A day in the life...
... of Kath Padden, Team Leader at Heathcotes Wakefield:
Hi Kath! Can you tell us when you started working with the Heathcotes Group?
I commenced my employment with Heathcotes back in September 2012 as a Support Worker on nights in the Wakefield services. By early 2013 I was constantly asking to work days and I was given this chance wit in a few weeks by my manager, by mid-summer I was then given the opportunity to become an Acting Team Leader. I enjoyed the Acting role so much I decided to apply for the role of a Team Leader as soon as one came available.
Tell us a bit about your role and what it involves?
I started my role as Team leader in January 2014. I quickly realized there was more to the role then assisting staff to support the service users whilst administering medications and totalling sums of monies!
My role has many responsibilities from listening to the service users and assisting them with their needs and aspirations to leading a team of staff to deliver continuity and high quality care and support - not to mention meeting the expectations and goals of my manager and the company’s philosophies and values.
As Team Leader I have the responsibility to organize and delegate tasks to colleagues with a view to providing the best possible support. My daily tasks include administering and ordering medication, auditing documentations, handling monies and adhering to financial budgets. I also complete in house management files and support plans.
I assist with recruitment and attend staff interviews and also resolve any queries existing staff may have as well as carrying out regular staff supervisions, appraisals and managing the staffing rota.
Can you tell us about a typical day for you?
7.45 Arrive at work and gather staff for the morning handover and allocate staff to particular tasks that need to be completed that day and organise the individual support hours for each service user.
8.00 I have a walk around the service to check everything is in order and make sure the tasks set for night staff have been completed. I check the diary for any appointments or tasks for the day and read through the communication book to check for any messages that may need actioning.
8.30 I administer morning medications and say good morning to all the service users. I then chat with staff about each service user’s individual plan for the day and make a quick to do list to make sure I don’t forget anything.
10.00 I sit with my own allocated service user and go through their activity planner to ascertain their goals for the day. I then complete their daily notes and other daily documentations in their recording file. What happens from here depends on the individual service user; I could be supporting a service user to access the local shops or attend community events in the library or I may even support the service user to be present at professional appointments or yearly reviews.
12.30 Lunch time! This is an enjoyable part of the day as everyone tries to sit together, giving staff and service users the opportunity to share what they have been up to that morning.
1.00 I might catch up with staff members to see if they need any support or guidance or if they require monies for the afternoon’s activities. I might also need to administer medication during lunch.
1.30 Time to tackle the to-do list. The list can include staff supervisions or appraisals, booking appointments or chasing up professionals. I might have to update staff files or review support plan and risk assessments.
3.30 I will check what’s on the menu for the evening meal and make sure everyone knows who is preparing it. I then focus on allocating staff support to service users for the next day; this can take quite a while as we have 22 staff to allocate to 18 service users all of whom have very different needs.
17.15 Our evening meal is served. Again, we all try to eat together and discuss plans for the evening or the next day. Around this time I will also check that there are no outstanding queries or issues from staff or service users.
18.00 I check and count all the daily monies along with service users monies whilst booking in any receipts or out.
19.00 Another walk around the service to check that laundry, washing up and other chores have been completed. I check that all daily records for the service users have been completed along with any other outstanding paper work.
I then start on the handover sheet for the night shift. As staff arrive, I give them a verbal handover and make sure they are fully informed about any issues that have occurred during the day.
20.00 I say goodbye to the service users and staff and thank everybody for their contribution that day.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The most enjoyable aspect of my role is supporting the service users to achieve a healthy lifestyle. I encourage them to make meals for themselves or plan parties for special occasions. I enjoy helping service users with their weight loss goals and seeing their self-esteem and wellbeing improve as a result.
I also enjoy developing my own knowledge and skills through the many different situations I come across at work and through the different positions I have held at the company.
What do you find the most challenging?
The most difficult aspects of my role can be any unexpected challenging behaviours from the service users. All staff are trained in Non Abusive Psychological and Physical Interventions (NAPPI) which enables us to manage very challenging behaviour however when we are getting to know a new service user we need to identify any triggers to challenging behaviour, which can take time and can be quite difficult. Despite challenging circumstances, I know I have a professional team around me to ensure the day to day running of the service is fully maintained and my Manager is always ready to assist.
And finally, tell us one interesting fact about yourself
I haven’t had one day off sick during my career at Heathcotes!
Well done Kath! That’s a great achievement!
Apart from that, I have a Master’s Degree in Health and Social Care which I obtained in 2011. I hope that the qualification goes a long way to demonstrate my dedication to the service and my commitment to my career in Health and Social Care.