Developing from Health Care Support Worker to Band 6 with the flexibility that enables both work and family for a great work-life balance.
Charlotte Pritchard started working for the NHS in 2005 as a Health Care Support and qualified as a registered nurse in 2016. She’s achieved promotion to Band 6 and feels truly fulfilled in her role, influencing service changes and developments. Charlotte couldn’t be happier with the work-life balance that Wales provides. She says:
“I joined the NHS as a Health Care Support Worker (HCSW) in the Emergency Department at University Hospital of Wales (UHW) where I assisted registered nurses and medical staff. I was then inspired to further my career by my colleagues.
"Having left college at 18, initially I obtained my HCSW Certificate in Higher Education, which allowed me to go for my degree. Studying for the degree was challenging but I received great support from the university staff and my colleagues at UHW.
"It was great to spend time with others on my course. Knowing we were all in the same boat encouraged me to succeed. I enjoyed the practical side of the training, especially the hours we spent in the skills suites acting out real-life scenarios. This, more than anything, prepared me for my placements.
"After qualifying, I focussed on developing the skills I needed to become confident in my role in emergency medicine. I have supportive colleagues, allocated mentors, regular education days, plus drop in education sessions and my confidence has grown. I discovered there were many avenues and opportunities open to me to help me continue to learn and grow as a nurse and has supported maintaining my Portfolio.
“My Band 6 promotion, which I gained in 2018, provides me with even more opportunities. I was given the opportunity to be part of a Service Improvement Team that allowed myself and other staff members to promote and improve patient care within the Emergency Unit and Emergency Medicine. I am really excited to be influencing service changes and developments and making things better for our patients and staff. An example is Medicines Management, where I worked closely with pharmacy colleagues and medical staff, to improve the way medicines are dispensed within the Emergency Assessment Unit.
"I’m very lucky to belong to a really supportive group of staff who welcomed me, helped me develop my skills and confidence and provided me with opportunities to grow. I feel just as fortunate to help vulnerable people every day. For me, this is what nursing is all about and it gives me a huge sense of pride.
“As a new mum, I appreciate the flexibility that being a nurse brings to family life and achieving a work-life balance. I love being a mum and while it will be a wrench when I finish my maternity leave, I already know that I will be involved in another exciting service development project, which I am really looking forward to.
"Living in Cardiff is the icing on the cake. I love the buzz of city life but it’s also really easy for me to escape to beautiful countryside whenever I feel the need to unwind. When you’re a nurse, having this kind of balance can make a big difference. I wouldn’t swap living and working here for anything.”