Work in hospital or community settings

As a Healthcare Assistant (HCA), you'll work under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional, usually a nurse. Sometimes staff working in HCA roles are known as nursing assistants, nursing auxiliaries or auxiliary nurses.

The work varies depending on where you're based. In a hospital for example, you may be:

  • washing and dressing patients
  • serving meals and helping to feed patients
  • helping people to move around
  • toileting
  • making beds
  • talking to patients and making them comfortable
  • monitoring patients' conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight

In a health centres and GP surgery, you may:

  • sterilise equipment
  • do health checks
  • restock consulting rooms
  • process lab samples
  • take blood samples
  • do health promotion or health education work

As well as nurses, HCAs work with doctors, midwives and other healthcare professionals. They have a lot of contact with patients.

Entry requirements 

There are no set entry requirements to become a Healthcare Assistant. We expect good literacy and numeracy and may ask for GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths. We may ask for a healthcare qualification, such as BTEC or NVQ.

You would be expected to have some experience of healthcare or care work. This could be from paid or voluntary work. There are sometimes apprenticeships within BCUHB that can give you experience to apply for HCA posts.

Skills and personal characteristics needed 

To be a Healthcare Assistant, you'll need to be:

  • caring and kind
  • cheerful and friendly
  • willing to be hands-on with patients
  • willing to do personal care tasks (washing, toileting, etc)
  • able to follow instructions and procedures
  • able to work in a team but use their own initiative

You'll also need:

  • communication skills, including listening
  • organisation skills
  • observational skills

Take a look at our latest vacancies here

Please email our  Nurse Education team  with any questions and we look forward to hearing from you