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An increasing number of people in the UK are working as a clinical care assistant. Clinical care assistant jobs can be found in all specialist areas of nursing and healthcare, with duties often only dependent on a person’s training and experience. Those working as a clinical care assistant form a vital part of nursing teams in a variety of environments, including hospitals, general practices, care homes and private residences. Clinical care assistant jobs are often an introduction into the health sector for many people, with individuals using the experience they gain as a steppingstone for career development. Clinical care assistant jobs are increasing in the UK as demand for this role continues thanks to an ageing population and a growing shortage of care staff.
Clinical care assistant jobs can involve a variety of duties, most of which are heavily dependent on the sector you are working in. The majority of clinical care employers include hospitals, GP surgeries, old people’s homes and NHS trusts. Clinical care assistant jobs are also sometimes referred to as nursing assistant or nursing auxiliary jobs, whilst some organisations also use terms including carer and support worker. Clinical care assistant job duties generally focus around providing assistance, including helping feed, wash and dress patients, as well as providing patient updates to colleagues and supervisors. Depending on the clinical care assistant sector you are working in you may also receive training to enable you to take basic health measurements, including blood pressure, temperature and pulse.
With those working as clinical care assistants playing such an important role, personality traits and skills play an important role in this sector. No formal qualifications are required for clinical care jobs, with most employers in the sector providing extensive training during a 6-month probationary period. However, clinical care assistant employers will likely insist on applicants having 5 GCSE, including Math and English. The Care Certificate was introduced in 2015 to ensure all care staff received standardised training. The certificate is a work-based programme designed to give those working as a clinical care assistant the basic skills they need, with the certificate now an industry requirement. Personal traits that clinical care assistant employers place importance on include you having strong communication and listening skills, empathy and patience.
There are many career opportunities for people working as a clinical care assistant to develop. Once you have completed the Care Certificate, most clinical care assistant employers will provide you with opportunities to undertake further professional training and therefore advance your career. It is also now possible for those working as a clinical care assistant to participate in nursing training at the same time. An additional benefit to clinical care assistant training is that if you decide to change careers, the skills you have learnt as a clinical care assistant are very desirable with potential employers, providing you with much more freedom in terms of switching sector. Clinical care assistant employers offer starting salaries starting at around £17,500, with this rising to just over £20,000 for Band 4 clinical care assistants in the NHS.
There are of course various advantages and disadvantages to working as a clinical care assistant. The role can be incredibly rewarding, with clinical care assistant jobs making a real difference to patients’ lives. Excellent career opportunities and long-term job stability can be found with clinical care assistant employers. Furthermore, the skills and experience you will gain in this role will enable you to work in a variety of sectors, thereby opening up completely new careers for you. Cons to clinical care assistant jobs include the role being very demanding, both in terms of workload and emotionally. The need to work shifts, including weekends and nights is also common, as is the complaint that you are rarely ‘off duty’ in such a position.