The auxiliary nurse " or healthcare assistant as the role is sometimes known " assists qualified healthcare professionals in their day to day work. They may look after patients in a number of ways, from feeding, washing and toileting them, as well as monitoring their condition by taking note of their temperature, pulse, weight and respirations.
Recruitment agencies that specialise in auxiliary nurse and healthcare assistant roles are listed on this page.
You may not necessarily need any qualifications to become an auxiliary nurse, but good GCSE grades and experience in working with people will help. One common method of entering the profession is by way of an apprenticeship. Once employed, an auxiliary nurse may obtain qualifications such as QCFs at level 2 or 3 in Clinical Healthcare Support or Healthcare Support Services " such as those accredited by CACHE, the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education.
Open University courses can also be undertaken, namely Healthcare Practice (and its Scottish equivalent, the Diploma of Higher Education (Dip HE) programme). These courses can lead to nursing qualifications.
Auxiliary nurses work at least 37.5 hours per week, and are commonly required to work shifts on weekends and evenings/nights. An auxiliary nurse in the NHS is paid approximately 14-15K. Pay in the private sector may be more or less than this, but will be comparable.