I woke this morning with a distinct feeling of excitement in the pit of my stomach. I had an excellent night of sleep last night, after asking to be left alone to recuperate. They are very good that way and will do what you ask.
I have been reflecting quite a bit lately on my job in 3D. Some of you might or might not know that I work in the NHS at a sleep centre as a sleep technician. I sort of landed in the job 7 years ago after leaving the world of law. I was blown away by the compassion I saw compared to the cut throat world of law. I started off there as a co-ordinator/secretary (part time) managing the centre with another part time co-ordinator. At the time there were 3 sleep technicians (two were on maternity leave), one consultant and a manager. I started my training – one night a week while juggling the co-ordinator role, thus learning the ropes from both ends.
We had two rooms in the hospital for the admin side and hired beds from the hospital for our few patients we admitted. We had a long waiting list of a year.
Finally, 5 years ago, they moved us into the house that we currently occupy. The first stand alone sleep centre in the UK. And now we are bulging at the seems and work every night except Saturdays. I run the siesta studies on a Thursday – the only afternoon available when there are no clinics.
Last week Thursday I heard the news that we are moving next year into a wing at the hospital – a whole wing!!! This allows us to expand at the rapid rate that we are expanding.
But enough about that. When we first moved into the house, I started to harp on about training. Sleep studies is a relatively new thing. I know in the US and Australia they have proper 5 year degrees that you can do, but in the UK there is nothing. We train on the job. Hands on experience is invaluable, but I felt we needed some form of grading like nurses have, otherwise the job lands up being a dead end.
I have spent five years of fighting for recognition from the hospital and we finally received it in January this year. They agreed that the first three technicians would do a NVQ course which we would adapt (as the pioneers) to fit sleep technicians. This way our techs will be graded. One is doing Level 2 and two are doing Level 3. As the person who fought so long and hard for this, I was given first option. We started in February and hope to finish in September. The next four techs are starting their course in September.
Our nursing assessors are all agog about what we do as no-one really knows. It’s a learning curve for everyone. We are not nurses and are not health care assistants, so we are in a category of our own and no-one knew where to place us.
This acknowledgement and course puts us on the map. As a result most of what we have done in this course is then fed back to the hospital and WOW have there been changes abounding everywhere. We are finally being noticed and given what we need.
My final deed while I am still working here is to sort out the salary banding. Once this is done I shall be moving on. This has been a mission that was set for me when I ‘fell’ into the job and my mission is partly accomplished.
My job in 3D - to read comments on LW