To celebrate today's RCN Nursing Support Workers' Day, we spoke with Tina Martin, a dedicated Healthcare Support Worker at the Minor Injury Units at Nevill Hall Hospital (Abergavenny) and Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan (Ebbw Vale).
Tina first began her career at Gwent Healthcare Trust (now Aneurin Bevan University Health Board) in 1981 and she says her responsibilities have grown substantially since she first began as an Auxiliary Worker at Nevill Hall Hospital 41 years ago.
“41 years ago when I joined the trust as a healthcare support worker, we weren’t allowed to do many things. We were just able to make tea, get food and observe the patients.
“Now, we have a much greater role. With the Health Board supporting us, we are now able to complete our NVQ Level 2, 3 and 4. This gives us a greater scope, where we can take bloods, perform ECGs, put patient plasters on, dress wounds and do our own treatments. It gives us pride in our work and we feel that we can really achieve something with our qualifications.”
After following in the footsteps of her mother and sisters to work in healthcare, Tina hasn’t looked back since joining Nevill Hall in 1981. She said:
“I’ve stayed at Nevill Hall for 41 years because this feels like home. We’ve got an amazing team, we have really hard days, really sad days, but we’re always there to support each other.”
“All the Nevill Hall staff all my life have all called me Matron because I’m really, really bossy!”
Now splitting her time between Nevill Hall Hospital and Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan, Tina is an expert at treating minor injuries in the Gwent area. She said:
“Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan’s Minor Injury Unit have welcomed me with open arms. It’s a good environment to work in, the team are fab and all patients are well cared for.
“Now, having worked for two years with both Units as Minor Injury Units, I can see what an excellent service we provide for the treatment of Minor Injuries.”
Tina describes meeting patients as one of her favourite things about the role:
“I really enjoy my job. I love meeting loads of people, having my colleagues to work with, passing on my nursing skills and just being me!
“I always have a laugh with the kids when they come in to try and make them feel at ease. When the kids go home with a smile on their faces, this gives me a sense of pride knowing that I’ve made them happy and that they won’t be afraid to come back and see us again.”
Healthcare Support Workers play an invaluable role in the care of our patients and we are thankful to them today and every day for their invaluable contribution.
The Minor Injury Units at Nevill Hall Hospital, the Royal Gwent Hospital, Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr and Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan are run by a team of highly skilled Emergency Nurse Practitioners and Healthcare Support Workers.
Happy Nursing Support Workers' Day!