Healthcare Assistants are clinical support staff that work alongside nurses and other healthcare professionals in an auxiliary role. The types of duties they might do could be around personal care of patients, assisting people to eat, helping them mobilise, assisting with improving their comfort and monitoring their condition.
Because of the risks involved around patient care, qualifications tend to be considered first because of the legal parameters, with experience also being quite important to employers. Healthcare Assistants can enter the job at entry level through an apprenticeship scheme, but they are also encouraged to obtain QCF qualifications at level 2 and 3 in either Healthcare Support or Clinical Healthcare Support. There is also a Foundation Degree (FdA) in Healthcare Practice which can be accessed by Healthcare Assistants already working and this is open to those who have no previous qualifications. These are all good routes into nursing.
The salaries can range from around £12,500 to £20,500 depending on experience, qualifications and location (London salaries tend to be higher).
Healthcare Assistants tend to be individuals who care a lot about other people, who are concerned with the health and wellbeing of others and who like to help. Good observation is helpful, and the ability to write down what they observe is very useful.