Senior Care Assistant, Sue shares her story and explains how Leuchie has opened up a career she never imagined she’d have.
What brought you to Leuchie House?
When I left school at 16, I had a few Standard Grades but no idea what I wanted to do for a living. For the next few years I worked mainly in retail, and helped out in my dad’s pub.
By 2012, I had three children and really wanted a change of career direction. When my best friend got cancer, it was the catalyst I needed to make a change. His situation inspired me to look for a job in the care sector.
I applied for a care assistant post at Leuchie House but was pipped at the post by someone with previous experience. They offered me a housekeeping post instead, and, looking back, I’m so glad that I took it! Four months later another care assistant vacancy opened up and this time I was successful.
With no background in care, how did you get to grips with the role?
The first week was quite daunting! Thankfully Leuchie House has a great induction and staff development system in place to make sure you get lots of support to develop the skills you need. Another carer was appointed as my mentor and he taught me everything I needed to know, from practical skills like manual handling, through to ensuring all care is person-centred. For me, the best thing about the job is enabling guests to achieve things they wouldn’t be able to achieve at home, and seeing how happy that makes them feel.
You are now a senior care assistant at Leuchie. What does that involve?
I was promoted to senior care assistant in 2014, which means more caring and supervisory responsibilities. This involves supporting the nurses with the smooth running of a shift so they can focus on more clinical aspects. When guests arrive it is our role to meet and greet, have a chat and ensure their care profile is up to date so they get all the care they need. I also act as a mentor to new care staff, helping them develop in their role.
What’s next on your career path?
I knew very quickly after moving into the care assistant role that I was on the right path and that I wanted to train as a nurse. Following an Access to Nursing course at college, I started a three year full-time nursing degree course in September 2017.
The Leuchie team have supported and encouraged me all the way. They’ve kept me on as a member of staff while I’m doing my course, changing my contract to part-time and adapting my shifts to fit round my studies.
What lies ahead?
I really hope I’ll be able to continue working here when I qualify as a nurse. Leuchie is where I got my inspiration, where my journey started and what allowed my journey to happen. Without Leuchie there’s no way I would be where I am now.
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