Staff Nurse Sue shares her story and explains how Leuchie 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 were quickly promoted to senior care assistant at Leuchie! What did that involve?
I was promoted to senior care assistant in 2014, which meant more caring and supervisory responsibilities. This involved supporting the nurses with the smooth running of a shift so they could focus on more clinical aspects. When guests arrived it is my role to meet and greet, have a chat and ensure their care profile was up to date so they got all the care they needed. I also acted as a mentor to new care staff, helping them develop in their role.
And where are you now?
I knew very quickly after moving into that senior 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 full-time nursing degree course in September 2017.
The Leuchie team supported and encouraged me all the way. They kept me on as a member of staff while doing my course, changing my contract to part-time and adapting my shifts to fit round my studies.
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