Getting a Job as a Healthcare Assistant
Healthcare assistants work as an aide to residents in their daily routine. Their role is both practical, helping residents with their daily activities e.g. washing, eating and getting around, and social, providing a reliable source of daily engagement. Across the continuum of care the emphasis on the varied aspects of the job changes, based on the differing care needs of users of the acute and community care systems.
The role has recently been consolidated, with a specified entry level, progression and responsibilities. Healthcare support at FETAC level 5 is the specified educational requirement in order to be considered for employment. Following up on this, vaccinations, Garda Vetting, references and an appropriate visa to work are all necessary before work can commence. Getting these in order can be time consuming and should be started at the early stages of the Healthcare Support course. Experience is the final requirement and although one of the educational modules covers a minimum of 30 days on the job experience, some acute care healthcare assistant roles require two years’ experience before beginning.
A large government initiative called ‘Momentum’ launched last year, providing free training to help jobseekers gain employment across a variety of sectors. A large number of applications were received for the Healthcare Support courses across the country and these are now coming to a close with the participants seeking employment within the health sector. As such we think it would be useful to begin a discussion on how well this program has met the needs of all involved. How well prepared do students feel entering the workplace and do Directors of Nursing find that new employees have the right skills and characteristics to work as Healthcare Assistants?
Let’s kick this off with a quick topic – what do you feel are the top three key characteristics of a healthcare assistant?