01 October 2019
So what does being a porter at Spire Cardiff Hospital really involve? Here we speak to Brian Jenkins, Senior Porter, who explains what it’s like after four years on the job.
“Being a porter I’m involved in every area of the hospital, there’s always lots to do and no day is the same. Our shift pattern is broke up over 24 hours and I can honesty say I really enjoy it!”
A porter’s day begins around 5.45am when there is a handover with the night porter for the porters keys and the cardiac emergency pager along with any other information.
Brian continues, “The night porter then leaves for home and then the next porter begins! Starting with a coffee for many of us, we begin the day by covering reception until the arrival of the early receptionist at 6.30am.”
As a porter, there is a lot of responsibility to the role, which people often don’t realise! A large part of the job is working alongside the theatre staff.
“At 8am we typically go to theatre for a meeting with the cardiac arrest team. Porters play an important role if the cardiac alarm sounds, we must go to the area shown on our pager and take the cardiac trolley and oxygen bottle as well as be prepared to administer chest compressions, if directed to,” explains Brian.
Porters are also trained for checking or replacing oxygen cylinders and to take units of blood to theatres or wards, as required. The training includes cross referencing patients details to make sure we get the right unit.
Brian continues, “We also work daily with the patients. All day the porter will be getting calls on his radio to either take beds to theatre or take patients back to their room after their operation. Sometime during the day we will have to take patients from their room down to X-ray and back, when the X-ray has been completed.
“When a patient is discharged it's the porters responsibility to safely take the patient to the ground floor in a wheelchair, via the lift. The patient is then helped into the car ready for the homeward journey.”
Other parts of a porter’s job include making sure both clinical and normal waste is removed from both the main building and Glamorgan House including areas such as theatres and housekeeping.
Many porters also enjoy gardening and are more than happy to water the hanging baskets and the flower bed by Glamorgan House.
As the day comes to a close, “We make sure the last of the patients are taken back to their room from recovery, take over reception around 8pm so the evening receptionist can go home, and make sure all fire doors are locked, alarms are set and all relevant rubbish is cleared.”
From 10pm the night porter is then on duty. This role is important to make sure the hospital is securely locked, manage CCTV, monitor car parking and much more... All in a nights work for a porter!