What does a Health Service Assistant do?

Post by Open Colleges on September 24th, 2019

If you feel the desire to work in a hospital and have a positive impact on patients, becoming a health service assistant may be an excellent choice for you. Working under the supervision of nurses, midwives and other health professionals, the health services assistance role is vital to patients' comfort. And you could make a significant difference to patients' health and well being too.

To be an effective health service assistant, you must have a caring and tactful nature, be a good communicator and have a respectful approach to patients. It’s also essential to have the ability to keep sensitive information confidential, to be organised and to know how to work well as part of a team.

The duties you’ll be required to carry out as a health service assistant will vary depending on your area of specialisation and the centre where you decide to work. However, here are just a selection of some of the many tasks you can expect to perform if you decide to take a health service assistance course and become a health professional:

  1. Looking after patients
    Looking after the physical comfort of patients is one of the most important duties you’ll have as a health service assistant. This can involve helping them undertake personal tasks such as washing themselves and using the toilet.

  2. Feeding patients
    You may sometimes be responsible for serving food to patients and helping them to eat and drink water if they are physically weak. You’ll need to be aware of each patient’s dietary requirements and any food restrictions and eating needs.
  3. Mobility assistance
    For patients who have mobility problems, you will need to be there to help them get out of bed, go to the toilet or walk down the hall. You may also need to help move patients using a wheelchair and when possible, help patients to improve their mobility.

  4. Cleaning
    It can also be your responsibility to keep the departments clean and tidy. In some cases, this can include cleaning the equipment, making the patients' beds and changing bed sheets.

  5. Nursing assistance
    You may need to help nurses and midwives by taking and recording basic observations such as the weight of the patient, temperature, blood pressure, blood glucose levels or pulse rate, whilst also notifying nurses or doctors if any rates seem abnormal or worrying.

  6. Performing tests
    As well as recording basic observations, you may be required to help nurses by performing tests such as taking blood from a patient or performing an electrocardiogram to monitor a patient's heart activity. You’ll need to record the results and communicate them clearly to a nurse or doctor.

  7. Therapy support
    You will need to prepare patients for therapy or treatment and look after their comfort during the process. You will also be able to assist other healthcare professionals while they administer therapy or medical treatment.

  8. Talking to patients
    As you will be working closely with patients on a daily basis, you are one of the best professionals to understand their needs and wants. You will need to listen and talk to patients and help them during lonely or difficult moments.

As you can see, as a health care assistant, you will have a wide and varied role. You will not only be vital in managing patients’ well being but are also essential in facilitating other medical professionals to perform their functions successfully.

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