A hospital worker is a step closer to her dream of becoming a nurse after making a career change decision.
Clare Belshaw spent five years working as a catering assistant for Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.
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But she had a passion for a role with more direct patient contact and so moved from producing the patients’ food and menus in the kitchens to working in the cafe and shop.
However she eventually realised that still wasn’t quite what she wanted, despite that job having rewards of its own.
And so the 26-year-old then decided to take her career in a different direction after seeing the care her grandmother received in hospital.
She secured a role as a healthcare assistant in Wigan Infirmary’s discharge lounge in December.
And finally she feels she has found her niche and is getting great satisfaciton by making a difference to people’s lives while enjoying receiving thank-you cards and emails from patients and their relatives.
Clare, who lives in New Springs, said: “Moving careers has been a really big change and challenge for me, but it is very rewarding in a different way from when I worked in catering.
“I was a little nervous at first, but it’s actually been a really smooth transition.
“Despite there being a lot to learn I would encourage others to follow their dreams.”
She added: “I love making a difference and ensuring that our patients get home safely, effectively and efficiently.
“It means so much to me when patients give me a simple thank-you or shake my hand with a smile on their face when being discharged from hospital.”
Clare has now embarked upon an access to healthcare course at Wigan And Leigh College.
Her ultimate aim is to become a fully qualified nurse and, if all goes to plan, she wants to be concentrating on work in children’s mental health services within the next five years.
Her colleague Diane Barron said: “Clare has been a very welcome addition to the team.
“She is fabulous to work with because she is caring and eager to learn and a valuable team member.
“Clare is so lovely we all want to adopt her.”