Health care assistants (HCAs) and assistant practitioners (APs) are a vital part of the nursing team. They can be found working in all sorts of settings, including hospitals, doctors' surgeries and the community.
Our ‘health practitioner’ members work across every healthcare discipline, including the criminal justice system, mental health and learning disability. They work with infants, children and young people and in the care of the older person, supporting registered nurses in the delivery of nursing care.
To carry out your role as an HCA safely, you must be properly trained and supervised, and your employer has a duty to make sure you are appropriately trained and that you are assessed as competent for your role. They must provide an induction for you so that you have the knowledge, skills and understanding to do your role in a compassionate and caring way, wherever you work. Each UK country has its own guidance and standards for induction. Our online learning resource First Steps for HCAs is a perfect supplement to your induction programme and can help you to build on your knowledge and understanding on a range of important issues.
Nursing associates are a new support role introduced to the health care workforce. They will work alongside health care assistants, assistant practitioners and graduate registered nurses in training for two years, and attend universities and further education colleges part-time.
1,000 trainee nursing associates will begin their training in January 2017 at sites around England. A further 1,000 will begin training in April 2017.
Find out more about nursing associates.