Published on: 20th September 2022
As awareness of mental health continues to increase at a rapid rate, a mother and daughter duo from Oldham have made a career switch to help those in need of support.
Husna Khatun, 44, and Hanifa Begum, 26, decided to leave their warehouse roles behind and start afresh at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust after attending a recruitment event and speaking to NHS staff about their experiences.
They joined Pennine Care’s health care support worker apprenticeships and now support people experiencing mental health difficulties, ranging from people with low level conditions to those needing high level, longer-term support.
Husna will work with the Oldham home treatment team, providing support in the community for people experiencing an acute mental health crisis.
Hanifa’s role sees her work at an adult inpatient ward at Oldham Royal Hospital where she will help colleagues provide specialised care for females with a variety of mental health needs.
Husna explains how they both made the career change: “We wanted a career where we could get job satisfaction from helping people. Hanifa and I visited a Pennine Care recruitment event with my youngest daughter who had heard about it through her university. We only went to support her but the pair of us got talking to staff and were interviewed the same day.”
The career change has proved to be a good one for them both, Hanifa said of her new start: “I didn't realise how much background training is needed but it’s been good, I've learnt most of the job before I started on my ward which made me feel better prepared, and I didn't feel as though I was just thrown in to fend for myself.
“I’m loving being in an environment that helps me grow as a person and as an individual, I feel like I'm part of a family. It takes a real team to run a shift, and everyone has each other’s back - I just know that I can rely on them through thick and thin.
“I was terrified when I first started but the more I settled into the role, the more the initial anxiety started to fade away and it became second nature to me.”
Whilst the pair are in different teams, their work does occasionally cross over and they both appreciate having a familiar shoulder to lean on for support:
“Hanifa and I don’t work with each other directly, but our teams often deal with the same patients so it’s been good to have someone on the ward I know I can speak to.” Said Husna.
“We find that most times we can get through the stresses of work by talking to each other and giving each other ideas on how to better our practice (without ever mentioning specific people). The main thing we focus on is the good and celebrating our accomplishments.”
The pair will now look to continue their journey in the NHS and progress further with their teams.