Lauren Hunstone – Critical Care Unit Healthcare Assistant
|Lauren Hunstone - Healthcare Assistant|
After gaining experience and working for the evening community nursing service I felt I had enough transferable skills to work on a ward. I applied for a number of healthcare assistant posts in hospitals in the Stockport area and had no luck due to my lack of direct ward experience - so my confidence level fell.
Then I saw an advert on Facebook about a recruitment open day at The Christie back in October and as a lot of my nursing colleagues were already aware of my passion to become a nurse they also informed me of this fantastic opportunity.
I started to do some research; phoning the human resources team at The Christie to see what the recruitment day would entail and then did some online preparation as well. They said if I was a suitable candidate and could pass the Maths and English test, I would be interviewed, and if successful at this stage even given a position on the day.
This was a very exciting prospect and I felt I really needed to do my absolute best to show I was competent to work in a ward based environment and that the skills I had would be beneficial to The Christie.
I also wanted to show I was enthusiastic to learn more in the future. I went through a number of competency based questions with a work colleague, who helped me to prepare for the interview and helped me understand what to expect.
When the day came I was very nervous, but also excited to see what the day had to offer. It was a 10am start so I got there with plenty of time to spare. I had already filled out the online application form and brought along appropriate identification as advised, so I felt ready and prepared.
The recruitment area was full of lots of staff - all very friendly and welcoming. I could also see that it was going to get very busy, with lots of candidates excited at the prospect of working in such a lovely and positive hospital.
To me, somebody who wants to study to become a staff nurse, the prospect of working at The Christie was so exciting. Being given the opportunity to work with such inspirational people and able to progress in the future is amazing.
All the candidates were split into small groups and the first thing we did was go on a tour of the hospital with one of the matrons at The Christie, Lyn Bushell. It was so interesting to see all the different departments of the hospital.
I have been to The Christie before, to visit a relative, however coming back as a possible future member of staff was very different. There is an instant feeling of warmth when you enter The Christie.
During the tour Lyn told us she had worked in a number of different roles across the hospital in various departments, before becoming a matron. This helped me to realise that The Christie is the kind of place where you are given the opportunity to progress and further your skills in areas that interest you.
After the tour we took a simple Maths and English test. I was really worried about this, even though I did reasonably well at GCSE. But it was nothing to worry about as the majority of the questions are common sense.
I then had to wait to find out if I had passed the tests - which was the longest 15 minutes of my whole life!!
Finally, I had my interview. The questions I had gone through with my colleague and the research I had done made me feel really confident as I felt I could answer each question fully. I also felt that the questions I was asked related to my own personal experiences which helped me to respond with relevant details.
A few days later (because so many people had applied) I got a call to say they wanted to offer me a 30 hour contract on Critical Care. This was literally the best news I've ever had. I cried on the phone and couldn't believe that my dream of working in a hospital environment, helping patients like my grandma was actually coming true.
I have now been working on Critical Care for over two months and I absolutely love it. The experience and skills in caring for critically ill patients is invaluable to my nursing career. Over the next few years I hope to study for a degree in adult nursing.
I know that there is another recruitment open day coming up on 5th March – this time just for qualified staff nurses.
If any nurses are considering working at The Christie I would highly recommend coming to the recruitment open day. It’s a great way to find out what it’s really like to work here, you get to meet some lovely people and they do everything possible to see the full potential in you.
Prepare well for it because you never know what you might get asked, dress smartly, but most importantly good luck!
Staff nurse recruitment open day – Saturday 5th March 2016 from 10am to 2pm. Education Centre, The Christie, Manchester, M20 4BX. Apply at via NHS Jobs.