“I’ve been at QEF’s Neuro Rehabilitation Service for 5 ½ years now, after starting as a bank worker for just one month. My role as a rehabilitation assistant was my first full time position after completing my Level 3 Health and Social Care qualification, and 2 years ago I was promoted to Senior Rehabilitation Assistant.
As a senior I oversee a team of up to 6 rehabilitation assistants on each shift, delegating the jobs that need to be done, answering their questions and supporting the nurse on duty.
I start the shift with checking if everyone is in as planned, and if we are short, working out if we need to arrange agency staff to support us. I then prioritise what needs to be done and organize the staff so they know what they are doing, which clients are going for therapy etc. I still do personal care myself too, but I’m answering questions all the time – its very reactive in this role.
We need to make sure people are getting adequate fluids and provide help with feeds, toileting etc. The senior rehab assistant monitors and records what clients have been eating and manages any concerns the family may have. We’ll also help with any medical emergencies that may occur. Medical needs are all managed by the nurse though and we have 24 hour nursing cover here, they do all the medicines too.
It’s really rewarding seeing the progress clients make with the therapy here and knowing you have played a part in it. The rehabilitation assistants carry this therapy over into their day to day. For example, one client needed fully hoisting when she first came in but now she is much more steady, plus her legs are strengthening. Also, one client couldn’t use their vocal chords but with practice they can now say ‘mum’. Clients have limited times with the speech and language therapists but we can get them practicing all the time.
This isn’t a hospital so we are only working with people that are classed as medically stable. It’s a homely environment rather than feeling clinical. We’re a friendly team and we get to know the clients. It’s personalised, even for stroke clients that tend to only be with us for about 4 weeks.
I’ve had good career progression here and an increase in responsibility. At my interview I said I wanted to be a senior within 5 years and I’ve achieved it, so its really good. Everyone is so supportive, there are lots of different training opportunities and distance learning too, not just in care, dementia, diabetes etc but also business administration and team leadership. “