Support worker discussion thread (eg smoking vs smoke free)

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LittlePrincess
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Support worker discussion thread (eg smoking vs smoke free)

Post by LittlePrincess » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:34 pm

Thanks for that, eponymous85.

I'm interested in becoming a nursing assistant/healthcare assistant myself when i leave University so was just wondering, can anyone else provide any more 'day in the life...' reviews? As there are many different wards to work on within a mental health hospital it would be interesting for me to see what other tasks the role involves within other different wards. I'd really appreciate it.

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Volta
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by Volta » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:35 am

Eponymous85, that sounds identical to what I do! :D

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LittlePrincess
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by LittlePrincess » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:11 am

Volta, do you work on an eating disorder ward too? Please can you do another 'typical day/week' post? I'd really appreciate it!

BlueGems
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by BlueGems » Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:53 pm

Volta, very similar to my recent experience as an HCA in an EDU within a private hospital. In terms of reflecting on this experience for the 'application' I would be interested in sharing ideas :-)

Wychelm
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by Wychelm » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:34 pm

I could read these all day!

Prosopon
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by Prosopon » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:44 pm

I have an interview tomorrow for a healthcare worker role in a medium secure forensic setting so read this with interest.

But I'm a little worried about the whole cigarette break thing! Rabbit, did you seriously have to breathe in the smoke?! I'm all for pitching in and doing unpleasant work if it is necessary, but this would be a duty too far for me. I find the smell of cigarette smoke intolerable and it sets off my allergies. Also, there are of course health risks from breathing second hand smoke. I'm pretty shocked that you had to do this actually.

Also, forgive my ignorance, but what does AWA stand for. Sorry if I am being a bit dim!

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Loula
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by Loula » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:33 am

Prosopon wrote:But I'm a little worried about the whole cigarette break thing! Rabbit, did you seriously have to breathe in the smoke?! I'm all for pitching in and doing unpleasant work if it is necessary, but this would be a duty too far for me. I find the smell of cigarette smoke intolerable and it sets off my allergies. Also, there are of course health risks from breathing second hand smoke. I'm pretty shocked that you had to do this actually.
I'm a CP in a secure service, and our service is now smoke free. As part of this service users are not allowed to smoke anywhere on site or even have cigarettes/lighters on site at all. When they are on escorted leave they are also not allowed to smoke. Some choose to smoke on unescorted leave, but end up having to buy new packs of cigarettes/lighters as they can't bring them back to the ward. I think a lot of services are now going the same way. Something to ask about at interview?

I worked in locked wards/secure services as a support worker, AP, RA and trainee and I never had to sniff cigarettes to see what they were. I have supervised cigarette breaks though, but always in outside areas (I'm not old enough to remember the smoking rooms!) and most service users are mindful about not blowing smoke on you. On the very rare occasion they were something they shouldn't have been it was pretty obvious straight away, and service users know that-so they are more likely to try to smoke illicit substances in their rooms that in communal areas.

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rabbit
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by rabbit » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:14 pm

Yes we did :(

Haven't read my old post in a while! Come a long way.

Yes, I worked there a year and when I started the hospital was smoke free but there was a campaign I think regarding prisoners being allowed to smoke but patients in secure hospitals not being allowed to. Some patients even requested (dependent on their section) to return to prison so they could smoke. It's a really tough one trying to balance patients right to smoke vs staffs right to not breath in the smoke, plus nhs building supposed to be smoke free versus most of the patients being there for a long stay without being allowed leave.

We didn't have to smell-check before they could have them (sorry if my original post sounded like I was a sniffer dog :) ), but it was a very small courtyard and we had to stand outside with them to check we couldn't smell other substances - it did happen a fair amount. I really really disliked it, I almost complained / protested against it, but I was torn between the above balances, was ready to leave before the ban was lifted and aware that if I didn't do it another member of staff would have to - at least temporarily.

Hopefully the one you're going to be will be smoke free.

AWA is adults of working age.

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eponymous85
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by eponymous85 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 1:21 pm

rabbit wrote:It's a really tough one trying to balance patients right to smoke vs staffs right to not breath in the smoke



AWA is adults of working age.
and of course other patients' rights not to breathe the smoke either. I used to work on a ward in a hospital that was smoke free, but the ward had its own garden that patients used to smoke in. I don't think anyone has successfully ironed out the legal and ethical issues - so many people's conflicting rights are involved and I'm not sure anyone has worked out a pecking order!

Esuma
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by Esuma » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:44 am

I have just been offered a role in a secure mental health hospital - at the interview they told me as of next week they're going smoke-free and I'd been reading this thread with interest. I'm quite conflicted with this as I'm a non-smoker and appreciate non-smoking environments as I hate the smell, but also I think that the service users have a right to choose whether they smoke or not, so if they're unable to leave the hospital they are stopped from having this right.. Very tricky...

Prosopon
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Re: A day in the life of a healthcare assistant (inpatient).

Post by Prosopon » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:27 pm

Thank you for the people who responded to me. The smoking thing is an interesting issue but I personally don't think people should have to put their health at risk.

The interview that I thought was for a medium secure forensic setting actually turned out to be a step-down service for people with acquired brain injury. Bizarrely the job advert gave the wrong information! I'm surprised I got an interview actually as I tailored my application to working in a role with people with personality disorders, rather than brain injury.

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