Theatre Support Worker Sam Smith wanted a career in the NHS after seeing the care that his little sister received at Walsall Manor Hospital a couple of years ago and, despite some difficulties, he was determined to get what he wanted.
Sam’s determination has paid off as he is now proud to be a Theatre Support Worker with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust – but he wants to use his experience to encourage others to follow their dreams and never give up on their goals.
The 23-year-old is deaf in his left ear and underwent nine operations after being diagnosed with cholesteatoma; an abnormal skin cell growth found in the middle ear. He also has dyspraxia which affects his motor co-ordination.
“I really struggled to tie my shoelaces and writing was a really big thing for me,” explained Sam. “School was difficult for me as well.”
Sam’s sister Mollie-Bea was hospitalised in 2016 and was a patient on the children’s ward for a week with a severe kidney infection. At that time Sam, of Chasetown, was unemployed and seeing the care his sister received and how staff worked so hard to help people inspired him to want to join the NHS.
“I think it is difficult to get into the NHS but I never gave up,” he said.
“I saw a poster in the Job Centre for the Prince’s Trust and got involved with them which led to me doing some unpaid work in portering to get some work experience. I would definitely advise others to consider unpaid work or volunteering as it helps you to better understand the place you want to work in and you can also make a good impression which will help if a job becomes available.”
Sam went on to work as a member of bank staff in portering services until he heard about the Theatre Support Worker role which he secured in January this year.
“My colleagues have been really supportive and I enjoy the role which is all about assisting surgeons, doctors and nurses. I also understand how our patients are feeling too as I had to have so many operations myself. I’m still fairly new to this and am still learning but I’m so happy to be here and am proof that you should never give up.”
In his spare time Sam is an Assistant Cub Scout Leader.