Posted on: 22nd Oct 2019 6522 Views

Role of the Health Care Assistant in Providing Care for Older Person in Ireland

Several students in Ireland pursue educational courses of Healthcare assistant for older people and learn a lot of fundamental skills, roles & functions of an HCA as well as crucial knowledge to perform efficiently in their profession.

This course not only teaches students about health care assistant tasks and responsibilities, but it also helps them develop positive attributes towards ageing. Additionally, the courses include challenging assignments that make students stressed out.

Most of the students who like to help people and wish to make their career bright in the field of health care or want to become a healthcare assistant in Ireland, opt for this course.

Role of the Health Care Assistant in Providing Care for Older Person

The respective subject doesn’t only mean understanding the concepts and scoring good grades but it is also about gaining a practical approach to those concepts such as the role of the health care assistant in providing care for older people and implementing them on the patients effectively. Taking care of people of different ages involves different criteria. For example, infants demand to play with them, and older people may ask you to talk with them on any topic of their interest.

If you have a brilliant practical approach to the subject matter, then you will get easy success in it. In addition, there are a lot of great opportunities for healthcare assistants in Ireland. As ageing spares no-one & everyone grows old with the time thus, care assistant jobs stay in demand with an increasing graph only.

Introduction to Healthcare Assistant (HCA)

Healthcare assistants (HCA) are the nursing assistants or support workers who provide care to the patients and assist them with every needful thing or activity. They are also called auxiliary nurses. They may work in any medical setting like hospitals, clinics, residential care homes, or others.

The healthcare assistant works under some qualified professionals and ensures the safety and comfort of the patient closely. Healthcare support workers are a very crucial part of the medical setting as well as doctor’s surgery too. HCAs tend to look after the elder people and maintain their activities as per the instructions of the seniors.

The healthcare assistants can also work with children, disabled people, young people, or patients of any age group who are having difficulty performing daily activities or undergoing terminally ill. In this field, the HCA is subjected to various tasks such as washing the patient, feeding them, helping them with urine or blood tests, etc.

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Duties & Responsibilities of a Healthcare Assistant (HCA)

A healthcare assistant is one in whom someone is going to trust the health and responsibility of the elderly member of their family. As people’s lives are becoming busier in this competitive world, almost everyone is seeking to hire an HCA who is completely habitual with the role of the healthcare assistant for their family members.

Depending on the work area, the essence of the position can vary. If the healthcare assistant is working in the hospital, then he may assist the nurses alongside. And if someone has hired an assistant for the care of an elderly member of their family, then they may serve them at home and provide them with the services. People generally seek a health care assistant promoting positive attitudes to ageing for their elder family members.

Here are some of the essential duties and responsibilities of a health care assistant in Ireland: –

  • Serving  the meals and feeding them to the patient
  • Help the older people in moving around
  • Assist them to go toileting
  • Making the bed of the patient
  • Making the patient feel comfortable by talking with them on the topic of their interest so that the older person (patient) will never feel alone
  • Facilitate patient’s choice
  • Monitor the conditions of the patient by continuously checking their temperatures, heart rates, pulses, weight, and respiration
  • Reading and implementing the individual care plan
  • Identifying the changing needs of the patient
  • Encourage the patient to improve the quality of life

However, the roles of an HCA differ a little bit from the healthcare assistant role in general practice when he is working in a doctor’s surgery.

These are as follows: –

  • Sterilizing equipment
  • Process lab samples
  • Doing regular health checks
  • Taking the patient’s blood sample
  • Replenishing consulting rooms

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The key role of a Healthcare assistant especially with the older people

The healthcare assistant has to act like a family member for the patient. They should treat them with love and involve themselves in their interests. The role of the healthcare assistant should be performed in such an effective way that patients should feel like a family in the company of hired HCA. And hence, it should be the responsibility of the assistant to create an environment in which the patient could heal early and enjoy the healing process as well.

Besides, irrespective of wherever the HCA is working whether, in a nursing home or acting as a residential care assistant, they might confront any type of patient of any age, gender, different level of self-sufficiency, or different health conditions. The principal of the health care assistant’s goal is to give independence to the patients.

He should try to let the patient perform as many tasks (personal or social) as much as possible. The HCA should be able to perform the role of the healthcare team in care provision by himself when needed.

Personal qualities and abilities are required.

You must be physically fit to work as a healthcare assistant.

  • Compassionate and Considerate
  • Nice and Upbeat
  • Eager to work directly with patients
  • Willing to assist others with personal care (washing, toileting, etc)
  • Capable of adhering to instructions and procedures
  • Able to operate as part of a team but also on their own

You’ll also require

  • Skills in communication, especially listening
  • Abilities to organize
  • Abilities to observe

Key areas of patient-centred care which a healthcare assistant is linked to

These are some distinct patient-centred care areas to which a person assigned the position of a “Healthcare assistant” is linked: –

  • Eating and drinking
  • Breathing
  • Maintaining a safe and comfortable environment
  • Mobilizing
  • Communicating
  • Intimate care-Removal and destruction of waste
  • Collaboration in other ward activities
  • Controlling body temperature
  • Intimate care- personal grooming and dressing
  • Death and dying

Essential Skills Required for Becoming a Healthcare assistant for Older People in Ireland

The health care assistant’s job is a rewarding one due to the crucial role of the health care assistant and healthcare team in care provision, so you have to prepare yourself for the field’s ups and downs. As an HCA, you may involve yourself in taking care of mental health-related patients who are terminally ill or suffering from dementia, which depends on your function and environment.

So, if you are eager to play the role of a health care assistant in Ireland, be ready and stable, as you may be working with patients who make accusations on your time or need care at the end of their lives (better known as palliative care). That type of responsibility includes the HCA giving the role and the patient a lot of compassion, patience, and commitment.

Therefore, every person who wishes to become an HCA should be prepared with the critical skills to perform effectively and care for the patient well.

The essential general, as well as practical skills needed to be a healthcare assistant, are: –

  • Basic awareness of health service structure
  • Being patient with the patient
  • A friendly and cheerful nature
  • Splendid communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team for delivering service to the patients
  • Promptitude to perform personal care tasks
  • Ability to organize workload (ability to prioritize tasks)
  • Kind and caring personality
  • Should have the capacity to act with sympathy and compassion
  • Trustworthiness
  • Flexibility in adapting to the changing health care environments
  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to delegate
  • Attention to detail
  • High physical strength and stamina

It can be an enriching experience to be a healthcare assistant, as it is a profession facing people. An HCA works very often with the elderly, toddlers, and young people for whatever reason they need help.

Career scope for a student pursuing a course of Healthcare assistance for Older people

The career scope of this healthcare assistant in Ireland is increasing day by day. Instead of leaving their parents, and infants alone, people prefer to appoint a well-educated and experienced healthcare assistant for their family. Hence, there are several career opportunities for healthcare assistants in Ireland.

A student who is keen to work as a health support worker will be subjected to the following entitlements of a healthcare assistant in Ireland: –

  • Support worker
  • Senior care assistant
  • Personal Care assistant
  • Night care assistant

In addition to job opportunities, the achievements of a healthcare assistant are also no less than any other popular job profile as it is an ever-demanding profile.

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