The job was initially advertised internally as an acting position and I entered for the competition. I was then interviewed for the job along with others and was informed in writing that I had been successful.
After two years of acting in the job, it was again advertised nationally. I again applied for the job and was again interviewed along with others and was also informed in writing that I had been successful.
Describe a typical day?
I start work at 9.30am. and I am responsible for all the Health Care Assistants in the hospital. Every Monday I prepare and validate salary returns for the Accounts Department. I take phone calls from the various ward managers and meet with my staff on a regular basis. I am also in contact with recruitment agencies to fill staff shortages.
It is a very busy department. If I am not at meetings and negotiating with staff representative bodies on matters pertaining to the Health Care Assistants, I could be on the wards assessing staff performance or assessing the practical skills of those staff doing their FETAC Level 5 training. I am also involved in the interviewing and the selection of staff, look after the rosters and manage sick leave, etc.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
Giving on-going support, supervision and guidance to Health Care Assistants and supervising their work through effective liaison with appropriate Clinical Nurse Managers and nursing staff.
Help to provide a safe working environment by ensuring that safety policies and procedures and infection control policies are known and adhered to.
Assist in collection of data on the performance of assigned staff and the service they provide.
Be an advice resource person for registered nurses and midwives in relation to the role of the Health Care Assistants.
Foster good working relationships between nursing staff and Health Care Assistants and deal with any problems which may arise.
Demonstrate flexibility by accepting other assignments from time to time at the request of the Director of Nursing & Midwifery Services.
Monitor and control sick leave, late attendance, or any unauthorised absences.
What are the main challenges?
The main challenge is having to deal with different managers who have different managerial styles and each department has different needs. There is also a challenge to ensure that each ward has sufficient staff, particularly when staff are out sick.
Working with a team whom you know and get on well with makes the tasks so much easier. We also socialise together, so that it is not all work and no play.
What's not so cool?
Sometimes people are working under a lot of pressure and the work situation can be stressful at times but on the whole people approach their work in a professional manner.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
I am a good listener but don't allow myself to become over involved in people's personal problems. I am also patient. Sometimes it is necessary to hear what is not being said in order to help people open up to what is not easy for them to express.