Jacqui Hart and Laura Chaffer are both support workers from Albert ward in Broadoak Adult Mental Health Inpatient Unit.
Jacqui: Today we said goodbye to a man who arrived a few weeks ago with no possessions and very scared. I’ve spent time finding out what he needed and reassuring him. He looked like a different person when he left. Another patient was unsettled and wanted to read to calm down but he had no glasses, so I found him some. It’s the little things.
Our ward is for men who need to come into hospital because their mental health has deteriorated. We joke about the lengths I go to trying create a lovely welcoming feel for new patients – I put two fresh towels folded like a hotel room with shower gel on top! I’m new and still learning but listening and supporting is so rewarding - I know I’m in the right job.
Laura: I had a breakthrough today. A patient I’ve been supporting wouldn’t speak to anyone. I’ve been sitting with him and chatting; today I asked how old he was - he just said ‘forever 21’. Now he’s talking to his doctors, it’s made me smile all day.
People ask me why I’ve chosen to work here. I love the hospital environment. It’s challenging but building up a rapport with patients means you can pick up on how someone is feeling and pass it on so they get the help they need. The staff support is incredible, the team will always make time to listen to you and hear how you feel. I’ve never worked anywhere else where that’s happened.