Karen B - Administration and Business Manager

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Karen B

00:00:03 My name's Karen B, and I work in the Emergency Department, and my title is EAU Admin and Business Manager. EAU stands for the Emergency Assessment Unit, and that covers the Accident & Emergency Department, and we have four emergency wards as well. My role is very much around staff management. We've got about forty members of staff working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

00:00:32 I hated school, I wasn't interested in school at all, I found it really boring. I left school with absolutely no qualifications and went into hairdressing. And I suppose I thought the plan for my life would be, I would get married, and I would have children, and I would do some part time jobs, but my main role would probably be housekeeping and looking after children. But children didn't come along for us so, you know, that's probably why a career developed.

00:01:02 My husband and my father were self-employed. They were running a plumbing business, and that was growing. And they really needed somebody to help them with their book work. I worked in the family business for quite a few years, and then we were hit by the recession in the building trade, and I was an overhead so I had to go, I had to go and find another job. And well you can imagine how my poor Dad felt, making his daughter redundant. But anyway - don't worry Dad, I'll get a job no problem.

00:01:34 I saw a job advertised as a Traffic Warden and I thought, that's different! Good money, I'll have a go at that. It was good fun, 'cause I was only early twenties and I used to have long hair and I'd plait it and tuck it up under my hat (LAUGHS) and off I'd trot. And I was only sworn at twice. And even one of those chaps found me afterwards and apologised. Fantastic life experience really.

00:02:01 So after about four and a half years as a Traffic Warden, I thought I think I should have a go at something else now, and I saw a part time position at our local hospital. So I started working in the Appointments Office part time, and I absolutely loved it.

00:02:18 We joined with another hospital, so became much larger, we became a Trust. And the Manager I had at that time was quite frustrating to work with, she didn't really make decisions, and I found that quite frustrating. Eventually this Manager left, and the Manager above asked me if I would act up in this role. So I discussed with my boss that, you know, I'd give it a go, and I said to him, But I need to do some more training. This is my certificate in Management - Post Graduate Certificate. And I never dreamt I'd be capable of getting that. And here's my photograph to prove it.

00:03:03 I'd also been to evening classes and learnt British sign language for deaf people, and I'd got very involved in the deaf community. And I'd had some really moving experiences in the hospital environment where I'd supported deaf people. You know for me that was a really - almost a life-changing experience, 'cause it was so moving to be able to help somebody who was really in quite a difficult position.

00:03:33 What stands out for me as the thing that holds me back really is myself belief. And that has often been highlighted as my weakness. So I try hard to overcome it, but funny, if something's really deep within you, it is still quite hard to overcome it.

00:03:52 When I left school I didn't think I could do anything, but actually my life - the way it has turned out - has proved that actually if you put your mind to something, and you want to do something, you could do anything.

