I knew straight away I wanted to work in healthcare… I love helping and I love their stories

Nicky Guttridge, who works for the Community Health CIC Spectrum, has written a book about her experiences of being a health care assistant, encompassing the highs and lows of the role’s challenges and its rewarding nature.
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Currently working as Spectrum’s Clinical Coder and Quality & Outcomes Framework Lead at HMP Preston, Nicky started her health care career as a nursing home carer, aged 18. Following her degree, she then worked for a nursing agency,  where she began collating her stories after one horrible night shift.

‘I’m Just An HCA’ has been described as showing ‘what it’s really like to care day after day (or night after night) for older people who may have lost the use of their faculties, and who may treat you as their best friend or their greatest threat, and how you can make lifelong friends – as well as a few enemies – along the way.’

Preston Royal HospitalPreston Royal Hospital
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“My path into healthcare began aged sixteen when I was sent from school for work experience, at Charnley Fold - it was a nursing home back then,” says Nicky. “I was only young but I loved helping, caring and assisting with the old folks; I loved their life stories even more.

“This then inspired me to focus on becoming a healthcare staff member,” she adds. “When my work experience was over I knew straight away I wanted to work in healthcare, I enrolled on a course at Tuson College (as it was known then) and did a two year course titled 'Family and Community Care' I was sent on placement to a nursing home and they offered me a position of Care Assistant.

“I was so proud to wear the uniform and took to his role straight away; I loved every minute of it. I always say it's a very tough role but also a very rewarding one. There are not many jobs where we get so up close and personal when providing personal tasks. I regard this as an honour to provide such help to someone who needs assistance in their elder years.”

Nicky’s book ‘I’m Just An HCA’ has now been published and is available to buy on Amazon for £3.85 (Kindle edition) and £9.99 (paperback).

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