A day in the life of… Jason Martin, Sensory Trusted Assessor

We spend a day in the life of ECL Sensory Trusted Assessor, Jason Martin.

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Jason has been with ECL for five years. When he joined ECL he worked in our Reablement team as a Community Care Assistant and progressed to a Trusted Assessor. Two years ago he transitioned from the Reablement team to the Sensory team.

Here he tells us about his role…

It would seem that working in social care was Jason’s destiny as he started out working in social care at 16 when he left school and has come full circle returning to social care five years ago after an exciting career in fashion and television makeup artistry for MAC Professional Cosmetics.

Jason has a Higher National Diploma in Fashion Styling for Hair and Makeup from the London College of Fashion and during his time at MAC he was a key part of the team that opened the first original MAC cosmetics retail outlet in the UK at Heathrow Terminal 3.

He also worked as part of the MAC Pro store team working with professional makeup artists where he met Karen Alder, international makeup artist to the stars. This meeting changed his career trajectory as he landed a job assisting her for a year and half working in fashion, television, and music videos.

Five years ago, burnt out from the long hours and frequent travelling, Jason made the decision to change career and go back into adult social care. He now works for ECL’s Sensory Support service as a Trusted Assessor helping adults with sight loss, hearing loss or combined sight and hearing loss.

A naturally caring and personable individual, Jason has progressed quickly from working as a community care assistant in ECL’s short term home care reablement team to become a trusted assessor in our Sensory service.

Jason said: “All that glitters is not gold, while I loved working in cosmetics being flown all over the world and working in the television and fashion industry, helping people with sensory impairments lead a normal independent life is so much more rewarding.”

Tell us about the role of a Trusted Assessor:

“As a Trusted Assessor I am responsible for meeting with customers that have been referred into our Sensory Service to evaluate their support needs. I meet with new customers and assess what assistance we can give to help them to be more independent. I look at what level of sensory impairment they have, any other conditions they may have and evaluate their needs establishing what support ECL can provide as well as signposting to other services and organisations that can also help them.

“A key part of my role is assessing for the communication guide service which offers support for customers when attending hospital visits and medical appointments. I assess the needs of the customer and brief the communication guide assigned to them to ensure that they provide all the assistance needed on the day of the appointment.

I also undertake assessments for our contract service where we provide a communication guide to support an individual on a regular basis. With these assessments I make sure that everything in the independent support plan created by their social worker matches the needs of what the customer requires. I then create a support plan for the guides to follow when that support commences so that we ensure we are hitting all the areas of support that the customer requires.”

What does a typical day look like for you?

“I am mostly out and about meeting customers so no two days are the same but they do tend to follow a similar structure. I begin my day checking emails to see what referrals have come in for me and then once I have done this I set off to meet my fist customer. I try to support two assessments per day.

“During my visits I am primarily assessing for our communication guide service. I look at what conditions have caused the sensory loss, what mobility support they require, and if they have any health conditions that we need to be aware of. If they have health conditions I establish if there are any protocols that might need to be put into place for example, if the customer has COPD, I will put a note on the system to tell the guide to remind the customer to bring their inhaler when they pick them up. Or if the customer has diabetes, to remind them to bring a sugary snack in case their blood sugar drops. At the end of my assessment I ensure that the customer has all the details of how the service works and how they contact us.

“I end my day as I started it, checking emails and checking my referrals, as well as contacting customers to arrange assessments that need to be put into place. I also update ACP or APP relating to the customer assessments I have done that day.”

What do you love most about your role?

“The best part of my job is seeing the customer’s confidence grow as we work with them. People with sensory loss can often be overlooked by the system so when we go out to meet new customers they often feel isolated, frustrated and can feel quite low. It’s amazing to see those same customers at the end of their journey having regained not only their confidence and their independence but also their zest for life. In many cases it really is a transformation and it is wonderful to see. These people don’t want anything extraordinary; they just want to be able to live their lives and be independent and do the everyday things you and I take for granted. The fact that we can make that happen is amazing.

“Some often feel that their sensory loss is all anyone sees about them and there is so much more to them than their disability. Watching that growth and watching their confidence grow and blossom is just an extraordinary thing to watch happen.”

Advice to those wishing to join the sensory team:

“We all have to have the capacity to care and to make a difference. Working with individuals with sensory loss requires a lot of empathy and you need to be very patient. If you want to make a difference then just go for it because the job satisfaction is second to none. In addition the training ECL provides is great, so if there are any areas where you wish to extend your skills there is the opportunity for that professional development. It is so rewarding. Once you start to support someone and see their personal growth it’s phenomenal, you can’t put a value on it; it’s amazing. I think that the ability to care and help people in the way that we do is just an incredible gift to be able to give someone.”

For more information on ECL’s Sensory Support Service visit https://www.ecl.org/services/sensory-service.

If you are interested in a role in our sensory team visit our recruitment page ecl.org/careers.

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