- Healthcare assistants work in a wide range of healthcare settings, assisting patients and other healthcare professionals
- This is an excellent, practical route into healthcare specialisms and further training, including nursing
- You'll often work shifts, including evenings and weekends, however the work can be highly rewarding
As a healthcare assistant, you could work in the NHS, at a private hospital or nursing home, or in the community. The work you do will be part of an agreed programme of care, and you'll be supervised by nurses.
- Helping patients shower and get dressed
- Helping people eat
- Making beds
- Using equipment to lift and move patients
- Talking to patients and reassuring them
- Helping patients to the toilet
- Tidying the ward or patients' homes
- Taking patients' temperature or pulse
- Attending meetings with other healthcare professionals
You might earn extra pay for working unsocial hours, like nights, weekends and bank holidays.
This role would be ideal for someone with good verbal communication and customer service skills, sensitivity and understanding, thoroughness and attention to detail, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, and the ability to work well with others and with their hands.
You could do a college course to varying levels in health and social care. Most of these courses include work placements, which is a good way to gain experience.
You can get this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a healthcare support worker.
You could work as a trainee care assistant in a residential or care home, and do qualifications on the job.
To help with applying for jobs, paid or voluntary experience in a healthcare setting or personal care role would be useful.
With experience you could train new healthcare assistants. With training, you could become an assistant practitioner in chiropody or podiatry, occupational therapy, radiography or physiotherapy. You could also apply to train as a nurse, radiographer, dietician, midwife or social worker.