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Health care assistantBecome a health care assistant

Health care assistants (HCAs) are often described as the bedrock of the nursing service. They deliver care in every imaginable setting, and are invariably the people who deliver the majority of hands-on nursing care. There are many different job titles for HCAs - including health care support workers, nursing assistants, clinical support workers and many more.

Great job satisfaction

HCAs are very much part of the nursing team, and will tell you that they have great job satisfaction from their role. Many go on to become assistant practitioners and registered nurses. A day in the life of an HCA is varied - they can be found working in all sorts of setting like hospitals, GP surgeries and community settings and will often undertake health care duties delegated to them by registered nurses.

What qualifications you’ll need

As yet, there are no specific national requirements for becoming an HCA. Some employers require literacy and numeracy skills. You simply need to apply for a job as an HCA, and once you have been accepted, your employer will train you to be competent in the skills required for your job. You might want to think about getting work experience to find about what it’s like to work in health care first.

What training you’ll receive

This training will be different wherever you work, as the knowledge and skills required for working in a GP surgery for example will be different from those required to work in a residential home. Communication and confidentiality skills are particularly important. Find out more in First steps for health care assistants.

Finding a job

Health care assistants form a huge part of the nursing team and there are lots of ways to find a job in health care.