Q&A with Scott

From fixing motor boats to making patients smile - hear all about Scott’s career so far, his role as a Healthcare Assistant at University Hospital Southampton, and what it’s like to be male in a nursing environment.

Hi Scott! Can you tell us a bit about your role as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) at University Hospital Southampton (UHS)?

I originally came into the Trust to work in the Enhanced Care support team - predominantly dealing with mental health and dementia care patients. I then moved into CICU where I’ve worked for just under five years now. In Critical Care, the HCA role is predominantly to assist the nursing staff. Nurses rely on HCAs - on the ward in particular - to share information and flag patient deterioration or any changes. We’re here to make nurses' lives easier by getting things done in the background - whether that’s preparing beds for theater, replenishing stocks and stores or discharging patients.

What were you doing before you joined UHS as a HCA and how does working at UHS compare?

Before I joined the Trust, I worked in the marine industry - fixing luxury motor boats. But I was always interested in nursing. So one day I just went, "Okay, I think I'll give this a bash. I need to stop talking about it and just do it." I love working as a HCA. It's fantastic. Don't get me wrong, working in the marine industry was lovely – I travelled extensively to beautiful places which was incredible. But I get a lot more job satisfaction at the Trust, because I know that everything I do is helping other people.

What’s it like being a male HCA in a traditionally female-dominated industry?

I always used to think of nursing as a female-dominated industry but now I'm in it, it's really not - it's a 50/50 split. Having a mix of male and female HCAs available is better for patients as they can decide who they’re most comfortable with. When we get gents who are a bit old fashioned, they often prefer to talk to another bloke. But it goes the other way too - sometimes female patients would rather have a female HCA looking after them and that’s completely understandable.

 What are the development opportunities like at UHS?

Development is actively encouraged. I was put forward to be a Moving and Handling Trainer, so now I teach a fair bit which has been great for my development. The new starters tend to shadow me on shift quite a bit too and I’m happy to support them while they’re training.

What’s your favorite part of your role as a HCA?

All of it. I love my job, I look forward to coming to work. I like being able to do things for the patients to make them feel a little better. Whether that’s making them a cup of tea, grabbing them a paper, or washing their hair. I’ve even learnt how to give hand massages, paint nails and put makeup on! These little things mean a huge amount to patients and really improve their morale. That’s what makes my role so rewarding.

Whether you’re an experienced HCA or just starting out, search our current opportunities now to find the perfect role for you.