Student on NHS frontline

A proud member of the NHS family, Josh Kuryk studies the Level 2 Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship at Leeds City College. He talked to us about life on the frontline, battling coronavirus.

How did you get into this profession?

I attended an NHS open day and discovered the range of different roles and the requirements needed. I then jumped at the opportunity to become an apprentice clinical support worker to achieve my lifetime dream of becoming a paramedic.

How did your passion develop?

After being accepted for the apprenticeship, I developed my knowledge of the role by watching YouTube videos and reading guidelines set by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. These really helped me prepare as best I could for the role, mentally and physically.

How was your college experience?

I was out of education for a considerable amount of time, so I was initially really nervous to attend. But, when I arrived, the environment was so welcoming and the support I received from staff and course tutors was amazing. You really feel like you’re in a safe space to learn.

How have you prepared for this challenging situation?

I made sure to constantly keep informed with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust updates, which provide useful guidance and advice. It’s important to remain calm and not panic in these times.

What challenges are you facing?

I work on an elderly ward and some patients regularly forget where they are, which can be incredibly distressing for them  and for staff. It can be a struggle to keep patients in a side room while we test them for Covid-19, but regular reassurance and comfort works well and allows the patients to settle and relax.

What does your day look like?

Working on the acute floor is always busy, we work hard to provide personal care and work collaboratively with doctors and nurses, ensuring patients are involved with individual care plans. Most of my daily tasks include physical observations, such as checking blood sugars and performing routine procedures. This way, we can monitor patients to ensure they are receiving an appropriate level of care.

What advice would you give to someone considering this profession?

A strong work ethic is essential, a high pressured environment combined with long working hours can make it difficult at times, but determination is the key to success. Good communication skills are really important, as the team works together incredibly closely and we act like a family. You have to be open to learning something new each day and have a good ability to adapt quickly to changing environments.

Do you have a message of motivation in these unprecedented times?

Treat everyone with kindness. From working closely with patients every day, I’ve learnt that kindness is the best medicine and really goes a long way.

Find out ways to volunteer for the NHS here.

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