Introducing December's inspiring Devon Bluebird

Published: 13/12/2017

This month, meet inspiring Devon Bluebird Jade Simpson. 


Introducing Jade Simpson, our inspiring Devon Bluebird for December.


1)    Please could you tell us a bit about your role at Bluebird Care and how long you have been part of the Devon Bluebird team?
I am a Night Carer at Bluebird Care, supporting customers through the Rapid Response programme. The night shifts are from 10pm to 7 am. I have worked there for 2.5 years now, and returned from maternity leave not too long ago - in July. I have worked daytime shifts previously with Bluebird Care but I chose to come back to as a Night Carer as I prefer it and it suits my lifestyle at the moment.  

2)    What qualifications have you got within the care industry?
I have my Care Certificate, which I received when I passed all the initial training with  Bluebird Care. When I came back from maternity leave, I took refresher training in all the courses such as First Aid, Handling & Moving, Medication. I also take regular e-learning courses as part of my job, so I am always refreshing my knowledge and gaining new skills whilst working. 

3)    Are you studying for other qualifications?
I am looking to do training in Dementia and End of Life care in the new year. I really think I will benefit from this training as, through my role with Rapid Response, I do meet customers and families requiring this specific type of care. I'm particularly keen to further expand my skills in responding professionally to End of Life Care, in order to provide customers and families with the best support possible. 
4)    What does your current role consist of?
I work for the Rapid Response team, which works alongside the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital to provide a fast community response to elderly and frail people who are in need of care or who have recently been discharged from hospital. The Rapid Response service aims to reduce unnecessary stays in hospital by ensuring people can be cared for in the community safely, in their own homes by trained and skilled care professionals. This enables people to recover in their own homes rather than being admitted back into hospital.

5)    Can you describe a typical day in your job?
Each shift varies quite a bit as it really depends on who I am going to see, but I always arrive at the customer's house at 10pm. If I am meeting a new customer, I introduce myself. Then I always ask how they have been and note down any changes or if they have any concerns, which I then feed back to my Supervisor. I ask if they would like anything to drink, then I help them have a quick wash, change into their nightwear, accompany them to the toilet and help them into bed.

I make sure they are comfortable and settled, then let them get to sleep. Throughout the night, I check on them every hour to make sure they are sleeping well and are comfortable. Some customers sleep straight through the night, others get up as they need to use the toilet or sometimes they might be a little bit confused. I reassure them and help them settle back down.

At about half 6 in the morning, I pop in to let them know I will be leaving in the next half hour. I see if they would like anything to eat or drink, or need to use the toilet, and help them take their medication ready for the day ahead. 

6)    Have you always worked in the care industry? If not, what were you doing before?
No. Before Bluebird Care I was working with horses at a few different places. Then I decided I wanted to have one fill-time job that I could put all my focus onto.

7)    That's quite a change. Why did you decide to begin a career in the care industry?
I just realised I really enjoy helping other people, and care work allows me to help some really love people in such simple ways. 

The flexibility of the role was really important to me as well, as I could choose my hours. This has become even more important now that I am a working mum. That's why I chose to come back as a Night Carer. I really prefer it. I can work while daughter is asleep and don't feel like I'm missing out on being there as she grows up. It means I can work 36 hours without having to get in child care. And I can pick up extra shifts throughout the week whenever I need to top up some hours. 

8)    How was it returning back to work after your maternity leave? 

The transition back was really good. As I said, I could come back to work while my daughter was sleeping so I didn't feel like I was leaving her. The team at Bluebird Care was really supportive as well, and the refresher training was excellent. It was great to know that I had that extra bit of support upon returning, and I really feel confident in what I do. I know how to deal with situations in a really professional and safe manner through the training. 

9)    What are the rewards of the job?
Being able to help so many people in their daily lives is really rewarding. There are really basic things that we take for granted, even just going to the toilet, but which are a for some of our customers. Some customers don't have any relatives or friends close by either, so they are very lonely, especially if they have lost their partner. Just going in and having a cup of tea with them before bed makes their day, and it's only an hour out of my life. You start to build a relationship with them and you look forward to seeing them; they become friends.

I also enjoy being able to help our customers' family members out too. Being able to give them a bit of a break and get some rest is a great feeling. I like seeing them wake up refreshed the next morning. I always feel very welcomed into the family.

12) Would you recommend other people should consider entering the care profession? If so, why?
Yes, definitely. It's so rewarding knowing you have the ability to help people so much in quite simple ways. You really lighten their day just being there. 

To join your local #DevonBluebird team, take a look at our latest vacancies here or get in touch directly on 01404 814 880 for an informal chat.