Michelle Nicholls

Michelle Nicholls, Health Care Assistant/Clinical IT Manager, Claremont Medical Centre, Kingston

“I have worked at Claremont Medical Centre for almost 10 years.  I started as a receptionist and became a Practice Medicines Co-ordinator, and was offered the opportunity to re-train as a Health Care Assistant (HCA).  With the help of my workplace, my colleagues and Kingston University, I have completed my Care Certificate, my HCA Skills, and am currently applying for the Nursing Associate course.

“Through my study days, I have been able to bring the knowledge I have been given back to the surgery and patients I help on a daily basis.  Simple procedures that, with the right training, provide comfort and happiness to a patient.  For example, being able to re-dress a wound or take blood from a patient within the GP setting can be more convenient for our patients.

“I like working in healthcare in south west London because of the education opportunities.  There are many avenues and links that can be followed.  This enables us to provide a much better service to our patients.  We are also able to give patients more choice on where they can have their care.

“My proudest moment since becoming a HCA was when I performed CPR on a gentleman who collapsed on the side of the road near where I work.  I quickly realised he was not breathing and had gone into cardiac arrest.  I was able to perform full CPR on him until the rapid response ambulance arrived.  I am pleased to say the police phoned me that afternoon to tell me he was responding to treatment.  It’s from all the great training that I have had from all the staff at the university that has led to that moment where I wasn’t frightened to help and could do ‘my job’.”