A day in the life of a Higher Therapy Support Worker

A man wearing a Higher Therapy Support Worker uniform, he is smilingMeet Peter Watling, a Higher Therapy Support Worker at The Princess Royal Hospital, Telford. After starting his working life pursuing a career within sport, a conversation with his wife made him realise he wanted a different role, one where he could learn and have the opportunity to progress.

He joined New Cross hospital as a Therapy Assistant where he gained a lot of experience, confirming that a career in Therapies was definitely the right course for him. From here, he joined SaTH as a Higher Therapy Support Worker, getting to experience both Physio and Occupational Therapy and says he hasn't looked back since! 

Here he shares what a typical working day looks like for him in this role:

"I normally wake up at 6:15 and have breakfast, sort out any household chores, help get my son ready for nursery and then leave home for work at approximately 7:15. I travel by car from my home near Wolverhampton to The Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, ensuring I am at work on time to commence my shift at 8:00."

"I have a department handover at 8:00 to listen to the information regarding patients, and anything I need to know for the day / week ahead on both my own wards and the wards that may require support and help as required."

"A brief overview of my role as a Higher Therapy Support Worker includes helping people feel comfortable and independent, and in the case of disability or after illness or injury. I also help Occupational Therapists perform risk assessments and identify if the patient requires any further rehab or home with a package of care. I also help with completing TOC (transfer of care document) to help aid the right destination on discharge."

"My primary duties include:

  • Testing, evaluating and recording the physical and mental state of patients
  • Analysing previous medical history when deciding on rehabilitation goals
  • Encouraging and helping patients create a daily routine
  • Consulting with doctors and other specialists on the best course of action
  • Helping patients adjust and understand their disability
  • Teaching patients how to use home exercise and therapy equipment
  • Ensuring equipment is in good working order
  • Maintaining an accurate record of patient treatments
  • Fitting equipment at patients homes e.g. bedlevers
  • I also go to stores in Hortonwood to collect equipment to take to patients houses and take equipment back to PRH if we are running low on stock.
  • I'm also a fire warden completing daily checks of the department and responding appropriately in an emergency situation.
  • I also look at after the pool vehicles that we use to transport the equipment out into the community. I clean, maintain and book the vehicles in for MOT and service as required.
  • I also do weekend working (roughly 1 day of a weekend every 4 - 6 weeks)"

"Towards the end of my shift I complete 15:30 reports/handovers and my shift finishes at 16:00."

"I travel home in my car arriving home at approximately 16:30. I spend time with my family in the evening, doing a range of things such as going for a run, preparing a healthy tea and spending quality family time together. I normally go to bed at approximately 22:00 and have a good nights rest ready for another day at PRH."

"The highlight of my day would be seeing patients progress day by day after a period of being unwell, and regaining their independence with mobility and transfers including bed transfers allowing them to return home. I also really enjoy going out into the community to fit equipment in patients homes to support with their timely discharge."

"I am motivated as my role plays a part in the patient gaining as much independence back into their life as can possibly be achieved. The satisfaction of seeing someone go home with a smile on their face is a great motivator. I come into contact with a lot of patients and through completing their assessments and establishing their background this can be very rewarding and motivating."

"If you are thinking about a career at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital and have the following qualities for (example are caring and have an encouraging attitude, have patience, tact and sensitivity, a good communicator, have initiative, the ability to work in a team) then I would say the Trust are excellent employers as there are ample opportunities to develop your skills. The training and support given is of high quality and ongoing, enabling you to keep your skills at a high level and ensuring any new developments are passed on. You will work hard but the satisfaction levels are high and you are always encouraged in all aspects of your work."