Hire Healthcare Assistants
A healthcare assistant contributes significantly to a patient’s journey towards recovery. Not only do they lend a helping hand to patients in their daily activities, but they also provide much-needed emotional support and encouragement.
In hiring a healthcare assistant, the first step is to carefully assess and identify the specific needs of the patient who will require care. Is the patient geriatric? Pediatric? Are there particular health conditions to consider? What language does the patient understand? These factors must be included in the job description to set the proper expectations for candidates. Additionally, it’s best to be clear about the schedule, the number of hours, and location. Depending on the need, healthcare assistants may work in hospitals, mental health institutions, or assisted living facilities on a part-time or full-time basis.
Healthcare assistants are alternatively called nursing assistants and auxiliary nurses. Hiring managers may also include these terms in the job announcement so their posting has a greater chance of appearing in job search engines, widening the candidate reach.
Once you have a compelling job description, posting your job announcement is the next step. Aside from general job boards, it is best for hiring managers to post job announcements on healthcare-specific job boards, online groups, and in community groups as well. Getting referrals from employees is a helpful way to gain candidate leads. Employees may already know qualified candidates so let them know about the job vacancy and consider a referral incentive program.
Healthcare Assistant Responsibilities
Healthcare assistants perform a variety of patient care duties. The responsibilities of a healthcare assistant are all guided by the patient’s care and treatment plans, developed and approved by the patient’s health team. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse.
In coordination with the nurse on duty, a healthcare assistant is responsible for assisting patients in their activities of daily living, such as: personal hygiene, bathing, dressing, and mobility. Healthcare assistants also check vital signs (respiration, pulse, temperature, and blood pressure) and weight. Healthcare assistants give and collect bedpans, fix bed linens, and prepare materials for nurses and other members of the health team. Lastly, healthcare assistant treat patients with respect, compassion, and empathy. They uphold patient confidentiality and professionalism at all times and follow legislation, healthcare laws, and safety standards.
Healthcare Assistant Skills and Qualifications
The ideal candidate for a healthcare assistant role is a person who is compassionate, trustworthy, and professional with excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Candidates must have at least a high school diploma or GED and must have finished additional training as a certified nursing assistant. Ideally, they must also possess updated CPR and first aid training certificates. Previous experience in the same role is an advantage. Moreover, other qualifications include attention to detail, a strong ability to follow instructions, and standard protocols regarding patient care. Flexibility to work on evenings, weekends, and even holidays is a plus.
Healthcare assistants help the healthcare delivery team in many ways. By assisting patients and other health team members, they also take part in the fulfillment of the care and management plan.