Inspirational Story

Tracy Crooks

Can you tell us about your role and the difference it makes to patient care?

As an Orthotic Assistant practitioner I carry my own case load of patients. Being an assistant practitioner has given me a bigger scope of practice and the knowledge to fulfil that role and allowing me more autonomy in doing it.


What attracted you to being a support worker?

At the age of 16 when I left school I did not want to work in a factory like all of my family, so I entered the care sector and have been in the care sector in one way or another ever since which amounts to nearly 34years now.


How has training and development in your role helped you so far?

The training I held allowed me to progress as far as I could however the apprenticeship and foundation degree helped me take the next step to the level that was just out of reach.

I now know more about how care is implemented, how it can have an impact on the patient not just physically but emotionally and socially. It gave me the knowledge and confidence to look at care not just for the individual but also how the care we offer can benefit the larger community. I have been able to expand my competencies. I have more responsibility and I now take an active role in how we as a department deliver care to our patients.

As a support worker you can have an enormous impact on someone and their view of the NHS

What are you most proud of in your role?

  1. Completing the foundation degree and higher apprenticeship at the age of 49
  2. Implementing the knowledge I have gained to research and put together patient information booklets that are available to the wider community on the hub
  3. Improving waiting times for patients
  4. The confidence I have gained while doing this role
  5. Starting another apprenticeship in Team leader/ supervisor


What would you say to others to encourage more people to become AHP support workers?

While a role of an AHP support worker may not be the most glamorous and sometime it can be very difficult, it is a very rewarding job.

Many people think support workers are “just carers” or “just assistants”, they are not! As a support worker you can have an enormous impact on someone and their view of the NHS.

There are so many different types of job roles out there waiting to be explored that can lead to change, not for just a single patient but support workers can change the way care is given to the community as a whole.


Anything else you would like to say?

One of my favourite quotes is by Dr Jane Goodall

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

For care to improve it takes someone to take the first step. That first step could be by anyone and it could lead anywhere.