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Rachael, Northern Ireland’s HCA of the Year.

Congratulations Rachael, Northern Ireland’s HCA of the Year. We caught up with Rachael on her win.

How long have you been working with the Guild?

Almost three years. I went full time with the Guild this year, and it’s the best decision I ever made. The Belfast team have been so supportive and helpful every step of the way.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people I meet, both patients and staff, I love connecting with people and working with the multidisciplinary team to promote patient wellness. People’s life experiences and their stories fascinate me. The people I have met over my ten years as a HCA this far have led incredible, fulfilling lives before I meet them. I feel that it’s very important to remember that they are more than just a patient; they have people who love them, hobbies and passions and incredible life stories to tell. It is essential to me to incorporate that into their care to fulfil their needs and wishes to the best of my abilities to make it truly person-centred. I get great satisfaction getting to know a patient, their life story and, with that information providing person-centred care. I have learned so much working in varied settings that have furthered my knowledge that I wouldn’t have gotten had I been based in the one area.

What attracted you to join the Guild?

The Guild was recommended to me by a family member. I was attracted by the flexibility, excellent pay rates and support working with the Guild offers.

It has given me so much freedom to choose my hours to fit my lifestyle. I am going back to finish my mental health nursing degree next year. The excellent pay rates and flexibility means I can still work and study without it impacting my studies.

How do you feel about being our HCA of the Year?

I am absolutely shocked and delighted. I couldn’t believe it when I received the email informing me that I had been nominated. It is really lovely even to be nominated. I am so grateful!! I don’t work as HCA for the recognition; I do it because I love it. But to even be acknowledged is a tremendous honour. I am absolutely overjoyed and proud.

What do you love about being a HCA?

I love the fast-paced environment, where no two days are the
same. It suits my personality. The ability to change specialities multiple times allows growth whilst remaining a HCA.

I have learned valuable life lessons from each area and person who has taught me something that I will always be grateful for and made me the HCA I am today.

I love improving someone’s quality of life and making a difference with the personal connection I can have with patients. The therapeutic relationship is important to me. I adore being able to sit, have a chat and banter with them.

Being with patients through the most difficult or happiest times of their life is a real privilege. I recently had the honour of
facilitating a terminally ill person in their final months to be at home, ensuring their wishes were met and ensuring the person was comfortable.

There are always a few very special people you will meet in your career, for me this person was one of those people. I learned some valuable lessons in the nine months I spent with them.

They showed me that there is never enough kindness, love, patience or humility in the world and to always have courage.

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