Healthcare assistant duties

Healthcare assistant duties

Being a healthcare assistant is a challenging yet rewarding career choice and no two days are the same. Healthcare assistants have a number of duties making this role a great option for those looking for a job with plenty of variety. Plus, it’s perfect for anyone who’d like to make a positive difference to the lives of others.

What are the duties of a healthcare assistant?

  • Supporting with personal care

  • Providing emotional support

  • Reading care plans and observation charts

  • Assisting with eating and drinking

  • Moving and handling

The above is not a complete list but does cover many tasks that healthcare workers complete during their shifts. Now, we’ll look at these in a little more detail.

The most important duty that a healthcare assistant has is to ensure that those in their care are safe and comfortable. From assisting with personal care tasks, such as washing, dressing, and teeth cleaning to providing emotional support and company, each duty should be carried out in a person-centred way enabling independence where possible.

Reading care plans and observation charts is another part of this role, and observation skills are key in being able to determine if an individual is becoming unwell. You may also be required to assist with medication to ensure that those in your care are taking the right medicines at the right time.

Diet is very important when it comes to staying healthy, and those in your care may need some help when it comes to eating and drinking the right things. This could include making sure that they always have a drink nearby that they can reach and encouraging them to eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.

Another duty that healthcare assistants carry out is moving and handling. This involves safely lifting, repositioning and moving people for a number of reasons, including supporting them when getting out of bed and into a chair or helping them to find a more comfortable position. You’ll also need to be able to use hoists and other aids when required. At Newcross, healthcare staff are required to undertake moving and handling training prior to their start date and then every year.

What other responsibilities do healthcare assistants have?

A lot of what a healthcare assistant has to do is focused on their attitude and demeanour. They’re responsible for making those in their care feel happy and safe, so a smile, confidence in what they’re doing, and the ability to communicate effectively are all very important. The role also requires people to be able to hit the ground running and to know best practice, as it’s very important that all tasks and duties are carried out correctly.

Healthcare assistants are also responsible for raising any concerns that they may have. Sometimes, you’ll be the only person that someone sees during the day, so you’ll be best placed to notice whether there’s a change in them that needs attention from a senior team member.

If this sounds like a role you'd enjoy, take a look at our guidance on how to become a healthcare assistant for further information. You can also find out more in our healthcare assistant career guide.