Collette Dean – Nursing Assistant – Care of the Elderly

Jul 9th, 2018

– For Collette, it’s all about the patient stories –

Collette has always worked in Care of the Elderly, and she’s never considered changing: “Every patient has a different story to tell, I love just sitting and hearing their history. You also have to provide care in a way that you just don’t for more able patients. Just things like helping them wash or dress feels rewarding – they just appreciate it so much more.”

It’s always busy, says Collette, and it’s a specialty that’s forever offering new opportunities to learn: “There’s so much more involved because it’s everything from head to toe. These aren’t patients that just need a set of obs. You have to think whether they might need physio, check their nutrition score, carry out risk assessments etc., and then engage with them – and not just sit and hold their hand, really engage with them.”

When asked what she loves most about her role, Collette said it was being able to see her patient’s confidence grow: “One particular patient I had wouldn’t get out of bed he was so low. But after a couple of days I managed to coax him down to the patient’s room and honestly he was a different man. He spent all afternoon chatting to the other patients and ate two portions of dinner when he hadn’t eaten for two weeks. And that’s it, that’s what I love – making a difference and watching their confidence grow.”

The UH Bristol working environment plays a big role in providing consistent and high quality care: “The ward is lovely and open. We’re not restricted; we’re free to take the patients out for coffee or to the shops – get them off the ward if they want to. We also have a spare room that we use; it’s a football room at the moment, and before that we had it decorated for the Royal wedding. We always make sure there’s enough for the patients to do.”

Collette feels well supported in her role. Always enthusiastic, her managers even go as far as working with her to fit her hours around her study: “My manager is completely behind me, she always makes sure I have Mondays off to get my study in. It’s all there for you, there’s so many opportunities. I think Care of the Elderly is the best place to be.”

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