What we do is a team effort, and everyone is so willing to help everyone else.
During the pandemic, I saw a community that was struggling and chose to work for Medvivo as I wanted to give something back. Working for a company that allows me to spend time with service users and interact with them is so important.
In general terms my role involves going to see service users, assist them with personal care, help build their confidence, raise awareness of personal safety, perform risk assessments, and where appropriate raise safeguarding issues with the relevant services.
If it’s needed then appropriate medical help is sought. This is because sometimes the people we see feel as though they are a burden to the system and are not comfortable seeking medical help.
By stepping in, I can help to prevent medical issues from becoming critical. It's a team effort as each person we visit will see different people in the team, depending on shift patterns. When help is needed, we liaise with our Access to Care team, and relay information about the situation so that they can maintain a detailed patient record and arrange follow up reviews with community healthcare professionals.
The team spirit; what we do is a team effort, and everyone is so willing to help everyone else.
I can spend time with service users if that's what they need, which as I've come from a customer service background is something I enjoy.
Medvivo runs a Special Thanks And Recognition (STAR) awards initiative and I got nominated after I went to see a new service user who was at the end of their life.
Unfortunately, they passed away 5 minutes before I got there, and my time on the visit was spent supporting the family who were in shock, and dealing with the funeral directors.
I am currently studying for a Diploma Level 3 in Health and Social Care, which at 62 is really something!
Success here means having compassion and empathy, being understanding, able to hold a conversation at any level, and supportive - which applies to both the team I work with, and the service users we are supporting.
This is a role I'd never done before so at first everything was a challenge. I make sure I talk to my colleagues for advice about how to tackle situations and get great support from the team.
For those service users who are at the end of their lives, these visits can be challenging, especially when partners or family members are not ready to let them go.
We also see people who are living with dementia. I also enjoying spending time with them because we may have heard their stories many times before, but we can make time to listen during our visits.
The support we provide isn’t just for the service user; we are there to support partners, families or neighbours if there is no family - often you need to give them as much time as the service user.
The team will do whatever it takes to make sure I am well supported, and we all help each other.
All team members complete training to achieve a Care Certificate when we join, plus there is an extensive corporate e-learning programme which includes life support training every year as part of our medical training for first aid purposes.
If there's something we're not sure about, then we can book time to practice first aid skills on medical equipment so that we feel confident in what we are using.