Katie Bowden – Health Care Assistant
WITH both youth and dedication, 26 year old Health Care Assistant (HCA) Katie Bowden delivers excellent care to patients at work, whilst running her own charity to support dementia patients and their families in her spare time.
Employed by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Katie from Great Barr, has been working at SWBH for two years but has already made her mark, caring compassionately for patients on ward D43 at City Hospital. Katie’s main responsibility is to safely care for patients and ensure that they have everything that they need. But she also goes beyond her call of duty by organising hand-crafting sessions that encourage patients to try different crafts such as creating greeting cards or making little ‘sun catchers’.
Starting her career as a HCA in child care, Katie moved into adult care when she realised this was the field where she would like to develop her career in. She explained: “I genuinely care about every single patient that comes through the door, and treat them all with the same care that my own grandmother has.
“Not only have I found this job rewarding, I have also enjoyed the social aspect, as I have many interesting conversations with patients, who are always willing to share their past and history. I feel like I have learned so much and have grown since working here.”
Katie recalled a memorable occasion when she and her colleagues organised the Christmas party for patients and staff. Not only did everyone enjoy the party, they also raised around £150 for the ward. She said:
“I truly enjoy working here. The amount of support that I receive from my colleagues is tremendous and I feel so grateful to be working alongside with them.”
Whilst working full-time at the Trust, Katie also found the time to establish her charity – the Sun Rise Project 2014. The charity aims to provide support to dementia patients and their families and make sure that they are aware of what help is available to them.
The idea of setting up this charity came to Katie when her family were unable to find local help for her grandmother – who had dementia. Katie said it was a hard time for the family, as they were not sure how to cope with dementia. This experience motivated Katie to set up her charity to help dementia patients and their families. The charity, which covers the West Midland region, had excited great interest from the public and is going very well. The aim now is to set up a phone line so that anyone can call to discuss concerns about dementia. The charity also plans a series of coffee mornings for patients and their families to meet and talk about what they are going through or what help that they need.
Katie’s plan for the future is to apply for a nursing course and develop her charity to meet the ever increasing interest from dementia patients and their families.
Her own hero is her mother and her grandmother. Katie said: “My mother has always been there for me. My grandmother is my role model. She was a very independent and strong woman, and would do anything to help other people. Even in her eighties she still helped the church to take care of the garden. Although she is now suffering from dementia, and cannot do everything she once did, I still love her wholeheartedly and give her my full support.”