Healthcare Assistant Job Duties
Job duties of healthcare assistants can vary greatly, as healthcare professionals who require the services or assistances are also quite varied. Assistants may work with any range of healthcare professionals, including everyone from doctors to nurses and radiologists or other technicians to midwives. In some cases, the job duties performed in healthcare assistant jobs may overlap with those of a nurse. The primary difference is that assistants may not administer medications or perform complex healthcare procedures.
Assistants in the medical industry are responsible for simple medical procedures and tasks, including the taking of blood samples, insertion of needles, measurement of patient vitals and the taking of patient histories. They are allowed to help professionals in emergencies and are also the primary contact for patients and patient’s families.
Pay Scale and Outlook
Assistants just entering the field can expect to earn on average £13,000 to £16,000 per year, though the exact salary will vary depending on the nature of the healthcare assistant jobs in question. With experience, a healthcare assistant’s salary may increase, but usually maxes out at about £18,000.
In spite of the limited salary scale of healthcare assistant positions, many who work in these roles remain in the career for the extent of their working lives. This is due in large part to the personal satisfaction that many assistants glean from their daily work.
Some decide to pursue employment in the professional career to which they have been an assistant. Many move on to study midwifery, nursing, and technician work.
Medical assistants are not required to have any sort of formal education or training, but must pass a criminal history check and must also pass a medical examination, due to the extent of close patient contact in their daily job duties. Most assistants are also preferred to hold a driving license.
If you are interested in this job role then you can earn a certification through the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) program, in either Healthcare or in Health and Social Care, will increase their career opportunities and potential salary earnings.
Previous experience in any care giving role is generally considered of benefit in securing a healthcare assistant role. Previous medical experience and volunteer work both make good CV additions when applying for a healthcare position.
Healthcare assistant jobs are typically found in hospital settings and in home care. They may spend a great deal of time travelling between locations in order to perform their normal, everyday job duties.
Most assistants work on a shift schedule, and that schedule may include weekend and night hours. There are flexible schedules available in the field. There are also full-time and part-time positions to be found.
These positions are physically challenging, especially as the assistant is the primary party responsible for moving and lifting incapacitated patients, those who are seriously or terminally ill, and those who are unable to move on their own.
Healthcare assistant jobs are available with private and public hospitals, hospices, and residential care facilities. The National Health Service has a range of assistant positions from which to choose. Healthcare assistants may also work in nursing homes, for private agencies, or with homecare organizations.