A day in the life of a…

…community healthcare assistant.

One morning last week, the whole family awoke late. Mr P has to get to work by foot on a Wednesday and it takes 30 minutes, so he literally sprang out of bed and disappeared leaving me to fend off the duelling between the kids. the middle one, T (8), likes to systematically annoy everyone the moment he awakes, the eldest, M (12), is constantly worrying about the bags under her eyes and the youngest, R (4), is still ricocheting between being a helpless urchin and a fiercely dependent demon. So all pretty normal family life. By the time I had negotiated, refereed and completely thrown my own toys out of my pram, time was really not on my side.. I hollered good bye to the eldest two and dragged the youngest one by his coat to the car while he protested that he only wanted Daddy to take him to nursery, not Mummy. Through gritted teeth and a completely fake smile I mistakenly said “ooh can I do a hit and run?” (when I subconsciously knew that it should have been drop and run), pushed R through the door  of his nursery and into the arms of a nursery assistant and ran in a lopsided gait to the car, forgetting that my knees can’t do that motion anymore and wishing once more that I could have those (illusive to me) things called willpower and determinaion and finally lose the 2 stones I have acquired these past 10 years. Hah. No chance.

5 minutes later I sit in the work carpark – less of a carpark more of a Rubiks cube of coloured cars constantly trying to manoeuvre so that all the staff can try and pack their cars in as tightly as possible whilst not denting any and without completely losing their cool and committing homicide.

20 minutes later, I have scoffed a Galaxy cake bar thing that was sitting undefended in the kitchen, gulped back tea and written down my work for the day and am on my way to the first patient. It should be at most a 20 minute visit to take blood.

After 20 minutes of trying to gain access; mentally assessing whether or not this was going to be a “patient has popped out/got stuck on the floor/worse” and ringing various numbers and peering through windows, I get in. 30 minutes later I leave, no blood obtained.. this can happen for various reasons, it might be because the person is dehydrated, or the veins are not easily visible or palpable. I left her, both assured that I had certainly tried my best but knowing that another nurse would have to come out to try again.

The next patient should have been simple too. That visit took 2 hours. During which time, she nearly fell twice, the GP visited and I helped her pack up necessities for a few day’s in hospital, sitting with her and waiting for the ambulance to turn up. Not just blood being taken for tests that was needed that day. She was seriously ill.

By the time I get home that early evening, I am shattered. I think about the admitted patient and feel sorrow that she doesn’t have next of kin, I wonder if I can visit her during my next working day.

I‘m immensely proud to be part of my nursing team, the commitment to our patients and colleagues is outstanding. Long Live the NHS.




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