21 March 2017
Neville Morgan is a porter working in theatres here at the Royal Free Hospital. He has worked at the Royal Free London for 24 years.
Tell us a bit about what you do
The job mainly consists of transferring patients around the hospital or to the operating bed. I also transport blood samples for testing and make sure patients have everything they need. I started out as a porter in the radiology department where I spent eight years and for the past 16 years I’ve been working in theatres. You must never forget that your patient is likely to be feeling unwell so you must keep your pace slow and steady, otherwise you run the risk of them feeling queasy or even being sick.
What’s the best bit about the job?
For me the best part is working with such a strong team – it feels like a family. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of a team that all have the same aim – ensuring the welfare of our patients, saving lives and doing a good job each and every day. The atmosphere is very positive and that matters, especially during the times when we’re short-staffed.
Have you done any training recently?
I’ve tried to improve my English and Maths by taking a functional skills course in those subjects. One of the things I had to do was give a speech in front of a group of people and I couldn’t talk about work or my family. I chose to talk about the Notting Hill Carnival because I live near there. I’m naturally quite a quiet person and public speaking is not my thing, but the teacher said I spoke up when people asked questions and so they could tell I’ve got a voice!
You must have to find the right way to chat to patients every day
I just try to make patients comfortable, so I always aim to say hello and ask them how they are feeling. It’s not easy coming for an operation and sometimes people may be crying or incredibly nervous. I try and calm them down by telling them they will be in very good hands and we’ll bring them back to the wards safely. I make sure I’ve got a clean tissue handy in case of tears. I’m that reassuring person they need at that point in time. It’s completely understandable that they are going to be concerned. I think you need a good heart to do this kind of job.
How did you find out about the job?
My dad used to be a general porter here and that’s how I found out about the job. I did a few weeks work experience in local shops and in a bowling alley, but when I got here it felt like the right job for me. I feel like the work I do is important and that matters to me. Actually, I was due a day off today but I said yes to working ‘bank’ instead. I enjoy what I do – it’s as simple as that.