HEALTH CARE ASSISTANT | Working for the NHS | What is my new job?

hello everybody and welcome to today's video today I have decides film a what it's like to be a HCA and for those of you that don't know I have a job at the hospital as a healthcare assistant and what everybody knows what that is I think people probably know what that is more than what people think of occupational therapists is but I figured why not and also I figured it was a video but and also I figured then people might actually understand what it's kind of like to work in the NHS from a nursing perspective right now because I'm kind of it's a nursing job but I'm not qualified as a nurse so yeah without further ado let's just get started so this is my uniform I have my little Ferb watch and little badge and then I have pockets at the bottom and I have my pens in them and all sorts and scissors and tape measures and all that kind of jazz and I have a dress I have one dress now my goodness and I have two I'm tunics and two trousers I need to give the dress back but we'll get to that when I get chance so what it's like to be HCA I have a piece of paper with my ideas written on but the main thing is it's both crazy mad smelly but the most fulfilling job like ever and the problem is it more fulfilling than an OT I couldn't really tell you because I've only had it from a student perspective but I would probably say no because I want to be an OT so that's kind of like my my little that's what I want to do so I would say that's probably more fulfilling for myself but it is so lovely and you get so much patient engagement and it I just love it and I mean one of the reasons why I really like it is because I kind of feel like I'm being let loose and then feel like I've got strings attached to me because I'm not a student and I've got like the training in place and things to do stuff like what I'm doing it's not a difficult role so it kind of doesn't um make you think that hard like it doesn't you don't feel at the end of a shift mentally tired you feel physically tired that's the difference and I feel as my role is an OT student when I've been on placements I felt both physically and mentally tired and I think that's the key difference for me in this of how I feel at the end of the day so the day can be super long so I'm on a rotation called Bank which means that I can pick and choose the shifts that kind of fit in with my schedule I'm on a zero-hour contract and kind of thing and but those people that are employed by the wards on the hospital they will often end up doing like 13 hour days and I could do thirty nowadays if I wanted to but I am human and don't so I you can find people doing a shift from 7:00 a.m. in the morning to 8:00 p.m. at night with like half an hour break and they don't do this five days a week they probably would do three so it can be and this is the same for nursing staff it can be a super long shift so when they say long shifts that's what they mean I tend to do like morning shifts some afternoon shifts I haven't done a night shift because I chose not to and I chose I've basically decided that maybe one would be kind of cool to do but I don't really want to mess up for my sleeping schedule or my routine or anything to do a night shift regardless of how much more I might get paid if I did them so often as well like I'll start my shift at 7 or whatever and finish it maybe 2:30 or 3:00 depending on what if I decide to take a break or not or if I get chance to most of the point and sometimes even in my shift is supposed to finish at 2:30 I won't end up leaving till 3:00 anyway for so many different reasons and I don't always get paid for that but that's that's just me not kind of being first about that kind of little bit it's only 20 minutes or whatever and I would much rather the patients were happy and safe than me get paid for 20 minutes it just doesn't seem worth it so earlier I said that you can have a morning shift and an evening shift a morning shift I tend to find is more hectic chaotic and increasingly stressful and that is because you have to get almost 13 to 14 sometimes slightly more sometimes less depending on whichever ward you're on patients ready for the day so that means getting them washed getting them dressed cleaning them up getting the breakfast getting them out of bed taking them to the toilet during this like six different activities that you have to do with every patient you also have the other things like you might get cold to another patient and patient money to go to theater so you have to pack slide them which is basically a big board which is kind of flippy and you would take the patient from their bed and across on this slide to a trolley trolley type bed it's not as fun as it sounds it's really not and often you need four people so to at the head on either side and two of the feet on either side and just slide them across it's not a slide it's in it it's more of a I don't know it's not a slide it's not the kids kind of traditional slide you might have a patient that suddenly becomes really ill see you then have to go and cater for them you might have a patient they'll fall over hopefully not it varies between wards and sometimes you could be on a one-to-one so you might not actually be able to leave that patient because there's been sort of risk assessment completed and they they're just you have to be with them all the time all the time which basically means you can't really go and help somebody else which makes their job even more difficult so obviously there's the typical sort of getting a patient washed and dressed and after a while that just becomes like second nature to you I have been I've been spotted that I'm a therapist by nursing staff that have been like if you you were Sara like you are you training to be a physio or an OT and I was like yes I am because I'm apparently in the way I'd tend to help people I try and get them to at least wash their face imagine you are paralyzed you have paralysis from like you sort of just under your arms down so you basically cannot move your body in this instance it can be quite difficult because I have to basically wash the whole patient and help them move themselves or move them if they card and sometimes I have to do that by myself because everybody else is with another patient that needs even more help than this one and so just even getting them to wash their face is hopefully a little bit of fulfilling opportunity fall and I know I would certainly if I was in that position want to it if I have use of my hands want to wash my face and my hands myself so I try and encourage them if they I want to I don't push them to but if they want to to wash them their face in their hands if they can but it can be obviously time-consuming than doing that but that's just something that I would I've decided that I would much rather than do I'm to help themselves but again that's sort of the therapist within me and trying to encourage the patient to be as independent as possible so not only did I mention breakfast like you have to give them breakfast or dinner or lunch or whatever and there's also the tasks of getting their menus in there's also the tasks of getting it out to them and in some cases feeding them and if the patient is needs help with feeding if it's pureed or not and so that can be difficult to wear at first it was very difficult to do I didn't feel very comfortable but I've got kind of used to that over the time and you also have to make sure that you're not giving a patient they're nil by mouth I know that's happened to somebody that I know on the ward and so their surgery they had to get cancelled for the next day it's an easy mistake to make so you have to be super careful not to do that so there's also the task of making patients beds this can often be the most stressful part I was working a shift on a Sunday once and laundry didn't arrive until half-past eleven so that meant technically I had about 30 minutes to get every patient washed dressed and their beds made because I believe the kind of target is in the day and which sounds quite late but we start getting patients washed up dressed about 8:00 a.m. and if you have 13 people to help whilst doing everything else whilst cool bells going off taking people to the toilet getting water getting rid of water disposing of like human feces and things like that making sure you yourself are how do uniquely clean and things like that it's just very difficult um and quite time-consuming so sometimes beds don't get made before midday but that's just the way it is but they're really easy to do and actually the most difficult and annoying part is getting the bed up to hip height for me because I'm going tall often I like in terms of making sure your back is okay and doesn't get killed so to speak from the job it doesn't hurt or you don't injure it from the job you have to put certain things at certain Heights to help you and beds just take forever they can be broken all this very typical NHS finally there is the sort of the support side and this is to me is the most important thing sitting with a patient holding their hand comforting them if they've been told back news they're kind of annoyed because theatres being cancelled for them which often happens and imagine you've sort of psychic yourself up to go and have surgery which isn't very pleasant in the first instance and you're maybe sort of 80-odd this you know it's quite a shocking daunting idea and tasks so often I will come across patients that are maybe upset or they've been told they can't go home yet and that's all they really want to do and I have worked on various different boards I've kind of worked only on five wards so far and orthopedics being the main one that I've worked on partly because I kind of know the staff on there now and but also I really enjoy placement as an empty on there so I kind of want to see what it was like from a hate see a perspective each ward is different in the sense of sort of how you are respected some words they like thank you so much for you doing just honestly it's fine don't worry take your time some words you have more may be aggressive patients who were really not happy and obviously there are wars where their patients are elderly and they may have dementia and that's completely different you kind of I've gotten used to now the sort of how do I put this physical like scratches and hits and punches on various different wards now often these are patients with dementia and so they have no control really over what they're doing and so you kind of you just ignore it but some of the time you you know I have been I've been called like names that I won't mention and I have been punched a couple of times by patients that knew exactly what they were doing and this is just something that's part of the job and it's just as it is and the pay is not too bad a couple of you may be wondering about that so I shall tell you and pace just under ten quid an hour and there are certain rates that are higher over night shifts and at weekends there is like a percentage increase increment increasing I don't know one of the two and but that's just the job and to be honest it pays much better than it did when I was working as a waitress said to me it really doesn't bother me and to end this video here thank you so much for watching if you have any questions about anything like what I the typical day is or anything like that post them in the comments box down below and I will try and answer them as best as I can I'll also put in the iCard which I don't know which sign it will be on my video to my ot what it's like as a student thank you for watching and I'll see you next time bye


