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Emergency department and major trauma centre

Staff profile block: 

Peter Brown

Healthcare assistant
Peter Brown

The ED is incredibly fast-paced and a great place to gain lots of life experience.

What is it like?

Our emergency department (ED) is a very busy place – we saw 96,000 patients last year. It’s also one of the most varied and exciting places in the hospital to work. As an HCA in the ED, you will see people with everything from infections to heart attacks, minor bumps and sprains to major injuries.

We need to make quick decisions about the right thing to do for each individual. No matter what the nature of the illness or injury, our focus is always on patient safety and patient experience. We live the Trust values – kind, safe and excellent – in all our interactions with our patients.

Not all patients are admitted to the hospital. Some will be assessed on the unit and then sent home. Others may be sent to one of our short stay units, where they may be treated for hours or a few days before being discharged. We also have specialist areas in the ED for treating certain conditions like blood clots in the legs or lungs.

We are now also the regional major trauma centre (MTC), meaning that we see patients from all over the East of England who have suffered life threatening injuries. These patients need to be treated rapidly, involving close working with operating theatres, intensive care units and trauma ward. Our relationship with these patients continues through rehabilitation, to discharge.

What will I do?

As an HCA on the ED you will:

  • carry out observations
  • make sure infection control procedures are followed
  • move patients and equipment
  • prepare patients either for discharge or transfer to wards
  • help the doctors and nurses

You will be dealing with people who are anxious, stressed and frightened, so you need excellent communications skills and compassion. Our patients need to know that we respect them and their dignity, no matter what situation they have found themselves in.

It can be a tough and tiring environment, requiring passion and commitment, but in the end this is an exciting and rewarding place to work.