Hildegard Croucher – Healthcare Assistant (HCA), Kingston Health Centre
After meeting my husband in Germany and spending several years overseas, we returned to the UK. I was over the moon when I landed a part-time job at Richmond Road Medical Centre (now Kingston Health Centre), in Kingston upon Thames, as a receptionist. As a little girl, I always wanted to be a midwife but this never happened, so a job at a surgery was near enough for me at the time.
I loved being a receptionist, but soon I asked whether I could attend some NHS training courses. I started with phlebotomy and progressed from there to an NVQ 3 in Health and Social Care, all with the full support of my colleagues. I then became the coordinator for the Weigh-2-Go course and am now a Healthcare Assistant (HCA).
A normal day for me involves: taking blood, assisting with the women’s clinic or minor surgery, doing ECGs (electrocardiograms), helping people stop smoking, carrying out health checks for people over 40, giving flu/B12/ shingles jabs, diabetic foot checks, looking after the surgery’s weekly walking group and the ‘tea and biscuit hour’, when any patient can drop in for a chat.
I am especially proud of my Weigh-2-Go courses (a lifestyle change course), which I have been coordinating for the last eight years. For me, it is immensely satisfying when patients proudly announce how much weight they have lost and how it has changed their lives, even years after they first attended the course. This is a much better way to lose weight than going on a fad diet.
A healthy lifestyle is what our patients need and I am determined to be there to steer them on to the right track and, if possible, keep them there.