National Apprenticeship Week - Blog by Tia Lucassi

18th March 2016

14th - 18th March 2016 is National Apprenticeships Week.
As part of this week, we will be featuring a new blog every day from our Health & Social Care Apprentices

Tia Lucassi is a Health and Social Care Apprentice working on Harford Ward in the Glenbourne Unit. Here Tia talks us through a day in her life.

It's 6:50am and I'm unlocking the main door to get into work and making sure it is closed behind me. I sign myself in and head downstairs to Harford ward (Glenbourne Unit), the male ward in an acute hospital for patients with mental health problems. Once I've dropped my stuff off, I head into the office for a handover. This is held by the nurse in charge of the night shift and consists of a breakdown of all 19 patients on the ward, telling us if we've had any new admissions or anyone discharged, as well as what the patients have been doing the last couple of days, any concerns to be aware of and any information we need to know.

Once handover is complete the diary is read out and I check the off duty to see who's been delegated to be in charge of the nursing assistants on the floor. Today that's me. Grabbing the rota, it's my job to allocate each nursing assistant to each job every hour on the rota, delegating it fairly. It's also my responsibility to make sure all the physical observations are done by either myself or the other nursing assistants and everything is up to date.

8am: My first job of the day; I am on food and fluids. This job gives me the chance to get everyone's blood sugars done, and a few people's blood pressure before the patients came up for their breakfast. Once a patient eats and drinks, if they are on a food or fluid chart, I document what they've had so we can monitor their intake of food and/or fluid.

9am: I'm now on the board check and observations: on the hour, every hour, the patients get checked. Once we have seen them and checked their breathing, if asleep, we write down where they are on the board check sheet. We write the following:

  • W if they are on the ward
  • G if they're in the garden
  • L if they're out on leave
  • OW if they are off the ward
  • OT if they are in occupational therapy
  • CS if they are in the coffee shop

Once that's done, I write in the observation file where the patient on 15 minute observations is, and what he's doing. I then check on him every 15 mins for the next hour. When I'm free in between my checks I sit with patients and have a chat or help them get things out of the cupboard.

10am: I am now sat on the door, which means that when a patient leaves the ward I have to mark where they are going, and when they return to the ward I mark them on the ward. If a patient goes on leave, I fill out the form to say who has gone out, which nurse assessed them, when they left and when they are expected to be back. I also need to search anyone who comes back from leave to check for items that aren't allowed on the ward e.g. lighters.

11am: I'm not on any job this hour as my break is at half past, so for half an hour I check that all the laundry is up to date. I also see if any of the patients who have me as their allocated nurse for the day need 1-1 time and I help any patients that need assisting.

12pm: It's my job this hour to sit with our 1-1 patient who is on a strict eating plan due to anorexia nervosa. This means that he must adhere to his eating plan, eating and drinking only what's been agreed by his dietician at certain times of the day. Once he's finished eating he needs to continue to sit down for 40 minutes without micro exercising. He seems stable with me and doesn't attempt to move about as he knows I have a good rapport with him.

1pm: The afternoon staff are now in Harford which means its protective time. I am now out of the work environment, taking a patient out for a walk around the hospital on what is known as section 17 leave. Some patients only have escorted leave which means they can only go out with a member of staff present. This gives them chance to get some fresh air and be off the ward for an hour or so. During this time I have a chat to the patient, and have a bit more time to do so being off the ward. We take a walk around the duck pond, through a small wood, through the main hospital car park and back around to Glenbourne.

2pm: I've not long got back from going out for a walk; I've let the nurse know how it went and made sure they know we are back. For the last hour of my shift I check laundry again, see if anyone needs any 1-1 time and just generally help out around the ward.

3pm: As I leave work, I smile, I’ve had a good shift and when a patient thanks me for helping them today it makes me smile. To know I've made someone else happy makes me happy, it's such a rewarding job helping people. Seeing them really unwell and helping them get better and well enough to go home makes me love my job!

To find out more about apprenticeships with Livewell Southwest please click here.