• 10 August 2021
  • 12 min read

How To Become A Healthcare Support Worker

  • Laura Menzies
    Healthcare Support Worker
    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 0
  • 291
Play video: "I just love how every day is different and you just don't know what that day's going to bring."

Laura explains the process of becoming a Healthcare Support Worker, with insights into what kind of person fits the role, as well as how it can be a great route into Nursing.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What Qualifications Or Experience Do You Need To Become A Healthcare Support Worker?

What Roles Are Available For Healthcare Support Workers?

What Can You Earn As A Healthcare Support Worker?

What Are The Duties Of A Healthcare Support Worker?

What Personal Qualities Do You Need To Be A Healthcare Support Worker?

Career Opportunities For A Healthcare Support Worker

A Route Into Nursing?

Dealing With The Emotions Of The Role

Finding A Job As A Healthcare Support Worker

Introduction

Hi everyone, my name's Laura.

Today, I'm gonna be talking to you about how to become a Healthcare Support Worker.

I've worked as a Healthcare Support Worker now for almost 16 years, and I absolutely love the job and it's leading on for me to progress my career now into nursing.

So if you're at home now and you're thinking, that's something I'd love to do, then please continue to watch because I'll hopefully be helping you find out some more information about how you can start your journey to become a Healthcare Support Worker.

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What Qualifications Or Experience Do You Need To Become A Healthcare Support Worker?

Firstly, a lot of people ask, what qualifications do you need?

There's no specific qualifications you need in order to become a Healthcare Support Worker.

They do like you to have a good range of English and Maths, but there's no formal qualifications.

So as long as you've got a good understanding of Maths and English, you will be fine.

When I first started as a Healthcare Support Worker, I had previously worked in a care home.

Having previous experience, whether it's in a job or a volunteering role or even caring for a member of your family, that's all good experience and can help you get that job.

So yeah, having experience does help, but it's not essential, so don't worry about that.

What Roles Are Available For Healthcare Support Workers?

When you become a Healthcare Support Worker, there's a wide range of roles and settings you can work in.

So we have roles as Healthcare Support Workers in hospitals, where you work on the wards, you're assisting the nurses with the patient care.

We've got roles in GP surgeries, where you might be in a room and you undertake clinics maybe.

I know some Healthcare Support Workers train and they do bloods and they might run a phlebotomy clinic, or you take beds for the patients that day.

And you might be in a GP surgery alongside a nurse, so helping her as she runs her clinics.

Some of the settings you can work as a Healthcare Support Worker, I've made some notes.

You could work in mental health services.

So this could be in the community where you go into people's homes or it could be on a ward in a hospital, in a mental health ward.

Working in the community, you might go alongside a nurse and go to provide care for a patient who's perhaps at home.

And they might need wound assistance, so help with a wound.

You might go and assist the nurse with that.

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Do you have any questions about becoming a Healthcare Support Worker?

Ask Laura your questions below

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In Wales, when you become a Healthcare Support Worker, they offer all people a committed to care learning induction.

So when I did mine, it was two weeks in a classroom.

Now I think it's down to four days a week and that's done, for April 2018, it's essential.

You do have to do this, it's like an induction program.

So they show you how to take patient's observations. So the blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rates, oxygen levels, they'll teach you all how to do them, and you will come away with a booklet.

You'll take that off to your job role, and you'll just get signed off then by the manager or mentor or someone you're working alongside.

So what else do we have?

What Can You Earn As A Healthcare Support Worker?

Let's see, starting salaries as a health care support worker in Wales are for a band two, which is the initial level you'll start on is £18,005 a year.

And for a band three, which is a higher level, which tends to be if you have prior experience of being a health care support worker, or if you have additional skills, for example, you can end to take ECGs.

You can carry out blood venipuncture.

That would start at £19,732.

Find out more about NHS Bandings and pay here.

What Are The Duties Of A Healthcare Support Worker?

Some of the duties you've got to undertake being a Healthcare Support Worker can vary.

So for example, if you’re a Healthcare Support Worker on a ward, you might help with washing and dressing patients.

You might have to feed the patients, their breakfast, lunch, dinner.

So you might just hand the dinners out to patients who are completely fine with feeding themselves.

And then you might have to sit and feed other patients.

You might have to help move people around.

So if people are in beds and they got mobility issues, you'll have to undertake manual handling and be confident in helping move the patients and also monitoring the patients.

So observing them, seeing their health is like, and also carrying out their observations then.

What Personal Qualities Do You Need To Be A Healthcare Support Worker?

