Healthcare Assistant

 

Healthcare assistants (or  support worker, nursing assistant, nursing auxiliary) look after patients in hospitals or in patients’ own homes.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

 

College

You could do a college course, which may help you when looking for work. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care

Most health and social care courses include work placements, which is a good way to get experience.

Entry Requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

 

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a healthcare support worker.

Entry Requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

 

Working Towards

You could work as a trainee care assistant in a residential or care home, and do qualifications on the job.

 

Volunteering

You’ll find it useful to get some paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting or personal care role. This will help when you apply for jobs.

You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS Trust for advice about opportunities.

 

You’ll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

In this role you could:

  • help patients shower and get dressed
  • help people eat
  • make beds
  • use equipment to lift and move patients
  • talk to patients and reassure them
  • help patients to use the toilet
  • tidy the ward or patients’ homes
  • take patients’ temperature or pulse
  • attend meetings with other healthcare professionals

 

You will have to have passes enhanced background checks.

The following salaries are a guide only:

  • Starter: £18,005 
  • Experienced: £24,157

 

Working Conditions

  • You may work evenings, bank holidays or weekends.
  • You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a client’s home, at an adult care home or at a hospice.
  • You may need to wear a uniform.
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