Issue 18

Day in the life of a Ward Clerk

When I was asked to write about a typical day in the life of a Ward Clerk I thought it would be easy, but boy was I wrong. You see there is no such thing as a typical day inthe life of a Ward Clerk,they are all as varied and different as any two days can be.

I never quite know what's in store for me when I arrive at the clinic but there is one thing I am pretty sure of I will be kept busy until I finish at 4.30 which is one of the reasons why I enjoy my job so much, it can be demanding and challenging, and after all these years I am still learning and doing new things which is why being a Ward Clerk is so interesting, and of course the nice BIG office I now have which as everyone who was in the old build will remember is so different to the cupboard I spent so many years in. Anyway here's a brief insight into some of the things I do, I could never write about everything I do so I am just going to go through one day as it happens so that you can have an idea of what else I do besides all the shopping, cashing giros, tracking down patients benefits, organizing buffets, going on various meetings, trips to Trust Headquarters and The Princess of Wales Hospital and of course the occasional cup of coffee with Kay, Roy and Shelley to catch up with new procedures and discuss ideas and working practises, so here goes:

I start at 9 but I try to be in around 8.30 especially on a Monday, as there seems to be more things that need my attention first thing on a Monday morning than others. Bank shifts from the previous week have to be recorded and faxed to Nurse Bank at 9am. The 24 hr stats have to be photocopied and sent to designated departments and then I take the information off these records and transfer it to various ward records. Incentive monies have to written up and taken to the bank in Glanrhyd. Petty Cash needs to be organised and taken up to Robert Goodwin to be authorised. Any maintenance issues that might have occurred over the weekend have to be reported to the estates department for them to deal with. This all has to be done first thing and while doing this I might have had quiet a few requests from both patients and staff to help with or organise other issues on the ward.

Once the initial rush is over I can then settle down and start working my way through everything that needs to be done, I sort out the petty cash that I would have collected from the bank, record more information from off the Off Duties onto individual records, I supply Karen Williams and Alyson Page with information that they require on a weekly basis. I liase with either Sally or Angela (our wonderful Housekeepers) to order the provisions for the ward and anything else that is needed for the ward from Central Stores. I have a pile of photocopying that needs to be done and then filed away. I check that various forms and records are available in the ward office and deal with any enquiries that might need my attention.

I could go on and on listing things that the Ward Clerks deal with on a daily basis but in general everyone knows a bit of what a Ward Clerk does and how we work. I suppose the Ward Clerks office could be best described as the Information Desk of any given ward. We are usually the first port of call for any of the departments within the clinic who need access to records and most other information kept at ward level, our roll is to also assist the Ward Managers and nursing staff with all administrative aspects of running the ward so that they can spend more time on patient care which is obviously their priority. My main priority is also helping patients in anyway that I can, this usually revolves around petty cash payments, benefits and contacting the Estates

Department when required, it might not amount to much in the scheme of things but if it makes peoples stay here a little less stressful and more relaxed then it´s a bonus. I would just like to finish by saying that to me being a Ward Clerk in The Caswell Clinic is a great job, I get to meet loads of wonderful and interesting people who genuinely seem to appreciate and respect the job that I do and no one can ask for any more than that no matter what job you do or where you work. I hope this has given a little insight into what being a Ward Clerk means to me and thank you for reading it.

Donna W. Ward Clerk