Healthcare Assistant Practitioner

Occupation overview

Assistant Practitioners work as part of the wider health and social care team and have direct contact with patients, service users or clients providing high quality and compassionate care. Assistant Practitioners work at a level above that of Healthcare Support Workers and have a more in-depth understanding about factors that influence health and ill-health (e.g. anatomy and physiology). Assistant Practitioner is a job title applied to a very wide variety of roles that have been developed locally by employers to meet individual service need. Upon successful completion of this standard, individuals will have obtained the core skills, knowledge and values/behaviours to become an Assistant Practitioner.

Examples of common work activities include assisting in total patient assessment, coordination of care (including referrals to other practitioners) and higher clinical skills such as catheterisation, wound care and discharge planning1 . Assistant Practitioners can be found working in a range of areas such as Cancer Services, Physiotherapy, GenitoUrinary Medicine, Orthopaedics, Hospice Care, Mental Health, Social Care, Community, Occupational Therapy, Learning Disabilities as well as hybrid roles that cross traditional occupational areas. 2 Assistant Practitioners will therefore develop additional skills and knowledge based on their employer’s requirements depending on the clinical or professional area within which they are working.

 

Skills

  • Responsibilities and duty of the role: Undertakes defined clinical or therapeutic interventions appropriately delegated by a Registered Practitioner.
  • Case Management: Manages own work and case load and implements programmes of care in line with current evidence, taking action relative to an individual’s health and care needs. Supervision and Teaching Allocates work to and supports the development of others and may supervise, teach, mentor and assess other staff as required.
  • Personal Development: Maintains and further develops own skills and knowledge, and that of others, through recognised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities enabling flexibility in practice and responsiveness to changing service needs.
  • Team Working: Promotes effective inter-professional and multi-disciplinary team working with peers, colleagues and staff from other agencies and provides appropriate leadership within the scope of the role.
  • Assessment: Provides holistic assessment of individuals, implementing programmes of care and modifying individualised care plans within their scope of practice.
  • Communication: Demonstrates the ability to communicate complex sensitive information to a wide variety of professionals through a variety of methods including the use of interpersonal skills, written and verbal effectiveness, accurate record keeping, keeping information confidential and appropriate use of technology and equipment for the role including data entry.
  • Person-centred care and wellbeing: Promotes and understands the impact of effective health promotion, empowering, healthy lifestyles such as movement and nutrition and fluid balance.
  • Physiological Measurements: Undertakes physiological measurements as part of an assessment of an individual's healthcare status and following evaluation, makes appropriate changes or recommendations to care plan. Reports changes to the Registered Practitioner when the nature of the change falls outside of the agreed scope of role.
  • Risk Management: Infection Prevention and Control: Uses and promotes a range of techniques to prevent the spread of infection including hand hygiene, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and waste management. Health and safety: Promotes and maintains a safe and healthy working environment Risk Management: Identifies and manages risks, including assessment of moving and handling risk and understanding the nature of risk as it applies to the safeguarding of vulnerable individuals.
  • Equality and Diversity: Promotes and advocates Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
  • Quality: Proactively makes recommendations to improve the quality of service delivery.

 

Knowledge

  • the principles and philosophy of health and social care
  • the physiology, organisation and function of the human body
  • lifespan developments and healthcare needs from prenatal to end of life/bereavement
  • research and development in the health and social care sector to inform and improve quality of care
  • provision and promotion of holistic person centred care and support, duty of care and safeguarding of individuals
  • the importance of the strategic environment in health and social care and the implications for the individual
  • the importance of current evidence based practice within scope of the role

 

Behaviours

Assistant Practitioners must be:

  • Honest
  • Caring
  • Compassionate
  • Conscientious
  • Committed

 

Assistant Practitioners must always:

  • Treat individuals with dignity, respecting individual's beliefs, culture, values and preferences
  • Respect and adopt an empathetic approach
  • Demonstrate courage to challenge areas of concern and work to best practice
  • Be adaptable
  • Demonstrate discretion

 

Duration

18-24 months

 

Professional Qualifications / Recognition

  • Level 2 English and Maths - (equivalent to GCSE grade C or above).
  • Demonstrated that they have met the standards of the Care Certificate6 during the first part of their apprenticeship
  • An accredited level 5 occupational competence qualification such as a Foundation Degree, other Level 5 Diploma of Higher Education or the Level 5 Diploma for Assistant Practitioners in Healthcare.
  • Industry Specific Requirements: - Work in line with The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England.

 

For those Assistant Practitioners who wish to progress into Registered Practice, the apprenticeship can provide credits into some Higher Education programmes aligned to professional registration.

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

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