  1. I've been a Clinical support worker for the NHS almost a year, in care work for almost 17 years. Anyone considering a career in care… Do it! It's not just a job for me anymore, It's a lifestyle. So glad to see someone who loves the job as much as I do. Joining the NHS was the best decision I've ever made. I can't wait to start work and sometimes go in early just in case I miss anything. For the first time, I feel valued and that my opinion matters.

  2. I’m interested in becoming a health care assistant and would love to work in the hospitals but I’m struggling with my maths gcse, is this a problem ??

  3. Hello, are you only alone for 13 patients? What happen if care assisting is wearing glasses? I am thinking to get a job as a care assistant from gap personnel job agency, but I have to think it over. This job agency represent some homecare, and in my opinion work conditions are not to good because they charge for a single room 80 -90 pounds a week, a salary is paid monthly, every 10th, and mandatory courses are charging too. What do you thing about courses, should they charge them? Regards from Poland.

  4. Ahh this video was very informative! I recently applied for an apprenticeship to be a HCA and I was just wondering if you had any advice, or any tips on what I should expect, as I just got through to the assessment stage of the application and will be doing a math and english assessment during. My math, however, is terrible! Thank you so much for posting and talking about this, it's really helpful and insightful!

  5. Really interesting to hear all about your job. I'm a care assistant and I was interested in taking a job as a HCA but I didn't in the end. Hearing you describe your morning shift I can relate so much haha! It's crazy isn't it… I don't think you would cope even if you were an octopus we are meant to do everything with only one pair of hands! Hahaha X

  6. Great video! I'm in the United States – here, we are called CNAs – Certified Nurse Assistants. The positions in the US and UK seem very familiar with most duties during our shifts. You seem to be a great HCA and will make an amazing Occupational Therapist! Good luck!

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