Published 23 November 2022
Aaron Carliell’s first experience of life working for East Kent Hospitals was when he joined an intern scheme in 2010.
Now, 12 years on, he works as a theatre support worker in day surgery at the QEQM and hopes to train as an operating department practitioner.
Aaron’s role involves caring for patients before and after their procedures and quickly building a rapport to help them feel at ease.
He said: “I really enjoy the interaction with patients, and getting to know them.
“Even though they are only with us for a short time there’s a lot we can find out, for example whether they like to chat and share a joke, or if they are quieter and more reserved.
“We always do our best to make people feel safe and to know they will be cared for while they are with us.”
The team deal with a range of surgery, from gall bladder or hernia removal to maxillofacial procedures, so the work is varied.
Aaron hopes to build on his experience by starting an apprenticeship to become an operating department practitioner, which would mean he would be able to assist during the surgical procedures.
He said: “My team and my manager are really supportive and helped me to complete my care certificate, as well as to complete my functional skills training in maths and English.
“I can’t thank them enough for the opportunities they have given me. I have autism so I work a bit differently to other people, and I perceive things differently, but they have helped to put adjustments in place to help me do my job.”
Aaron is a member of the Trust’s staff disability network, and also part of a steering group helping to improve the experience of staff with a range of different backgrounds and needs.
He said: “I don’t like the word disability, I prefer to think of it as being differently abled rather than a negative. The team have really made the effort to understand how it affects me so they can put any adjustments in place that I might need.
“With the right support someone like me, who is a bit different, can be given a chance and that is so important. I have achieved a lot since joining day surgery because of the support from my team and my manager.”
For more information on the support worker roles available with East Kent Hospitals, visit https://www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/work-here/latest-vacancies/