The UK government has opened her border to Auxiliary Nurses and Health Attendants (HCA) around the world as the country battles COVID-19. Auxiliary Nurses and Health Care Assistants has been added to Skilled Occupation Shortage list.
What does this mean?
This means auxiliary nurses, health attendants and registered nurses who are finding it difficult to pass IELTS/OET can easily secure work visa and come to UK to work as Health care assistant (hospital service).
Also, they will be exempted from paying for the Health Insurance Surcharge fees. They will also benefit from reduced visa fees announced by the UK government for Overseas Healthcare workers last year.
Where Can Healthcare Assistants work in UK?
Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) work in varieties of NHS hospital or community settings under the guidance of nurses, midwives, doctors and other healthcare professionals. The description varies based on their practice setting.
What is the job responsibility of a healthcare assistant?
The duty you perform as a healthcare assistant depends on your practice setting and might include duties according to UNISON:
- observing, monitoring and recording patients’ conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight
- communication with patients, relatives and carers
- assisting with clinical duties
- personal care including infection prevention and control, food, personal hygiene and overall reassurance, comfort and safety
- promoting positive mental/physical/nutritional health with patients
- checking and ordering supplies
- Serving meals and helping to feed patients.
- Helping people to move around.
- Making beds.
- Talking to patients and making them comfortable.
- Monitoring patients’ conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, respirations and weight.
Qualification Requirements for Healthcare assistant
There are no set academic requirements to become a healthcare assistant in UK. Employers set the qualification standard and some may expect you to have good literacy and numeracy so you might be asked to produce evidence of completing secondary school education. Experience in healthcare setting may be an asset and most employer usually need someone with at least 1year experience as HCA.
How Can I Apply?
Health care assistant is not a regulated profession in UK and there is no formal qualification. All you need to do is to apply for jobs right away.
There are different ways by which overseas HCA can apply for Health Assistant jobs. You can apply directly to each hospital that is need of HCA or through agencies. Some recruitment agencies now recruit HCA from overseas to NHS. One popular agency recently posted picture of the first HCA from Asia country to be granted work permit under them. Note that employment is free in UK, you are not expected to pay any money. Any agency that ask you to pay before you can be employed is violating the law as NHS pay them millions to help employ you.
The second option is to apply by yourself to hospitals or care homes. Below are the websites where you can apply for healthcare assistant jobs in UK, register on them and start applying for jobs:
- Trac Job Portal https://apps.trac.jobs/
- NHS Job Portal https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/
- Monster Job Portal https://www.monster.co.uk/
- Indeed Job Portal https://uk.indeed.com/?from=gnav-jobsearch–jasx
- Reed Job Portal https://www.reed.co.uk/
- Jobsite https://www.jobsite.co.uk/
- Total Jobs https://www.totaljobs.com/
You can also get jobs from LInkedin, Facebook among others
Common Healthcare Assistant Job Interview Questions
Below are the common HCA Questions:
Tell us about yourself
How would your boss describe you?
What things do you least like about work?
If a patient relative rings asking for test results, what do you do?
What do you think this job involves?
Talk about a time where you have had to deal with a difficult patient and what do you do?
A patient is very angry, what do you do?
A patient keeps ringing the buzzer in the middle of the night, what do you do?
Why might a patient be struggling to eat their food and what would you do to help them?
How do you feel about confidentiality?
How do you feel about equality?
How would you make a difference in a team?
What skills do you have?
What Next after the interview?
You will likely be successful or otherwise in the interview. If you are not, keep looking for other job interviews.
For those who are successful during the interview, they would receive an offer letter stating their contract terms and conditions. Contract terms in most NHS is 3years. The terms will contain the list of documents you are needed to submit in order for the offer of appointment to be valid. It will also contain your yearly salary, your work hours a week which is usually 37.5hours, etc
After you sign the offer letter, your employer will begin to process of Certificate of Sponsorship popularly called COS.
After the issuance of COS the next thing is for you to apply for Visa. I will discuss extensively on this in my next step.