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Healthcare Assistant

The Role

Healthcare assistants can work within hospital or community settings under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. The role can be very varied depending upon the area in which the person is employed.

Working alongside nurses, for example, they may sometimes be known as nursing auxiliaries or auxiliary nurses.

The types of duties include the following:

washing and dressing


helping people to mobilise


bed making

generally assisting with patients overall comfort

monitoring patients conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respiration's and weight


Entry Qualifications

There are no formal qualifications required but the NHS does provide excellent training and ongoing career development.
It may be possible to enter work as a healthcare assistant (or senior healthcare assistant) through an apprenticeship. Healthcare assistants and auxiliary nurses may have the opportunity to obtain QCF qualifications at level 2 or 3 in Healthcare Support Services or Clinical Healthcare Support.
Obtaining QCF level 2 qualifications will usually lead to the person having more responsibility in terms of the role they are fulfilling.

Salary Expectations

Nursing healthcare assistants usually work a 37.5-hour week on a shift or rota system, probably including nights and weekends. The salary is varied and depends on the area and level that you enter. The new National Minimum Wage (NMW) came into force on 1 October 2010 where all apprentices will be paid a minimum of £2.50 per hour.

However, as skills develop, many employers tend to increase wages – in fact, research has found that apprentices earn an average of £170 net pay per week

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