Some of the qualities you would need to become a Healthcare Support Worker.

So being a kind and caring person, wanting to help somebody, that's really good because you're gonna be helping patients every day.

You're gonna be helping patients who are perhaps vulnerable.

They're dealing with a lot of issues with their health.

So being understanding, that's a good quality to have.

Having good communication skills.

So you're gonna work with a wide variety of patients.

Some people might not be able to communicate properly with you.

They might have impairment issues.

They might have certain illnesses.

So for example, dementia, where they struggle to communicate with you.

Being able to adapt your communications skills is a very positive quality and is something which is gonna be vital to you in working as a Healthcare Support Worker.

It doesn't matter if you haven't had experience because we'll learn these skills as we go along.

So the more you work as a Healthcare Support Worker and work with different patients, you'll learn those skills as well.

So you don't essentially have to have them the minute you apply for the job, but just having an awareness of those skills and them being able to develop them more in a role, that's what they're looking for.

Career Opportunities For A Healthcare Support Worker

So when you initially start, you'll do the committed to care induction and also, a lot of trust offer you the opportunity to complete an NVQ in health and social care, so I carry that out.

And then you can progress if you did wanna go on to become a higher band Healthcare Support Worker, you could complete blood training.

You could complete ECG training.

Put an event on in a patient's handle Healthcare Support Workers will do that in the A&E setting.

So what that will help you then to become a more senior Healthcare Support Worker.

A Route Into Nursing?

You can also progress on to do your nurse training through a Healthcare Support Worker role, which is what I'm currently gonna be looking at doing and starting in September.

So what you do, you become a Healthcare Support Worker, work in that role, build up your experience, and then you can liaise with your manager and the education department in your trust.

And then they do have a certain amount of places available for people to apply and do their nurse training alongside their current health care support worker role.

So it does lead on to further career progression, which is a really good opportunity.

Find your next Nursing role here.

Dealing With The Emotions Of The Role

Especially more recently with COVID and dealing with the pandemic, it can be quite an emotional job and it can be quite sad and upsetting at times when you're dealing with patients who perhaps are coming to the end of their life, perhaps patients who are dealing with life limiting illnesses.

And I think, having a good support network around you, whether that's at home or whether that's in work.

So with managers, other peers who you work alongside, being able to speak to them and explaining how you feel and working through that and just talking about it.

It really helps you deal with your emotions better 'cause we are only human and it can be difficult at times, but with the right support, you will be fine and you will deal with those emotions.

And the more you deal with certain situations, you'll learn how to deal with them.

And you'll build coping mechanisms to help you deal with that situation better.

So apart from it being emotional, which can be difficult, it is an absolutely rewarding job role.

Finding A Job As A Healthcare Support Worker

I absolutely love being a Healthcare Support Worker, meeting different people, different patients every day and meeting different healthcare professionals.

I just love how every day is different and you just don't know what that day's gonna bring.

So my advice is if you're looking at becoming a Healthcare Support Worker, either look at volunteering, look at current roles on nurses.co.uk or social care.co.uk, they have job opportunities available on their website.

And also maybe just have a think about what area you think you would enjoy and maybe look for positions in something like that.

So if you like more of a hospital setting, perhaps look for roles that tie in with that, and also maybe look at building up some care experience qualifications.

So you could look at local colleges to do an NVQ if you wanted to, but obviously like I've mentioned, it's not essential and it can be done through the trust.

But if you did wanna look at college, you could look at health and social care as an option.

But yeah, thank you for listening.

I hope this has been helpful and I hope you've managed to gain more of an insight as to how to become a Healthcare Support Worker, thank you, bye.

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Do you have any questions about becoming a Healthcare Support Worker?

Ask Laura your questions below

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About the author

  • Laura Menzies
    Healthcare Support Worker

I’m Laura and I work as a Healthcare Support Worker within the NHS, I’m starting the part time BSc (Hons) Nursing (flexible learning) course through the University of South Wales this September. I am looking forward to developing my skills and knowledge further and becoming a qualified nurse. Working and studying part time is important to me as it enables me to balance my family life with my children. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and exploring new places.

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  • Laura Menzies
    Healthcare Support Worker

About the author

  • Laura Menzies
    Healthcare Support Worker

I’m Laura and I work as a Healthcare Support Worker within the NHS, I’m starting the part time BSc (Hons) Nursing (flexible learning) course through the University of South Wales this September. I am looking forward to developing my skills and knowledge further and becoming a qualified nurse. Working and studying part time is important to me as it enables me to balance my family life with my children. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and exploring new places.

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