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Gemma Bain

Gemma Bain is a Theatre Associate Practitioner. Read about Gemma’s experiences below.

My journey in health care started as a health care assistant (HCA) in maternity and as soon as I took my first steps into an operating theatre I knew this was the path I wanted to follow. I applied for a HCA position within general theatres and knew I wanted to progress further in my career.

My current role is as a Theatre Associate Practitioner (TAP) and it involves supporting the multi-disciplinary team within theatres, recovery and surgical day units. This includes registered allied health professionals (AHPs) such as operating department practitioners (ODPs), senior anaesthetic staff, surgeons/consultants, staff nurses and HCAs. As well as scrubbing for surgical procedures in Head and Neck theatres I support ODPs with collecting both adult and paediatric patients, patient care is an important part of my role. Ensuring safety, care and compassion within the department is paramount. If a paediatric patient is coming to theatre, I am compassionate and reassuring towards the patient’s carer/parent and ensure I support them with any worries or anxieties whilst escorting them safely back to the ward. I work closely with the anaesthetic team, carrying out appropriate manual handling, keeping patients safe within theatre, ensuring the WHO checklist is carried out before, during and after every procedure. I also complete patient documentation, scan devices used for procedures and input times/details on to TrakCare.

I believe my role as a TAP to be highly important within the theatre setting as I am able to support all of my colleagues with confidence and competence, ensuring patient care is delivered to a high standard

When I was offered the opportunity to apply for the Higher Apprenticeship at Birmingham City University I was overjoyed that I could develop my skills and knowledge and progress within my career. The apprenticeship enabled me to continue to work in a job that I loved whilst supporting me with training and development, competence and confidence. I was able to progress in a manageable timeframe that fitted around family life and this empowered me to achieve my goals and ambitions.

I am most proud of how my confidence has grown and how well I have integrated into the multidisciplinary team. I am an active team player and feel my skills and knowledge enable me to be supportive, reliable, effective and friendly. We as a team work together to deliver personalised care to each patient every time.

If you are interested in being a support t worker, I would say ‘Go For It!’ Yes, it may be scary and challenging but it is the most rewarding feeling knowing you are making such a difference. Not only to the patients you care for but to the colleagues around you. Being part of a team that delivers such varied and specialised treatment to patients during such worrying and anxious times, it feels me with so much pride knowing the difference myself and my colleagues make.

My journey so far as a TAP has been incredibly rewarding and as I continue to learn and develop I am excited as to what the future holds. I feel very lucky to work alongside such a dedicated and supportive team.