Healthcare Support Workers (also known as Healthcare Assistants) play an important role in supporting the General Practice Nursing Team. HCSWs carry out a range of duties that enable the care and support of patients and their families, under the under the management and/or supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, usually a General Practice Nurse.
What might a Healthcare Support Worker do during their working day?
- Complete and record basic patient observations, such as blood pressure, height and weight and urinalysis as well as undertaking 24hr ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.
- Perform routine and urgent Electrocardiograms (ECGs).
- Take blood samples (phlebotomy).
- Carry out simple dressings and/or wound care.
- Give influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations;
- Give Vitamin B12 injections;
- Assist with lifestyle monitoring and delivering health education, including promoting the health benefits of a healthy diet and exercise.
- Assist GPs with minor surgery procedures and chaperone appointments, when appropriate.
- Work with the General Practice Nursing Team to help patients to manage their long term conditions such as asthma and diabetes;
- Work with the General Practice Nursing Team to help maintain treatment room stock supply and cleanliness.
In addition to this, the role may also develop some specialist skills for care. Experienced HCSWs may also be able to offer some peer support and informal mentoring to newer team members.
- Care Certificate (highly recommended)
- Maths and English functional skills qualification
- Hold or working towards Level 2 QCF Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support or equivalent
Further Career Opportunities
HCSWs can develop a wide range of transferable skills and experience within their role in a General Practice Nursing Team. Many HCSWs will continue in this important and valued role and may work towards their Level 3 qualification, whilst others may choose to train to be a Nurse Associate or a Registered Nurse. Routes for HCSWs to progress include:
- Nurse Associate Apprenticeship
- Nurse Degree Apprenticeship
- Return to Practice Course, if you were previously a Registered Nurse