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Healthcare assistant jobs: frequently asked questions
Welcome to our healthcare assistant jobs page. Here we list all the latest jobs across the UK, as well as some handy FAQs below.
What does a healthcare assistant do?
Healthcare assistants or HCAs normally support nurses by helping their patients and ensuring they comfortable at all times.
This normally involves monitoring patients’ health, supporting with eating and washing, and assisting nurses with any other duties.
Healthcare assistants work in a variety of settings from hospitals and GP surgeries to community healthcare centres and clinics. They work both in the NHS and the private sector.
It’s a role often taken by anyone wishing to take their first steps in a healthcare career – and many HCAs end up training to become nurses.
What are the typical daily tasks for a healthcare assistant?
Healthcare assistants are really important in the smooth running of healthcare facilities, and they are known for carrying out a huge variety of tasks that can change from one role to the next.
However, very broadly, those tasks may include:
• Washing, feeding and dressing patients
• Keeping an eye on patient health and conditions
• Cleaning equipment
• Changing beds
• Processing samples
• Helping other healthcare professionals
The workload for a HCA is expanding though, so this really is only a rough guide.
What do you need to do to become a healthcare assistant?
You don’t normally need any formal qualifications to become a HCA – and that’s why many people start their careers this way.
All that may be required are good literacy and communication skills, and some GCSEs.
Personal skills do matter for this role, however. You’ll definitely need to be patient and resilient, naturally hard-working and energetic, and full of compassion. It’s a demanding role, both physically and emotionally.
Beyond entry-level positions, the two major qualifications for development are the NCFE CACHE level 2 and 3 certificates in healthcare support. These can be attained while working, and employers – especially NHS trusts – can often support you in getting them.
What can you expect to earn as a healthcare assistant?
Roughly, the average annual pay packet for a Healthcare Assistant is somewhere between £19,000 and £22,000.
This estimate is based on HCAs in both the NHS and privately – with salaries very similar in both sectors. In the NHS healthcare assistants earn a Band 2 salary – and you can see exactly what you can earn in each banding through our handy pay calculator.
Private salaries, though unregulated, appear to be very similar from industry stats.
Want some help in finding your next healthcare assistant job?
You can check out our latest roles above, or better still you can register your CV and we’ll send you the most relevant roles as soon as we get them.