Healthcare Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

Healthcare Assistants, or Healthcare Aides, provide care to patients in hospitals and medical centers. They work under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. Common responsibilities include assisting patients with personal care, providing companionship, and keeping Nurses updated on the status of their patients.  

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Healthcare Assistant duties and responsibilities 

Healthcare Assistants need to provide their patients with the highest level of care possible. They must be attentive to patient needs and able to perform a range of general care duties. Healthcare Assistants record the patient’s progress and may fill out some paperwork. They work with Nurses, Doctors, Midwives, and even Surgeons to provide care to patients. Day-to-day duties and responsibilities of a Healthcare Assistant may include:

  • Mobility assistance to oversee the safe transition of the patient from one place to another, for instance from the bed to the toilet
  • Reporting to healthcare professionals with patient updates
  • Checking vitals
  • Sterilizing equipment 
  • Replacing and tidying bedding for patient comfort
  • Lab processing
  • Cleaning patients
  • Alerting healthcare professionals of medical emergencies
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What does a Healthcare Assistant do?

Under the professional supervision of a qualified Nurse, Healthcare Assistants ensure patients are not only comfortable in the hospital but also stress-free. Healthcare Assistants carry out many duties such as feeding and washing patients, monitoring and recording test results, and carrying out clinical duties. Healthcare Assistants work with a variety of patients, for example, infants, children, the aged, and people living with a disability.

Healthcare Assistant skills and qualifications 

Healthcare Assistants need to be helpful and compassionate to provide the highest level of care to their patients. They may have skills and qualifications that enable them to provide care to special patient types such as children, the elderly, or people with disabilities. Healthcare Assistant skills may include:

  • Compassion for patients
  • Empathy to understand what patients are going through and provide support
  • Good communication skills to understand patient needs and communicate back
  • Respect for patient discretion and privacy
  • Composure even during difficult or distressing situations
  • Sensitivity and good listening skills
  • Ability to take initiative while respecting boundaries 
  • Great organizational skills 

Healthcare Assistant experience requirements 

Previous experience has a Healthcare Assistant is not necessary for candidates, as this can be an entry-level role. However, candidates should have relevant caring experience in order to be suitable for the role. This could have been gained while caring for a family member or volunteering at a hospital or care home. Candidates with experience working with specific patient populations, such as children or the elderly, are ideal if you have those types of patients. 

Healthcare Assistant education and training requirements 

Healthcare Assistant candidates do not need any specific education or training for entry-level positions. However, ideal candidates will have certifications such as Community Health Worker Registration, Food Safe Level 1 Certification, and Healthcare Assistant Program certification. Additionally, in some jurisdictions, candidates will be required to have professional registration. For example, in British Columbia, Healthcare Assistants are required to have BC Care Aide Registration.

Healthcare Assistant salary expectations 

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Healthcare Assistant in Canada is $51,558 per year. Salary may be dependent on experience, location, and company.

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Healthcare Assistant job description FAQs

What's the difference between a Nurse and Healthcare Assistant?

While there might be some similarities between the two roles, the difference is seen in the responsibilities each carries and qualification levels. The entry-level requirements also vary. Nursing is a graduate career and involves more study, while Healthcare Assistants don’t have specific educational requirements. Healthcare Assistants offer patients basic care while Nurses are responsible for their medical care. Both roles complement each other and often work together to care for patients.

Where can Healthcare Assistants be found working?

One of the main benefits of being a Healthcare Assistant is that the career is flexible. They can be found working in a range of different healthcare settings and with various medical and healthcare professionals. With it being a growing profession, assistants can work in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and client’s homes. A Healthcare Assistant may work with Doctors, Midwives and other medical professionals whose job involves a lot of contact with the patient.

What qualities make a good Healthcare Assistant?

Being a Healthcare Assistant is a demanding job. The Assistant must be a person who can handle tough situations while at the same time be gentle enough to care. A good Healthcare Assistant should possess a positive attitude to help connect with clients and patients. Additionally, immense emotional strength plus high levels of stamina and endurance are essential. Also, physical strength enables the assistant to lift and move the patient when necessary.

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