A Day in the Life of … Georgia from Weldmar at Home
20th September 2023< BACK TO NEWS
Weldmar at Home launched in 2021, providing care in the final weeks of life to patients who would prefer to be in the familiar and comfortable surroundings of their own home. The service recently expanded to provide care across the Purbeck area, as well as the north, south, and west of Dorset.
Health Care Assistant Georgia Daw shares a typical day…
⏰ My day begins at 7:30am. I’ll check messages and patient records to identify any changes in patient needs or circumstances, and whether I would need a conversation with a patient’s Weldmar Community Nurse.
I’ll also find out if there are new people for me to see, and familiarise myself with their notes. I’m based in Dorchester, but I ‘fill the gaps’ all over the county. This could be holiday and sickness cover, or wherever we might have a high number of referrals.
When I arrive to an appointment, the first thing to offer is a big smile! I’ll ask the patient and their family members about how things have been since the last visit. For example, if they say they are only able to sleep on one side, there is a risk of pressure sores so I can check these out myself as well as adding to their notes later.
I can help the patient feel fresher, whether that’s a full body wash, cleaning teeth, brushing hair, personal care, or shaving. I might need to change the bedding.
I’m also there to support their loved ones. Not surprisingly, they might be upset, anxious, or even angry at the situation they’re in. I’ll talk calmly with them, provide reassurance, and perhaps give them a chance to go for a walk or have time out. Sometimes people need a listening ear, or want to chat – I’m always happy to talk about my experiences in musical theatre!
One lady I cared for said she used to be a tap dancer, and was showing me old photos. Every household is different, and it’s important to treat people as individuals.
With the nature of what we do, we are often there when a patient dies. When this happens, I can help to make them ready for their loved ones to have the opportunity to spend some time with them. I’ll offer to call the District Nurse or GP to verify the death, and provide other advice – ‘What do I need to do next?’ is a very common question in these circumstances.
As well as our visits, we also meet as a team every few weeks, which is really useful as we’re normally spread out across the county. We’ll talk about what’s happening around the organisation so we feel part of what’s going on, we meet new colleagues, and talk about our experiences and how we can improve what we do.
One of the great things about Weldmar is the ongoing commitment to our development. I’ve just completed my Level 3 Lead Adult Care Worker qualification, and there are opportunities to gain additional knowledge, including weekly bitesize training sessions. We have great support with the opportunity to debrief with line managers in 1:1 meetings, and we also have opportunities to talk about our own wellbeing and self care. The support from the office is immense, we have a great team who co-ordinate us to provide care when and where it is needed. As colleagues, we know we can lean on each other for support too.
This job means everything to me. I’m very passionate about providing high quality care, particularly for those at the end of life because my best friend passed away from Hodgkins Lymphoma. I strongly believe in providing care to patients the way you would to a family member.
Thanks to Georgia for sharing her ‘Day in the Life’. This article is taken from the latest Weldmar Supporter Magazine, which is available to pick up for free from all Weldmar shops and outlets across Dorset.