Pave the way to a long and successful career in the NHS by becoming a healthcare assistant

Posted: March 9, 2016

Get a foot on the NHS ladder

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is using National Careers Week to encourage local people with an aptitude for providing compassionate care to put their skills to good use by becoming a healthcare assistant.
One of the most essential roles in the NHS, healthcare assistants work under the guidance of a nurse or doctor and are responsible for providing patients with a more personal level of care.
Whether it's helping to dress and wash patients, or just making sure their hair looks nice, the tasks carried out by healthcare assistants can make a real difference to the recovery of patients.
Rachel Cole, a healthcare assistant working on Meldon Ward at the Great Western Hospital, said the role was perfect for her, especially as she had never been to university or gained formal qualifications.
She said: "My caring nature has meant I've always enjoyed helping others and, after spending 12 years bringing up my young family, I decided to go back to a profession which I knew would make a real different to the lives of local people.
"When I joined, the team on the ward were so supportive of me and there was a real sense of camaraderie between us. I think it's because we all knew we were there because we wanted to help others." 
Rachel, and others like her, is in a great position to take her career further, with healthcare assistants at the Great Western Hospital being offered the training opportunities to develop new skills and even take part in degree courses to become qualified nurses.
As well as development opportunities, healthcare assistants can also benefit from enhanced pay at weekends and the chance to pick and choose additional shifts as part of the Trust's internal staffing agency, the Bank.
Speaking about her 10 years with the Trust, Rachel said: "I love working for the NHS, I'm proud to be a healthcare assistant, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone considering it as a career option."

Currently, would-be healthcare assistants must be able to pass an initial maths and English assessment, although the biggest attribute needed is the ability to provide consistent high-quality care in what is often a high pressure environment.
To find out more about becoming a healthcare assistant at the Trust, contact the Recruitment Team by phone on 01793 604983 or by email at
A full list of the Trust's current vacancies can be found on

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