If you’re a people person and you enjoy caring for others, then becoming a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) in Ireland could be your dream job. You’ll act as a lifeline for some of society’s most vulnerable, the elderly and those with additional needs.
This is a highly rewarding role with competitive levels of pay, job security and the chance for long-term career progression. Read on to find out more about the benefits of this satisfying and worthwhile position.
Why Becoming a Healthcare Assistant Could Be Right for You
One of the many advantages of becoming a Healthcare Assistant in the community is that it can give you flexibility in how and when you work. You could work per visit or on a part-time or full-time basis. For example, you could work and be paid for set hours between Sunday and Tuesday from 2pm until 10pm.
The needs of clients require attending to at all times of the day. Because of this, it’s possible to work the kinds of hours that might suit you and your lifestyle.
If you enjoy having your mornings to yourself, you might find that you can work afternoons and evenings instead. You could also choose to work weekends so that you’re free on days when it’s less busy.
The healthcare sector is one that’s growing rapidly in Ireland. The size of the population aged over 65 will expand significantly over the next twenty years. That means there will be plenty of job opportunities for career progression in your healthcare role.
Job security and a guaranteed level of pay are fundamental must-haves when embarking on a career. Becoming a Healthcare Assistant ticks both these boxes.
Key Duties of Healthcare Assistants
Healthcare Assistants are there to look after some of the most vulnerable people in our community. These clients will have difficulties caring for themselves. They would typically be older people and those with disabilities.
Duties will vary but they’re likely to include things like:
- Assisting clients with personal care
- Helping with showering, toileting and incontinence care
- Supporting clients to dress and with eating
- Checking the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of clients
- Advising your care management support team of potential areas of concern
- Helping clients attend doctors’ appointments or with shopping
- Accompanying clients on outings and helping them stay physically active
- Ensuring that the homes of clients are clean and hygienic
The Qualifications You Need to Become a Healthcare Assistant
To be a Healthcare Assistant in Ireland you’ll need to earn a relevant FETAC/QQI Level 5 qualification or equivalent. It’s only possible to complete your QQI training with an accredited provider.
We have great news for those seeking to gain relevant qualifications. We will provide the two mandatory modules, Care of the Older Person and Care Skills. This happens through our sister company Elevation Training and is completely free of charge. You can choose to complete your full QQI Level 5 major awards with our sister company and as an employee of Comfort Keepers the cost to you will be heavily discounted.
These two QQI level 5 mandatory modules will be relevant should you wish to work in the community as an HCA:
- Care and Health Service Skills
- Care of the Older Person
Additional training is also available for those wanting to work in disability services. It’s worth noting that all HCAs have to comply with the Garda Vetting process. This normally takes between two and four weeks.
The Relationship Between Nurses and Healthcare Assistants
Healthcare Assistants are an integral part of the team that looks after the health and wellbeing of clients. They get plenty of support from the nurses they work with.
Following an assessment of our clients’ needs, our nurses will create a support plan for our HCAs to follow. Amongst many other things, they rely on our HCAs to inform them of any changes to the health and wellbeing of our clients.
As a result, there will sometimes need to be adjustments made to the tasks in the home support plan. By working in close liaison with our nurses, the HCA team helps to ensure the safe delivery of care to our clients.
It is possible for any member of our care team to progress to a supervisory or nurse management role. We will guide and support them on their journey to achieve the relevant qualifications, if that’s the career path they would like to follow.
Being a Healthcare Assistant Is Challenging and Rewarding
Healthcare Assistants have a very demanding job to do. Many feel a sense of vocation to put the needs of others ahead of their own. They have to be resilient and have the ability to offer support in a caring way to those they look after.
They can sometimes find themselves in difficult situations and have to be able to empathise with those in their care. Having a sense of humour is often the best tonic for getting through the tough times.
HCAs also need to be able to pick up on their clients’ state of wellbeing quickly and intuitively. This is a job that requires a great degree of emotional strength.
It’s a role that can play a huge part in preserving the dignity of those needing care. Because of all this, it is one of the most rewarding jobs out there. HCAs can make all the difference to the quality of life of their clients.
Here’s a roundup of the key benefits of becoming a Healthcare Assistant:
- The potential for flexible working hours
- A rewarding working experience that helps others in the community
- A secure future job market with guaranteed pay levels
- The opportunity to grow, learn and make a real difference in the wider community
- The chance of long term career progression
An Opportunity For Career Progression
We place great emphasis on career progression. Many of our Healthcare Assistants have moved on to other important positions within the organisation. These include coordinating, finance, recruitment and supervisory roles
We believe in helping those who work for us achieve their goals and have a career that allows them to grow. If you’re interested in becoming a Healthcare Assistant, get in touch with us now and find out how we can help you to make your dreams come true.