“Since joining Project SEARCH, I have had the opportunity to try out a number of different roles at Whipps Cross Hospital. My favourite by far, is the role I am in now which is working as a porter.
When I complete the Project SEARCH programme, my dream is to get a permanent job as a porter. One of my job coaches, Arthur, says he can see a real drive in me to become a porter and it is clear how much I enjoy my work!
As part of my day-to-day job, I move around the hospital a lot and am never in one place for very long. I am part of a large team in the portering department at Whipps Cross and am always working with new and different people. The porter’s office is located in the hospital basement and we also have a staff room where we’re able to socialise during any breaks.
Each day, I complete a variety of tasks. These include taking patients from one place to another, taking samples from the wards to the pathology lab, transporting oxygen cylinders to the wards when needed and helping to move any furniture.
My job therefore requires an array of skills, from teamwork and communication to time keeping and organisation. I am proud to say that I have been working really hard to develop all of these skills and strive to be a helpful and trustworthy member of the portering team.
As part of my role, I have to think on my feet quite a lot and solve problems as they arise. For example, porters need to keep to a strict time schedule, and we usually only have five minutes to take a patient to where they need to be before the dispatcher calls us to our next task. If a patient isn’t quite ready in that timeframe, it can get quite complicated and different tasks start to overlap.
In these situations, I have learnt to keep calm and, with the help of my colleagues and managers, work my way through them. I have definitely grown in confidence over time and have even set myself a new goal to use the electronic Bed Mover independently at least four times each week.
When I’m walking through the hospital, I am very focused on the job that needs to be done – each day I complete between 25 and 30 tasks! However, whatever I’m doing, I always make sure I am kind and respectful to the people around me – whether it be doctors, nurses, patients or members of my team. ‘Welcoming’ is my favourite Barts Health WeCare value and something I always strive to be.
To be in with the best chance of becoming a full-time porter, I am keeping my eyes and ears peeled for any jobs that come up. I am looking for opportunities on the Barts Health website, Indeed, SERCO and am also in frequent communication with my managers to see if they know of any vacancies.
Getting a job as a porter would enable me to use my time to help others which is something that really drives me. It would also mean that I can start paying my own way and be more independent in the future.
Being a porter can be stressful sometimes but I really do enjoy it and I am very grateful to the team at Project SEARCH for helping me find a job I love to do!”