Volunteers play a very important role in life at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. Due to the pandemic, many existing volunteers had to stay at home to shield from the virus, so the Trust called out to other local people for help. One of those who came forward was Katy McMahon.
Katy started volunteering as a ‘meet and greet’ volunteer on the front desk at Ormskirk hospital. Now several months on, she has secured her first ever role, working in the hospital as a healthcare assistant in the radiology department.
Katy explains: “I really wanted to help the NHS in some way during the pandemic, I was happy to be placed anywhere but delighted to get the position working on the front desk.
“I volunteered on a Monday and Thursday afternoon, which fitted perfectly around finishing my master’s degree, and from the very first day I loved it. Initially I thought being on the front desk would simply involve directing patients and visitors around the hospital, but it is so much more than that. Some days would involve contacting departments for visitors to check on loved ones, while others days would be much busier and could even involve supporting individuals with injuries waiting to go into the Walk-in Centre next door.
“Volunteer manager Irene was incredibly supportive throughout my time volunteering. She would visit or telephone the desk regularly to see how we were getting along and would always be available to contact regarding any questions or queries we may have had.”
“As my Masters is in Public Health, it was always my plan to work within healthcare. Although, after months of failed applications I began to lose hope that this would ever happen. I had managed to secure a couple of interviews, yet due to my lack of hospital experience I was not considered. However, that was until I was contacted to attend an interview for the role of healthcare assistant at Ormskirk.
“Despite only volunteering for a few months, I had learnt so much about the hospital and the NHS in general, which really helped me with my interview questions. For example, from directing patients to the ultrasound department, I understood what scans took place and in which area of the hospital. I also knew so much more about NHS patient confidentiality and standards. Most importantly, I was able to use so many examples of interactions I had with patients which demonstrated my ability to work under pressure, with difficult scenarios and situations which showed my genuine passion to support others. As a result, I got the job!
“I know that this would never have been possible without volunteering and I would not be in such an amazing job without it.”
Volunteer manager Irene Gardner continues: “Katy has been an absolute pleasure to work with. She is very dedicated and incredibly professional, really impressive at such a young age. I’m delighted that this has led to her first job; in what I am sure will be an impressive career with the NHS. Good luck Katy!”
If you are interested in volunteering at the Trust, please contact Irene on 01704 704796 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Roles range from gardener to ward runner, and each give valuable experience for anyone looking for a new role, or their first role.