Today the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is holding the first Nursing Support Workers Day, which celebrates the roles of healthcare assistants, assistant practitioners, nursing associates and trainee nursing associates, who are a critical part of the nursing and health care team. The RCN hopes this annual day will help to recognise the often unsung hard work, dedication and commitment these professions display.
This is the first of what will become an annual RCN event and this year it will take place virtually as a Microsoft Teams meeting. Find out more.
We spoke to Hollie, Trainee Nursing Associate on Coombehaven Ward at The Cedars in Exeter. She told us more about what her role entails.
Within my role as a Trainee Nursing Associate on an acute mental health ward there are lots of tasks to do and responsibilities to take on. It is hard to narrow this down to simple day to day. With the ward being a busy environment I always call it ‘organised chaos’ as from an outsiders point of view I can imagine we look disorganised (I know that’s how I saw it when I first started) however it is always organised, safe and every member of the team working effectively.
Our main role is to make sure our patients are safe, this can be done in a number of ways:
We also are involved in documentation, some clinical decision making with the team and supporting our colleagues. We can also assist in personal care and encouragement and support in going to medical or personal appointments.
I absolutely love my job. I’ve came from working in a general role for many years before I made my move to mental health. I was completely unsure of what I was walking into but I haven’t looked back. I like the fact that you aren’t stuck in the same routine every day and things can always be different. I like having more time to engage with patients and I enjoy going on escorted leave with patients. It’s also nice to see our patients improve which is mainly the case through not always.
It’s also always nice that you are made to feel a part of the team, you are heard if you do not agree with a decision or have anxieties about it. You are never made to feel like you are less or not qualified which makes it easier to feel completely accepted and a part of the nursing team.
I have recently started my Trainee Nursing Associate role this September with the organisation. I plan on qualifying in that and then continuing to work within that role for a while. If the organisation was to bring out a way for staff to become dual qualified in mental health and general nursing with them then I would like to do my degree that way.