Healthcare Assistant

Job Description:

Healthcare assistants look after patients in hospitals or sometimes at a patient's home.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • help patients shower and get dressed
  • help people eat
  • make beds
  • use equipment to lift and move patients
  • talk to patients and reassure them
  • help patients to use the toilet
  • tidy the ward or patients’ homes
  • take patients’ temperature or pulse
  • attend meetings with other healthcare professionals


You’ll need:

  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands

As well as:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure (ambition/drive)
  • excellent verbal communication skills
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a healthcare assistant, specific subjects are not typically required. However, having a general education with a focus on science and English can be beneficial. Here are the subjects:

  1. Science: A science subject, such as Biology, can provide a foundational understanding of human biology and healthcare principles.
  2. English Language: Strong communication skills are essential for healthcare assistants, as you will need to interact with patients, healthcare professionals, and record patient information accurately.

While specific subjects are not mandatory, having a general education that includes science and English can be advantageous in the healthcare field. However, practical experience, on-the-job training, and relevant certifications are often more important in becoming a healthcare assistant.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

You could do a college course, which may help you when looking for work. UK Courses include:

  • level 2 Diploma In Preparing for Further Study in Health, Social Care and Social Work
  • level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • level 3 National Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • T Level in Health

Most health and social care courses include work placements which is a good way to get experience.

You can get into this job through an intermediate apprenticeship as a healthcare support worker.

You could work as a trainee care assistant in a residential home or care home while you complete a qualification.

You’ll find it useful to get some paid or voluntary experience in care. This will help when you apply for jobs or training.

Career tips
When you apply for jobs, you’ll need to show an understanding of how medical values apply in your work.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 37 to 40 hours a week, occasionally including evenings, weekends, or holidays.

You could work in a public or private hospital, at a client’s home, at an adult care home or at a hospice.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career Path & Progression:

Healthcare assistant roles can be a stepping stone to other health careers.

With training, you could become an assistant practitioner in chiropody or podiatry, occupational therapy, radiography or physiotherapy.

With experience you could train new healthcare assistants.

You could also apply to train as a nurse, radiographer, dietitian, midwife or social worker.