00:04:06 SIGN LANGUAGE

00:04:11 ENDS

Karen B

Karen B My name's Karen B, and I work in the Emergency Department, and my title is EAU Admin and Business Manager. EAU stands for the Emergency Assessment Unit, and that covers the Accident & Emergency Department, and we have four emergency wards as well. My role is very much around staff management. We've got about forty members of staff working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I hated school, I wasn't interested in school at all, I found it really boring. I left school with absolutely no qualifications and went into hairdressing. And I suppose I thought the plan for my life would be, I would get married, and I would have children, and I would do some part time jobs, but my main role would probably be housekeeping and looking after children. But children didn't come along for us so, you know, that's probably why a career developed. My husband and my father were self-employed. They were running a plumbing business, and that was growing. And they really needed somebody to help them with their book work. I worked in the family business for quite a few years, and then we were hit by the recession in the building trade, and I was an overhead so I had to go, I had to go and find another job. And well you can imagine how my poor Dad felt, making his daughter redundant. But anyway - don't worry Dad, I'll get a job no problem. I saw a job advertised as a Traffic Warden and I thought, that's different! Good money, I'll have a go at that. It was good fun, 'cause I was only early twenties and I used to have long hair and I'd plait it and tuck it up under my hat (LAUGHS) and off I'd trot. And I was only sworn at twice. And even one of those chaps found me afterwards and apologised. Fantastic life experience really. So after about four and a half years as a Traffic Warden, I thought I think I should have a go at something else now, and I saw a part time position at our local hospital. So I started working in the Appointments Office part time, and I absolutely loved it. We joined with another hospital, so became much larger, we became a Trust. And the Manager I had at that time was quite frustrating to work with, she didn't really make decisions, and I found that quite frustrating. Eventually this Manager left, and the Manager above asked me if I would act up in this role. So I discussed with my boss that, you know, I'd give it a go, and I said to him, But I need to do some more training. This is my certificate in Management - Post Graduate Certificate. And I never dreamt I'd be capable of getting that. And here's my photograph to prove it. I'd also been to evening classes and learnt British sign language for deaf people, and I'd got very involved in the deaf community. And I'd had some really moving experiences in the hospital environment where I'd supported deaf people. You know for me that was a really - almost a life-changing experience, 'cause it was so moving to be able to help somebody who was really in quite a difficult position. What stands out for me as the thing that holds me back really is myself belief. And that has often been highlighted as my weakness. So I try hard to overcome it, but funny, if something's really deep within you, it is still quite hard to overcome it. When I left school I didn't think I could do anything, but actually my life - the way it has turned out - has proved that actually if you put your mind to something, and you want to do something, you could do anything. SIGN LANGUAGE ENDS

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About Karen B

Age at filming: 46-55, Employer's name: Addenbrookes Hospital
Some people are so strong they go on to achieve amazing things despite life's disappointments and blows. When children didn't come along Karen focussed on work. Recession made her redundancy from the family firm a necessity, but Karen never gave up and now the girl who hated school and left with no qualifications, has achieved her postgraduate certificate in management! As if this were not enough she has also learnt British sign language for the deaf, life changing for Karen, as she makes a real difference to other people's lives.

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Average Salary
£37,440
Average Weekly Hours
39
Past Unemployment
YearUnemployed
20113%
20123%
Predicted Employment
Future Employment Chart
Top 10 Industries
For This Job
IndustryJobs
Head offices, etc5,974
Architectural & related3,893
Public admin. & defence3,271
Legal & accounting 3,161
Health 2,802
Other professional2,674
Retail trade1,640
Membership organisations1,562
Auxiliary  services1,516
Education1,477
Employment Status
Employment Status Chart
Description

Workers in this unit group advise on the formulation and implementation of policy in the public and private sectors, develop and implement substantial business, statistical and administrative systems, and perform a variety of functions not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 242: Business, research and administrative professionals.

Qualifications

Entrants typically possess a degree or an equivalent qualification. Entry is also possible by internal promotion for those with appropriate experience. Training is often provided on-the-job in the form of short courses for specialist areas.

Tasks
  • Coordinates the organisation’s services and resources, liaising with other senior staff
  • Analyses internal processes and systems, recommends and implements procedural and policy changes
  • Recruits and manages staff, assigns and delegates tasks and duties, makes changes in procedures to deal with variations in workload
  • Develops plans, sets objectives and monitors and evaluates performance
  • Prepares and reviews operational and financial reports
  • Controls and administers budgets. advises national and local government on the interpretation and implementation of policy decisions, acts and regulations, and provides technical assistance in the formulation of policy
  • Co-ordinates and directs the activities of Revenue and Customs offices, Job Centres, Benefits Agency offices and other local offices of national government
  • Registers and maintains records of all births, deaths and marriages in local authority area, issues appropriate certificates and reports any suspicious causes of death to the coroner. negotiates and monitors contracted out services provided by the private sector to local government studies and acts upon any legislation that may affect the local authority.
Employment by Region
Regional Employment Chart
Gender Balance
M 56% 44% F
Skills Chart
Where to go next
Information and statistics for the health and social care sector.Cambridge University HospitalsSector Skills Council for Health Professionals

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