and then went back into the ward where I first started. I didn’t feel like I was getting any support, but the role was still new and wasn’t defined well enough for others to know what I was allowed to do. My role as a nursing associate seems to change depending on where you work and which trust! Talking to other NA’s, we’re all doing different jobs! By that I mean that in my last trust I was allowed to administer insulin but in the trust I’m in now, I had to do a further 12 weeks college course to be allowed to administer.

HOW DID YOU FEEL DURING COVID TIMES? DID YOU FEEL SUPPORTED BY THE GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS AND THE REACTIONS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC?

Again this wasn’t defined enough for us. When going into patients homes, we didn’t know if we were able to go into COVID positive homes then go to another after who wasn’t COVID positive we were told not at first and then we could as we wear PPE but that changed again, we got told to go home and shower in between houses! Then on top of this we could go see a patient that’s been discharged to find out that when we were on the property they were Covid positive! Nobody handed this over to us, so we didn’t have appropriate PPE on. We weren’t sure if we were able to carry on with other calls when this happened, It was all so confusing!

HOPEFULLY, YOU MIGHT KNOW ABOUT WHAT WE DO AS A COMPANY. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT USING AI TO IMPROVE HOSPITAL CARE?

No I’ve never heard of this, if it can help the patients and staff safety it’s a good idea. But not sure about being tracked all the time? But big brother is always watching us whether we like it or not!

 

SQ: Thank you so much for giving us your time, it was lovely speaking to you. I hope things improve in the future and it becomes clearer about what you can and can’t do!

I’m so glad we’ve started these interviews to get a good insight of how people who worked in the NHS during COVID times and how their job was for them. It’s great to find out how they felt and the support they get, even to find out their opinion on AI. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Meg Wheller
Media Marketer, Spatial Quotient