“I love the joy of knowing I have done something good for someone"
Daniel Danquah is a healthcare assistant at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Caring for cancer patients of all stages, he is extremely passionate about helping others.
“I love my role. Being able to help patients is the most important thing to me. It can be difficult to see some of the things that comes with caring for sick patients. You have to be mentally prepared.”
His duties include monitoring and caring for patients receiving treatment for cancer, helping with clinical duties, emotional care and providing daily reassurance and communication to patients and their families.
“When a patient is happy I will laugh with them, and when they cry I will be there for them. It’s an emotional job and you have to show that you care.”
Daniel lived in Ghana until he was seven years old. At the age of four, he was hospitalised with food poisoning and reacted badly to the treatment that he was given. He spent the next year fighting for his life in hospital, and his family were told to expect the worst.
“Growing up having gone through that, I really give thanks to life. It inspired to go into healthcare. For me, the best way I can give back to life, is by helping other people.
“I can understand how a patient’s family feels, as I know what my family experienced when I was unwell. I try and put myself in their shoes and care for their loved ones how I would hope someone would care for mine.”
Daniel began his career in healthcare as a carer in an elderly home, before attending university to study sports science. Following that he was a ward host in Barts Hospital. Keen to progress to the next challenge, Daniel was encouraged by managers to apply for his current role as a HCA, which he has been in for the last eight months.
“As time goes on you can get attached to the patients that you care for, so hearing when a patient has passed on is always hard. I try and relate to all of my patients on a personal level, and understand that to me this is my job, but to some of them, it’s potentially the end of their life. It can be hard at times, but it’s all part of the role.
“This job can be challenging, especially when you know a patient is terminal. Even if there is nothing more you can do for them, as long as you know you have done everything you can to help them feel comfortable, then you will be okay.”
In the future, Daniel hopes to progress to a career more in line with his degree, and assist physiotherapy patients with their exercise routines, to help them improve mobility and get back on their feet.
His future aspirations also include starting his own charity company, to help less fortunate children across the world.
Daniel was awarded the Hero of the Month Award in March, nominated by colleagues for the “huge impact” he has on all ward staff, patients and their families.
“I still can’t quite believe it, but winning means a lot and it shows that all of my work is valued and appreciated. It feels good to know that everyone is noticing my efforts. I have a great support system in work, which I am grateful for. Most of all, I love the joy of knowing that I have done something good for somebody.”