How to become a Healthcare Assistant

3,600

jobs advertised

£14,000

estimated starting salary

£20,000

estimated salary

Looking for a job you can really care about? You’ve come to the right place…

Healthcare Assistants, or HCAs, help support doctors and nurses by providing their patients with care and attention.

They could work everywhere from large hospitals and doctor’s surgeries, through to private clinics and even inside patients’ homes. However, whatever setting they work within, their primary role remains the same: ensuring that all patients are as comfortable, and as cared for, as possible – whatever illness or injury they may have.

Typical day-to-day duties for a Healthcare Assistant may include:

  • Washing and dressing patients
  • Making beds, and sterilising equipment
  • Serving food, and feeding weaker patients
  • Taking measurements, such as temperatures, respiration and pulse rates
  • Taking samples, e.g. blood and urine
  • Preparing patients for surgery

To become a Healthcare Assistant, you’ll need to be caring, compassionate, and empathetic to people from all walks of life.

For many patients, being in a hospital or doctor’s surgery (or even alone in their own homes) can be an incredibly stressful and isolating experience. And with doctors and nurses often too busy to dedicate a good amount to each person, just having someone to listen to their problems can help make a patient’s experience that little bit easier.

The job may also involve very personal or unpleasant tasks, such as washing and toileting, making tact, discretion and a hand-on approach similarly essential.

Other key skills for a Healthcare Assistant include:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • A caring and sensitive bedside manner
  • Flexibility and approachability
  • Respectfulness
  • Sensitivity
  • An open mind

Healthcare Assistant

Up to £20,000

Nurse

Up to £28,000

Nursing Team Leader

Up to £35,000

If you’re looking for a job where you really feel valued, become a Healthcare Assistant. It’s incredible the amount of genuine love and affection you get from patients, simply by doing the little things that make their stay at hospital a bit better. Sometimes just sitting with people, holding their hands, or explaining a complicated procedure is all it takes. Sure, there are tougher parts of the job, like cleaning wounds and helping people with the toilet, but treating everyone with the dignity and respect they deserve makes a huge difference. I’m hoping to move into a specialist nursing position, like paediatrics eventually. But there are many other options when it comes to progression too.

Get qualified

You won’t need any formal qualifications in order to become a HCA. However, as entry level roles can be competitive, previous experience or healthcare-specific certifications may help you stand out from the crowd. Healthcare Assistant apprenticeships may also available.

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