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#NewProfilePic for October 2023

01 October 2023 - Every month, a different staff member will be our #NewProfilePic on social media

Our staff profile for October 2023 features Patricia, Healthcare Assistant (HCA) at King’s College Hospital. Patricia has been working at King’s for nearly 20 years! She said: “I like working for King’s because of the diversity of patients I get to meet and help; some with mental health conditions, trauma patients, elderly patients and others.”

What sets your role apart for both you and the patients you care for?

“As an HCA, within the Health and Ageing Unit (Elderly Care), I believe that I empower my patients on a daily basis. By supporting my patients as much as possible with washing and dressing, and encouraging them during their meals to eat either independently or assisting them. I also support them to move around safely, by providing an arm to lean on or assisting them with their aids or equipments. My role embraces holistic care with physical, psychological, emotional and social approaches.

“My role is very much focused on patient-centred care. As an HCA, for me, each patient has their own individual personality and they are so appreciative that caring for them makes my role so rewarding.”

Any memorable moments you’ve experienced at work?

“My special moments caring for the elderly: I am very much an active listener. I like going back to the past, listening to their stories and listening to their relatives about their present situation. As an active listener, I always put myself in their shoes so that I am able to comfort both the patient and the relatives through their emotional journey when loved ones are in the hospital.

“I also like to read their “This is me” document, which is for patients living with dementia or experiencing delirium or other communication difficulties. This is usually completed by the relatives about their likes and dislikes. This tool supports me to really get to know the patient and provide good patient-centred care.”

Is there anything interesting about your role at King’s that people may not know?

“Last November, I was selected as the Shared Decision Making (SDM) champion for my ward. SDM is about getting each ward to be involved in a service improvement project of their choice. It empowers frontline staff to have a voice in their own area of practice. SDM supports staff to make meaningful changes, and whilst doing so giving them ideas and pointers as to how to get resources.

“I have been an HCA for many years and I really care about my colleagues in regards to their well-being in the workplace, which is very important. Over the years I have had New Starter HCAs approaching me about their concerns. I have asked myself how can I make a difference. The SDM has now given me the opportunity, confidence and support to make that difference.”

October is also Black History Month. What does this mean to you?

“Black History Month is important and meaningful for me. It allows me to reflect on my heritage and my own family history, as well as thinking about the journeys, lives and histories others have experienced.

“I was born in England; my grandfather was the first to make the journey from Jamaica, making me the third generation. He, like many other Black Caribbean people, came with a strong work ethic, prepared to work hard to provide a better life for his family.

“I like to go to museums and discussion events, particularly in October when Black History Month features, and also to browse and read online for more understanding of the achievements and successes in the black community over the past years and further back in time. This helps to keep our Black history alive, and it makes me very proud as well as motivating me to do more for the older people in the Black community.”

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