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5 Reasons why Healthcare Assistants are essential to the healthcare industry

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 | Blog

We all know the important roles nurses and doctors play in the healthcare industry, but all too often the role of Healthcare Assistant (HCAs) is overlooked. Although it may not require as many qualifications as a nurse or doctor, it still requires a lot of knowledge, energy and compassion. It’s a role that many don’t fully understand the importance of - particularly those outside the healthcare industry - but to help people gain a little bit more insight, here’s five reasons why HCAs are essential to the healthcare industry.

1. They spend the most time with patients

Whenever one of your loved one’s is visiting the hospital, the person that spends the most time with them is likely to be a HCA. This is largely down to the fact that HCAs often care for six to eight patients, whilst a nurse or doctor is given an entire ward. So because nurses are stretched so thinly, the person that is going to make your stay a little bit more comfortable at the hospital, is most likely to be a HCA.

2. They do the day-to-day tasks

When in hospital, care homes or nursing homes, people need to receive person centred care and be cared for all day; poor hygiene can lead to illness and possible infection. These daily needs are part of the job description for a HCA career; this can be anything from showering to even helping trim nails and shaving - little touches that keep customers in high spirits.

3. They form relationships

As previously mentioned, HCAs spend more time with patients, therefore are far more likely to form friendships with them. This can have both positive and negative effects; but it obviously makes the patients stay far more pleasant.

4. They are there in the time of need

It’s 3am in the morning and you’re wide awake and maybe quite uncomfortable, unable to move or desperate to go to the toilet. The role of a HCA is to tend to these needs, they will be there to request medication on your behalf and take you to the toilet when needed. They are often the first point of contact for patient.

5. They learn customer's individual needs

HCAs often learn the needs of individual patients and are therefore able to provide person centred care. Maybe one person can only drink water, another has a fear of needles. These are issues that HCAs will learn on a personal one-to-one basis, and often try to accommodate as best they can.
There’s no doubt that HCAs play a role in the provision of healthcare, but are there any other reasons you believe we’ve missed? Are there any stories you have as a healthcare assistant? Please let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page. If you would like to kick-start your HCA career at Kare Plus, please apply for our positions via our jobs page.

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