– Nicola made the move from residential care –
Nicola used to work as a residential carer, visiting patients in their homes. Now she works at University Hospitals Bristol as a Nursing Assistant in Care of the Elderly.
Nicola loves giving something back: “I always wanted to do elderly care. I just think it’s so rewarding. There’s something so incredible about being able to hold their hand and see how grateful they are for the littlest things you do for them.”
Job security and more regular hours are just a couple of things that motivated Nicola’s move from residential care: “I’m a lot better off now. Working in homecare you might be out for twelve hours a day but you’re only doing twenty minutes here, an hour there, and you’re not paid for any of the moving between jobs.”
A lot of people think elderly care is too difficult, but Nicola wants people to know this is not true: “A lot of people look at elderly care and think it’s too difficult. Especially Alzheimer’s and dementia. But I think you have to look at it from their perspective – they’re still the same person with the same marvellous stories, they just need help unlocking themselves sometimes. When you see those moments of light it’s just magical.”
There’s so much variety in Nicola’s role, she loves that she never does the same things day-by-day: “It doesn’t matter that it’s the same patients. We’re always doing things with them to keep their spirits up and stop them getting frustrated. Yesterday we did a tea-party for the Alzheimer’s society, and just seeing them all come together, chatting and laughing, it’s just so beautiful and lifts the mood on the ward so much.”
Nicola thrives off the support of her team, feeling so settled in her role that she’s never afraid to ask for help or to confide in her colleagues when she’s struggling: “Everyone works together, it’s such a lovely place to work. I’m friends with the Nursing Assistants, the Nurses and the Matrons alike. There’s no hierarchy, we all support each other. And I know it’s cheesy, but it really is more than a job – it’s like a family.”