Picture: Alison Bent & Tom Burr
Alison is often the first of many friendly faces you see when you enter Byron Ward, the 30-bed ward specialising in assessing, treating and rehabilitating frail older people. She tells us about her typical day working at King’s, and why she loves it so much.
What is the name of your role?
Which part of King’s College Hospital do you work in?
I currently work on Byron Ward which is care of the elderly. The majority of our patients have dementia. I also cover other wards within the T.E.A.M division.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Byron is a very busy ward. The day starts at 8.00am. I ensure all the patients are admitted on to the ward and that the patient board is up-to-date. Ideally this should be done by 8.30am. I then ensure all the patient notes are filed and up-to-date.
Then it’s time for board round which takes around one hour. Each patient is discussed individually and I find out who is going home. The telephone rings constantly, and I get a stream of people attending reception; from porters, to visitors, to deliveries.
I like to be at hand if a patient is confused or upset, or just wants someone to talk to. So I make them a cup of tea and give them a listening ear.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Speaking to relatives and patients. I enjoy interacting with them, whether it be making a cup of tea or just listening to them. I like to offer them reassurance.
Which part of your job is most challenging?
Ordering supplies for the ward. The system always seems to log me out and I have to usually reorder, which can be very time consuming!
What is your favourite thing about King’s?
The friendly people. Staff are very friendly and willing to help.
What’s your proudest achievement in your career to date?
Being able to use sign language with patients. It can be very frustrating for a deaf patient who comes into hospital and cannot communicate effectively with the staff, so I like to offer my signing experience.
What do you like to do outside of work in your free time?
I am learning to ride a bike and swim – things I didn’t achieve when I was younger.
Name one thing that the patients might not know about you.
If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would it be and why?
My mobile phone so I could keep in touch with my daughters.