Student news - Brain ward

GCU student balances studies while working as a brain injury ward helper

Thu, 30 Apr 2020 16:19:00 BST
Jessica helps the patients by doing their hair, hosting quizzes and serving lunches
Jessica helps the patients by doing their hair, hosting quizzes and serving lunches

A GCU student has been balancing her studies while supporting patients at a brain injury rehabilitation centre as a ward helper.

Second year Environmental Management student Jessica Greig has recently started the role and has been working five days a week to support patients in the brain injury ward and neurological care centre.

Jessica has been juggling a number of different responsibilities as a ward helper. She said: “I go between the two wards on a daily basis and help with various tasks.

These include taking the patients out for walks and exercise, keeping them entertained with planned activities such as quizzes or card games, administration work, and helping serve the patient’s lunches.

Sometimes I’ll also do the female patients’ hair, makeup and nails to keep them occupied as currently no visitors are allowed in so a lot of the patients are feeling bored and lonely. I also read to the patients with Huntington’s disease to keep them entertained as well.

It really is a mixed bag of things I do there.”

Jessica has felt the impact of COVID-19 with how she works at the centre. She said: “We have to wear face masks every day and gloves and aprons where appropriate. The brain injury ward was actually just in lockdown during the last two weeks and just re-opened on Thursday.

This affected me as I wouldn’t have been in the role to start with if COVID-19 hadn’t happened. I only got involved to help alleviate some pressure around the wards, as I realised how much the other staff would have on their plate as a result."

Due to her long working hours, Jessica has found balancing her studies to be difficult at times. She said: “By the time I get home I usually feel too drained to sit and do university work and I am arguably behind on a few pieces of coursework which is very stressful as I usually am on time with my submissions.

I’ve only been in the role for about three and a half weeks so far, so hopefully as the weeks go on I’ll be able to figure out a better balance in order to complete my coursework.”

By Rachael McAlonan

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