Comment on: Are nurses sunbathing while HCAs do the work?
Having previously worked as a HCA and now as a nearly qualified student nurse I have come across some very good and some very poor HCAs just as I have come across some very good and some very poor staff nurses. In order to pass NVQ training I had to write about the tasks I was completing, not only how to complete them but also why I was doing them, showing an understanding of normal parameters and an awareness of what needed to be handed back to the staff nurse. The only difference between this and university level work is that my 'evidence base' came from peer education rather than from reading up myself.
The problem with the system is that NVQ training is not compulsory and only the 'good' motivated HCAs are likely to undertake it leaving those who practice poorly to continue being unsafe.
I think that HCAs should have a nationally standardised set of competencies to achieve and should be registered with full accountability for tasks they have been trained in.
Regarding Assistant Practitioners (band 4) they complete a 2 year university course giving them a full academic knowledge base to work from.
To Anna who says HCAs never stay late, in my trust every time you 'special' a patient you stay late as the trust will not pay any handover time to you.
Comment on: Uniforms rear their ugly heads again
The hats are not being introduced. This picture was taken at the Westminster Abbey celebration of Florence Nightingale's life and everyone there wore them not only the Kings students.
It very much depends which type of wards you have been allocated to as to whether you will experience this in your training. I am in my final placement as a student and it is only this week I have had my first experience of caring for a patient before and after their death. Previously I have helped with last offices but not with a patient I had been nursing and it does make a difference to the emotional impact on you.
As a healthcare assistant I resent the implication that we go around pretending to be something that we are not.
If any patient asks I will state that I am a healthcare assistant and explain what that is however I do not correct every patient who calls out nurse asking for a commode or for help finding their glasses as this would take time away from actually helping the patient. Also if they are asking for something outside my scope of practice I will tell them that I can not help them as I am not qualified but that I will find somebody who is.
We wear different colour uniforms and so patients can see there is a difference however most do not mind who or what you are as long as you are kind and helpful and solve their problem. I even had a patient the other day saying to me ' I know you are not a nurse but I am going to keep calling you that anyway.'
Comment on: Conservatives: HCAs part of nursing 'profession'
NVQ training requires the HCA to write about the care they give and why. It doesnt have to referenced like in a university essay but it does have to be correct.