Tags: Health & Social Care, Nursing, health-and-social-care...

By Chris Pritchard

There is a wide range of exciting, challenging and personally fulfilling pathways to follow when developing a career in the healthcare sector. In part 1 of my career development series, I offer my insights on how you can break into the healthcare industry.

Kick-starting your career as a care assistant

Beginning your career as a care assistant not only gives you the opportunity to have a real impact on a person’s life at a time when they need it most, but it also provides pathways to progress within the healthcare industry. Care assistant jobs exist in all specialisms of nursing and healthcare, but the job roles often have different titles according to the setting.

You don’t require any specific qualification to be a healthcare assistant in any setting, and if you’re applying for a healthcare assistant job with no formal training you should be offered an introductory period where you will learn the skills for the job. If you are accepted for the role, you can also study for qualifications as you work.

Skills you need:

  • The ability to relate to people from a wide variety of backgrounds

  • Skills in communicating with tact and sensitivity

  • The ability to remain calm under pressure

  • Depending on the role, you may need to cope with challenging behaviour.

Gaining experience and qualifications

If you are already working in the health and social care sector you will be able to gain a recognised qualification by working towards an NVQ whilst you work. There are different levels of qualification suitable for every stage of your career. NVQs in Health and Social Care are available at levels 2, 3 and 4. At levels 3 and 4 you can choose an adult or children and young people pathway dependent on the work you are doing. NVQs are work-based qualifications which can be completed at your own pace.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, where you will find out more about your career progression options within healthcare.

About the author

Chris Pritchard is the Associate Director for Search Medical, Health and Social Care. Covering offices in the North West England, Chris manages six individual teams covering temporary and permanent recruitment for nursing and social care roles, both in the private and public sectors as framework suppliers of Social Workers to Local Authorities and Nursing to NHS Trusts. He has been with Search for almost seven years, and working in recruitment for twelve years. He is passionate about helping clients in the sector attract a diverse workforce into the health and social care industry from entry level roles up to qualified specialists.

Looking for a job in Health and Social Care? We can help!

Whether you’re a qualified nurse, healthcare professional or social worker looking for your next opportunity, our expert team of recruitment consultants are looking for quality candidates to fill health and social care roles across the UK. For more information you can contact Chris Pritchard on [email protected]. To see our most recent vacancies, click the button below: