Healthcare assistants, or HCAs, are healthcare professionals who work alongside nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals to assist them in caring for patients.
HCAs can perform a variety of tasks, depending on the setting in which they are working. Their responsibilities may include helping patients with baths, meals, dressing, personal hygiene, preparing them for operations, sterilising medical equipment, booking appointments, assisting nurses, among other tasks. Since they work directly with the patients, good communication, physical aptitude and empathy are very important skills.
Healthcare assistants can work as employees (full-time or part-time) but also as a locum. They can work on day shifts, night shifts, or both. As locum healthcare assistants, they can work in different areas and locations, such as clinics, hospitals, residential homes, etc.
HCAs do not need as many qualifications as nurses or doctors, as the job does not require a bachelor’s or master’s degree, however, it’s advisable that they have a QQI/FETAC Level 5 Major Award in Healthcare Support. And depending on where they will work, some additional qualifications may be required.
Employers generally prefer healthcare assistants with qualifications and with some relevant experience within the healthcare industry, with good English skills, eligible to work in Ireland and with all vaccinations required to work in healthcare. Voluntary work is also considered as work experience.
As a healthcare assistant, you can earn different rates depending on whether you work day, night, weekend or holiday shifts and according to the type of healthcare company you will work for. Daily rates can vary from € 12 to € 16 and nightly rates from € 18 to € 20. As employees, salaries also vary depending on the type of company, but in general salaries can vary between € 22,000 - € 28,000 per annum.
Clarity Locums has several job opportunities for healthcare assistants available. If you are interested, feel free to get in touch with us.