“The support I’ve had is amazing” | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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“The support I’ve had is amazing”

We caught up with Amrita Badooa, a band 3 healthcare assistant in our outpatients department, about the support she has received in progressing her career and studying to become a nursing associate.

“When I moved to London from Mauritius, I started working in care homes as an assistant. I did it because it was always my dream to be a nurse, and this was a good stepping-stone into the profession. I wanted to be a nurse to help people and by working in care homes, I was able to do that and build up my care skills and knowledge – I was even awarded my national vocational qualification level 3.

“Then, around the middle of the pandemic, I saw a band 2 healthcare assistant (HCA) role advertised at Newham Hospital and decided to apply. I was so happy when I was offered the position! It wasn’t a nursing role, but it meant I got to work in a hospital – something I’d always wanted to do – and it could put me on the path to becoming a nurse some day. I was thrilled.

“I was given lots of opportunities to learn”

“My new role was in the outpatients’ team, but not soon after I started, I was redeployed to work with Covid-19 patients. It was challenging, but in a good way. And it meant that I was given lots of opportunities to learn new things, which I grabbed with both hands. I love learning because it keeps me motivated and makes me feel like I’m developing and progressing. Of course there were days when I found it hard and a bit overwhelming. But overall, I coped well and was really supported and encouraged by my colleagues.

“When a band 3 HCA position in my department came up in 2022, around nine months after I started, I was surprised and humbled when people – including Sister Rambha, my sister at the time and service manager Luke Coffrey – suggested I should apply for it! Even though I was getting positive feedback from colleagues and patients, had been nominated for a Barts Health Heroes Award and had learned a lot in a short space of time, I wasn’t sure if I should apply. I knew I wanted the job and that I could do it, but I was worried I was too new.

“I’m incredibly grateful for their support”

“I decided to put in an application because I thought if I got an interview, it would be good practice for the future. I was delighted when I not only got an interview but got the job! I was so happy because it meant I could provide even more care to patients, which is what I love doing most.

“After I got the band 3 role, I had conversations with my manager about my next steps. I still dreamt of becoming a nurse, and so decided to apply for a two-year associate nursing course, which my manager, Sister Russell Thomson, encouraged. I’m proud to say I was shortlisted and offered an interview, which Simon Ashton, the hospital CEO, helped me prepare for – he even came to the ward to help me prep! I’m incredibly grateful for their support, which I know helped me secure my place.

“I’m now going to university during the week to become a nursing associate, as well as working in my band 3 HCA role. It’s a lot of work, but I’m loving it. The best part of being on this course means that if I pass, I can apply for another two-year course to become a fully qualified nurse.

“I feel like I can achieve my dream”

“Providing good care to patients, putting them first and making sure they’re as happy as possible is really important to me. I always keep in mind that any one of us might be a patient one day, and so I strive to give people the care I’d like me, my family or friends to receive.

“I’m proud to be able to do this in my current role but now, for the first time, I’m really hopeful I’ll be able to do so as a nurse. For a long time, I didn’t think I would ever become a nurse. But now, with support from my colleagues, particularly those on Stratford ward who helped my build-up my ward skills and confidence, my managers, the hospital CEO and the wider trust, I feel like I can achieve my dream.” 

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