There are no set entry requirements on how to become a healthcare assistant. However, just because there no set entry requirements, won’t mean the process will always be straightforward.
Many employers will expect you to have good literacy and numeracy skills, and potentially ask you for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and Maths as a result.
Being proactive and demonstrating a keen desire to become a healthcare assistant through the act of self-directed study and education, will likely put you in good stead.
In may ways, you probably possess experience right now that could translate well into a healthcare assistant or support worker role.
The key is to identify it and use it in your CV and job interviews to land a position. The rest of this article will be devoted to helping you identify a pathway to becoming a healthcare assistant.
Before getting into the how to’s though, let’s look at the role of a healthcare assistant and the skills needed to perform well.
What Does A Healthcare Assistant Do?
Healthcare assistants (sometimes called Nursing Assistants) are responsible for the frontline and general care of patients.
The role is one of the most important within the health and social care sector and attracts many different people from different backgrounds.
Various levels exist in becoming a healthcare assistant. Basic band 2 and band 3 healthcare assistants are usually called upon to assist patients with the following:
- Going to the toilet
- Making beds and….
- Assisting patients to move around the ward or care facility.
Some healthcare assistants are trained to take blood and other clinical tasks, whilst others may do record keeping and basic administration.
The Skills & Qualities You Need to Become a Nursing/Healthcare Assistant
It’s always a good idea to know what skills and traits will be needed when making a career move. To identify the skills you already have versus the one’s you will need in order to prosper in the role. This is often referred to a skills gap analysis or a basic self-inventory.
Here are a few of the skills commonly sought after for healthcare assistant positions:
It’s important you have the ability to empathise with those under your care and supervision. Being sensitive to patients needs in a kind and caring manner goes a long way toward the patients outlook and how they respond to care.
The ability to listen and understand is an important component of being a competent communicator. Equally, your ability to express and articulate ideas, points, and instructions to your colleagues and patients in a straightforward, clear and concise manner that is respectful is important.
Be A Team Player
As a healthcare assistant, you’ll be functioning within a team. You will need to be able to work in a manner with people that serves a common goal and brings the best out of everyone on the team.
Dealing With Pressure
You can almost guarantee there will be situations in your working day when the pressure is on. This just comes with the territory of being in healthcare.
Not only will you need to be able to handle the pressures, but thrive on it as well.
Strong Work Ethic
You will often have to go above and beyond in the care and service of others as many careers within healthcare are not 9-5 then clock off.
Positive Mental Attitude
With difficult days surely ahead, you will need to be able to see the bigger picture and focus of your work and remain positive, despite any setbacks.
Can you cover an extra shift here and there? Or stay a little later than usual to solve a problem? A flexible attitude and approach will help you in this field and enhance your reputation as a trusted worker and team member.
Self-explanatory really, but important to mention as lives could literally depend on it one day. Doing things in timely fashion is an indispensable quality to have.
As a new healthcare assistant without formal experience, you’re bound to feel a little out of water until you find your feet within in the field.
Nonetheless, nobody wants to feel like they’re being cared for by a novice who is unsure of themselves. Demonstrating confidence in your abilities regardless of your level of experience will be invaluable.
Dealing With Criticism
You won’t know everything and in healthcare, things are always changing. Having the ability to accept and learn from criticism will serve you well.
How to Become a Healthcare Assistant -Putting The Pieces Together
Very often the way that many people get into a formal healthcare role without experience is through voluntary work. This usually involves caring for others within the community or caring for a family member.
Don’t underestimate life experience that doesn’t directly relate to healthcare. Look at the skills required above and assess where in your life have you demonstrated the use of them. You will want to highlight these experiences when applying for a healthcare assistant job.
Equally, showing a keen desire to work within the field and passion for the work will help you a lot. Enthusiasm and passion are infectious. Combining them with enough awareness of how your life and past work experiences translate into assets in healthcare will be important.
If you can seek out opportunities in your life to look after people, do so. This can be young children, adults or elderly people. Any experience in this capacity can prove to be useful later on.
Lastly, getting some education and self-study under your belt can be advantageous too. It demonstrates your willingness to invest in yourself and that you take your career choices seriously.
Completing some mandatory and induction training will give you a leg up and help provide you with a deeper insight into the role of a healthcare assistant and the industry as a whole.
Here at Nurtured Care Skills, we provide the learning and education you’ll need to prepare for a career in healthcare. We recommend investing in our Accredited Induction Bundle for Healthcare Assistants.
It will demonstrate your desire to enter the field whilst equipping you with the essential knowledge all healthcare professionals are expected to have. Enroll on our Online Accredited Induction Bundle for Healthcare Assistants today.