Case study

Pan Toure

Abigail Phipps

Reablement Team Leader

My career journey has already taken a few unexpected turns and I’m sure there will be a few more in the years to come. I started my journey working with children, moved to working within a hospital setting and now I’m a Team Leader in the Reablement service.

My early ambition was to work with children as a paediatric nurse. Once I’d acquired the qualifications necessary and secured a place at university, I chose to gain some work experience before committing myself to the rigor of academic study. I undertook a range of opportunities working with children; in nurseries and in schools, helping me to shape my thoughts about what I wanted to do. Whilst employed in the nursery at Southampton Hospital I signed up to work on the wards as ‘bank staff’. I loved working with adults so much I refocused my aspirations and abandoned thoughts about paediatric nursing.

I was enjoying my work at the hospital and learnt a lot whilst on the wards but ‘home life’ began to merge with ‘work life’ when my Nan’s health sadly deteriorated. I witnessed first-hand the value of supporting people in their own home, whether long term care, discharge from hospital or end of life care. This prompted another bend in the road as far as my career was concerned.

With a sense of purpose, I moved into the role of Community Response Assistant Level 1 (CRA1) within the Reablement team. After two years as a CRA1, I progressed to a Community Response Assistant Level 2 (CRA2) position. This involved undertaking initial visits, starting care packages, completing care calls and medication. Another two years and I took the bold step to apply for a Team Leader role.

When first offered the position of Team Leader in my mid-twenties it felt a little daunting and I did have an initial ‘wobble’ of self-confidence. There was a part of me that didn't want to let go of what I knew well. It was a big commitment to take on the responsibility of line management. Knowing my manager and colleagues had confidence in me something just suddenly clicked, and I went, ‘Yes! I’m going to do this’. That was four years ago. I now have a Level 3 qualification and hope to be starting a Level 4 in the near future. I love my job and can’t see myself doing anything different for a while to come.

I can truly see the value of the work my team and I do. Having worked in hospital wards, in community care and seeing my Nan benefit from the care she needed at home gives me a unique perspective. It’s lovely to be in a job that offers so much personal reward.

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