Entry routes to becoming a healthcare assistant
There are no set entry requirements when it comes to how to become a healthcare assistant, but you will need to show employers that you are able to communicate effectively, take instructions, and understand the compassion and empathy needed for this role. GCSEs (or equivalent) in English and maths or a healthcare qualification, such as BTEC or NVQ, will be helpful when it comes to applying for jobs.
Apprenticeships in healthcare
There are a number of different apprenticeships in healthcare, often run through the NHS, that can give you a foot on the career ladder and help you to earn while you train. This might include the NCFE CACHE level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services, or the NCFE CACHE level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support. Traditionally an apprenticeship in healthcare will last for about 18 months, during which time you will gain experience in different departments such as radiography, nutrition or on hospital wards.
The variety of experience that an apprenticeship can offer means you will be able to find a specialism that enthuses you, and gain an understanding of how to get there and advance your career. Plus, you will be paid as you earn.
Training and development
As a healthcare assistant you will be given basic training to start your role, and then, depending on who you work for, you may have access to further training and certification, such as the Care Certificate. The Care Certificate is a set of industry standards followed by health and social care workers. It will give you a strong understanding of the ethics of the role, and help you to progress your career within the industry. It is worth enquiring about access to this, as and when you take on a new job.