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Healthcare Assistant (HCA)

Healthcare Assistants help to look after patients in the surgery or sometimes carry out home visits. Their role may include using equipment to lift and move patients, talk to patients and reassure them, take patients' temperature or pulse and attend meetings with other healthcare professionals.

Entry requirements-

There are no formal qualification requirements for this role, but you usually need to have some experience of working in social care and health or in a volunteering capacity. You could also do a Health and Social Care course or apprenticeship to help strengthen your knowledge, so you may need 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course or 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course.

Career progression -

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, dietitian, midwife or social worker.

What skills do you need?

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer