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Senior healthcare assistant jobs can be found in both the public and private sectors in the UK, with an increasing number of positions being found in areas such as the care home industry. Working as a senior healthcare assistant involves providing important medical assistance to patients and helping other healthcare team members in their daily duties. Senior healthcare assistants often work alongside a variety of healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, emergency services and midwives. Senior healthcare assistant employers will also expect individuals working in this position to provide help and training to junior members of a team, including healthcare assistants.
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Those working as a senior healthcare assistant will be expected to perform a wide range of duties, with no two days ever likely to be the same. Working environments for senior healthcare assistant jobs are often very demanding and can feature stressful and emotional events on a regular basis. Senior healthcare assistant jobs will vary in terms of daily duties depending on where you are working, but certain aspects of the job will remain the same regardless, these include:
- Ensuring patients are being looked after and are physically comfortable
- Taking and recording physical measurements such as temperate and blood pressure
- Listening and talking to patients, as well as reviewing written reports and acting on them
- Ensuring junior healthcare assistants are fully trained and working at an acceptable level
- Being involved in the management of team members, including assigning shifts and duties
Senior healthcare assistant employers in the private sector may require you to perform additional duties, including processing laboratory samples, sterilising medical equipment and promoting a healthy lifestyle to colleagues and members of the public.
Unlike the position of healthcare assistant that requires no previous experience or formal qualifications, senior healthcare assistant employers will insist on candidates having both. The experience required to be working as a senior healthcare assistant will often include time served as support worker, often in a healthcare assistant role in a similar working environment. In terms of qualifications, most senior healthcare assistant employers will insist on a level-3 Diploma in Healthcare Support, as well as English and maths qualifications. Desirable skill sets for senior healthcare assistant jobs include being calm under pressure, able to take and give instructions, a kind and caring manner and being comfortable training and mentoring junior team members.
Working as a senior healthcare assistant provides many good opportunities to learn new skills and further your career. The NHS, the UK’s largest senior healthcare assistant employer by far, puts the role in its Band 3 pay scale. This means those working as a senior healthcare assistant can expect a starting salary of around £20,000, with this the rising slightly each year in the role.
Many people working as a senior healthcare assistant go on to take other positions in the healthcare industry, including becoming nurses, doctors and social workers. Good long-term job stability and positions being found throughout the UK are also good reasons why senior healthcare assistant jobs are an excellent career choice for many. Whilst such roles were traditionally in the public sector, namely the NHS, an increasing number of senior healthcare assistant employers are appearing in the private sector.
A number of pros and cons exist regarding working as a senior healthcare assistant. Helping people overcome injury and illness on a daily basis can be incredibly rewarding, and perhaps the single biggest reason why many people choose this as a profession. Long-term employment and increasing demand for such skills make senior healthcare assistant jobs very attractive from a career point of view, as do the many opportunities to develop professionally.
In terms of the cons of working as a senior healthcare assistant, workloads can be demanding, as can working hours. Most senior healthcare assistant employers will expect you to work shifts, including weekends and nights. Senior healthcare assistant jobs can be extremely stressful at times, often featuring a daily exposure to people suffering from illness and injury. The responsibility of training others and supervising shifts and work quality are also aspects of senior healthcare assistant jobs that some people find difficult.