At Spinal Injury Support we understand the importance of handpicking a team of Personal Assistants (P.A’s) who not only work well together, but also have a shared vision for the client they work with, as well as interests and personalities that are compatible with one another. We believe this is the best way to ensure our clients feel empowered to make informed decisions, whilst also giving them the confidence to integrate better within their community.
Our highly qualified Clinical Team are also dedicated to the training of our P.A’s, whether they have previous experience or not, so we can be certain you have the skills required to competently deliver the highest quality assistance to those we support. This includes:
Attendance and completion of mandatory (Basic life support/ Medication administration/ Moving and handling) and specialist training (Spinal and Respiratory clients) including ALL online training
An individual induction which focuses on the client and his/her support plan undertaken by the lead Personal Assistant on shift or Complex Care Manager (CCM)
Undertaking shadow shifts with a competent and more experienced Personal Assistant. Your CCM will allocate the lead person on the first shift for you to work alongside. If two people are on shift then the lead or most experienced PA will work alongside you, and you will take the roll of the second person
Formal observation and assessment of your practice by your Clinical Nurse Specialist or another person deemed competent to judge your work as acceptable
The agreement from your client that you are able to support their needs adequately
Gemma is a Personal Assistant who works shifts
I recently started supporting a young man with a spinal injury after applying for a role with Spinal Injury Support.
As someone who has always worked shifts, and has experience in caring for others, I was intrigued by the Personal Assistant (P.A) role I found advertised online. I’d never supported anyone with a spinal injury before, but the advert did say that full training would be provided, and I wanted to try something new. I also wanted full time work and although I do prefer working days, as I find nights really hard and am free pretty much every day, I decided to apply.
The hiring process
Once I’d sent in my C.V, the Recruitment Team rang me for a chat and they ended up booking me in for an interview with a Complex Care Manager. I passed the interview and was then asked to attend a “meet and greet” with the client. I hadn’t done one of these before so I was nervous, but it turned out to be quite fun! I met the client and my new Care Manager over Microsoft Teams and the client came across as a very nice person. He asked me a few questions about my experience and told me what his hobbies were.
I found out later that day that he wanted me as part of his team of Personal Assistants (P.A’s) and my shadow shifts were to begin the following week.
A typical day
My shifts start at 8.00am and finish at 8.00pm. As I live close by, I don’t need to leave before 7.30am. On arrival, I’m given a detailed handover from the night PA, before using the company tablet in the client’s home to read the notes on PASS – an electronic system that allows you to access your client’s care records in real-time.
On this day, my client was already asleep, as he’d had a late night previously. He woke up at around 9.15am. I made his breakfast and took it to him. After this we started his wash and bowel care regime, where he told me that he was planning a weekend break. I thought that this would be a good idea as he did not go out very much.
Once his morning routine was completed, and he was in his chair in front of his laptop, I went and made a start on his medication stock check. By the time this was finished, as it took longer than expected, I asked my client what he would like for lunch. He said that he would like to go to the pub, which panicked me a bit, as I hadn’t started any of the laundry!
However, as it was a warm day and just down the road, we walked to the pub where my client met his friends. Whilst he enjoyed lunch and drinks with his group, I spent the time updating my notes on PASS. At 4pm, I offered my client his meds, which he declined. This meant I had to phone the Complex Nurse Specialist assigned to the package as I knew these were time critical. The Nurse then spoke with my client, and he agreed to take them.
Around 6pm, we went back home. My client fell asleep in front of the T.V. whilst I started the laundry. At 7.45pm I handed over to the night P.A and said I’d see them tomorrow. I went home feeling a bit harassed as the day did not go as I had planned in my head. However, despite this, I looked forward to going to work the next day and seeing what new challenges it would bring! I really enjoy getting to know my client more each day and I’m so glad I decided to take the leap and apply for the role at Spinal Injury Support.
Chris is a Live-In Personal Assistant
I have been working within spinal injury for a little over 5 years now and I'm enjoying my time with the company. My manager is both very approachable and friendly. I work as a live-in Personal Assistant (P.A) and my client and family are lovely too – I get on really well with them.
As a live-in P.A, I support a gentleman who has a spinal injury to be able to live independently. I provide support with his daily life such as personal care, assisting with meal preparation, and medication administration to name just a few tasks as part of my role. I ensure my client's needs are at the heart of what I do and it is fulfilling to see the difference I make in my client's life. It is a very rewarding role.