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Staff profile block: 

Kerry Symonds

Healthcare assistant
Kerry Symonds

If you want to make a real difference to people’s lives, this is a great job. 

What is it like?

Neurosciences concerns pretty much anything to do with the brain and spine. It includes neurology and neurosurgery. We are a regional unit and offer both planned and emergency care.

The medical conditions affecting our patients include epilepsy and Parkinson's disease, as well as a range of rare and unusual conditions.

In the neurosurgery area, patients undergo a variety of procedures, ranging from simple spinal operations to surgery for brain tumours, vascular problems or major head injuries.

We also have an acute trauma ward, where we care for patients who have suffered major injuries, often as a result of road traffic collisions. These patients often have multiple injuries eg broken bones as well as head and/or spinal injuries. 

Many of the conditions affecting our patients cause them to become confused. In this case they may require one to one nursing.

Neurosciences is an exceptionally busy area, but at the same time an extremely rewarding one. Not two days are ever the same and it can be very tiring, physically and emotionally. Many of our patients are extremely ill and you will be working with some patients who may present with challenging behaviours because of the type of injury or surgery they have undergone. Patience is an essential virtue here, but the rewards are amazing.

What will I do?

You will be helping our nurses deliver excellent standards of care to our adult patients. You will need to respect and promote the equality and dignity of our patients at all times.

Your tasks will include:

  • helping patients eat, drink, wash and go to the toilet
  • ensuring that patients with mobility problems do not develop issues with pressure areas
  • recording observations such as blood pressure and temperature and reporting any concerns
  • providing one to one supervision and care to confused and vulnerable patients