From the heart · Lifestyle

‘Just’ a Health Care Assistant


I am aware that I did not go to University to become a trained Nurse but one thing that really grinds my gears is when an ignorant Issac or a stuck up Sally says to me – ‘oh, you’re just a Health Care Assistant’.

Well, yes I am a Health Care Assistant. I currently work in a GP Surgery but I was also an employee within an NHS hospital for many years. I love my job and am proud of what I do, it gives me the opportunity to help people and truly make a difference every day.

HCA’s work under the guidance of amazing trained Nurses and Doctors, our job is far from easy and sometimes I don’t think we get enough credit for what we do.

I recently saw a viral Facebook post from a Staff Nurse, Charmaine Briggs and I loved what she wrote, really sticking up for us all. Over the years I have been on the receiving end of some demeaning comments and dirty looks, all because I am not a ‘trained’ professional and apparently all we are good for is to ‘wipe arse’ all day. I also believe the media can be quite harsh on HCA’s.

As a HCA/Auxiliary Nurse/Nursing Assistant, we are the staff who are on the front line, getting to know our patients and genuinely caring for them because we want to (let’s face it, we’re not only doing it for the money!)

Yes, we may deal with poo, wee, blood and every other yummy bodily fluid on a daily basis (it’s not a job for the faint hearted) but this does not bother me one bit. I am just glad I can be there to assist a poorly patient in need, delivering care with respect and dignity. I may need somebody to change mine or my loved one’s incontinence pad one day and I will always remember this. Everybody should.

We are the staff who spend the most time with a patient and observes them 24 hours a day. We work long hours day and night with sometimes twelve or more people to look after. There are always a million and one jobs to do and call bells constantly ringing but we will still be there to listen and to comfort somebody scared or upset. If you are ever in hospital, I bet it will be the HCA you’ll see the most of and who will comfort you if you need it. The nurse wants to of course, and sometimes can but they are usually far too busy and under so much pressure with paperwork and drugs to be given out.

We have all been shouted at, called horrible names, even hit and kicked and seen some of the worse and saddest situations imaginable, not to mention looked at more private parts than a prostitute!

As a HCA we have held the hands of a person taking their last breath. We have comforted grieving families.

This isn’t a a post to get sympathy or to moan (well you could say I have ranted a tad!) But its’s to raise some awareness that we should NOT to be looked down upon. We are kind, caring individuals who absolutely ROCK!

Now this is going to sound cheesy.. But I believe Doctors and Nurses are absolute superheroes and every hero needs a sidekick. As Batman would struggle without Robin, they would certainly struggle without a Healthcare Assistant. You get the jist!

Til Next time,

Roxanne x

(fellow trusty Robin of the Healthcare industry)

193 thoughts on “‘Just’ a Health Care Assistant

  1. I have been a N/A, HCA for 27 years and one day I too said I was only a N/A one of our consultants heard me say this and took me to task for saying it. He told me that I was his front line person as people would tell me things that they might not tell the nurses or junior drs or himself. So I was told by this consultant that I was a very important member of the team. Needless to say I dont say I am only a HCA now.


    1. From what I have seen and heard more than a FEW TEACHERS SHOULD SEE AND THINK ON THIS POST
      I have worked alongside many university graduates Inc Teachers and most of them forget to RESPECT those who have not been able to get a university education
      and don’t realise that people like you can and will do dozens of jobs that they cannot DO

      finished ranting
      I respect Boath the highly successful and the beggar on the streets

      Just imaging that you have no friends and acquaintances no job no money no shelter and it is freezing how would you survive??

      Next time you feel that you are superior


      1. I worked as a TA in a primary school for 7 years and often had to correct teachers’ spelling and grammar!
        When I did my TEFL course only two of us in the class were not graduates, but we knew more of spelling and grammar than most of the graduates! (“What’s a verb?”)!
        I am now a carer and have the utmost respect for nurses but as has been said before, they are mired in paperwork and don’t get the chance to”care” as much as most would like.
        I suppose all “support workers” could equate themselves with the presidents’ “first ladies”!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Never ever say ‘just’ as you guys work dam hard! I was a Nursing Auxiliary before I became a qualified nurse. We work united and would not function without each other. So thank you for doing it, be loud and proud because you are a vital backbone of the nursing world xx


  3. I have been a hca for 18 months in a hospital. I absolutely love my job, i have been asked numerous times when or why haven’t i trained to become a nurse and every time I have replyed ” because i want to be able to spend time with the patients rather than filling out paperwork “. I always have a smile on my face and try my best with the strain we are put under to do our job, the media need to stop giving us a hard time and report the good that we do.
    To all the good health care assistant out there keep going our patients need yoù.


  4. I am a retired HCA/Ward Clerk who worked with a wonderful team on Ward 70 it used to be called The City General Hospital now The Royal University Hospital in Stoke on Trent.From Consultant to domestic we were a team and we all valued each other.So I didn’t class myself as a mere minion.Be proud you are doing an excellent job.xx


    1. I work as support service (ie. Domestic) I help every single one of my working family out every day doctors nurses Hca’s above and.beyond my job, and my team value my help, so thank u for taking the time to mention the domestic team, we sometimes feel under valved ..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My 1st job was in a nursing home in 1998 as their was no other jobs available for me it was very strange to start with but I got to know everyone. I worked long days 7 in morning till 10 at night sometimes doing overtime. I got my NVQ2 the only reason I left was to do with the mangers trying to tell me my job when she knew nothing about it so I changed jobs working with a care agency which I worked in the local hospital a lot on different wards quite a few used to request me mainly for nights. One of the places that I worked for offered me a full time job which I had taken working with people with disabilities which I enjoyed. I left that job moved away then worked with people with dementia until last year which I had to leave due to ill health in the 19 years I worked in health care I enjoyed every day and taking care of everyone. Though the years I have made alot of good friends.


  6. An HCA is the first person to greet a resident in the morning and the last to tuck them safely and comfortably into bed at night. Much like a loving parent. With their conversation, they set the tone for the coming day, assisting with the choice of clothing to the appropriate foot wear. They communicate with their caring ministrations and conversation. Without the basics of needs being met through an HCA’s assistance, the quality of life experiences would be lost. No one can enjoy life if they are cold, uncomfortable, hungry, thirsty, soiled, or frightened. An HCA, Interacts on an individual personal level to assist/accomplish basic tasks of living, enabling the resident to interact comfortably in activities which add choice, quality and interest to their day. There is life after admission to care. The quality is set by the personal dedication of men and women who take pride in their work.


  7. I was for more than twenty years a rehab assistant, a job I loved, I worked on the wards in the NHS and between jobs also worked as a c/a in nursing homes. Both poorly paid but essential work, I may not have had ‘professional’ status but that didn’t mean I was not professional in my day to day contact with patients. Without the dedicated care assistants and rehab assistants the NHS would collapse. Some ignorant people think it’s OK to denigrate these jobs but I always say, when you are in a vulnerable position where you need help to do everyday tasks like going to the bathroom or having a bath, would you rather go without or have the help of a caring care assistant? Your choice!


  8. I’ve been carer and and hear the same, just a carer!! by some not all, and experience similar not always appreciated for what we do, which is a shame as we are there when family can’t be there


  9. I worked as a cadet nurse in the 60s and went on to complete my training I am now 68 so have completed over 52 years in all various settings and from my first day until this day I have relied on auxiliary/hca staff to aid my knowledge and be my Robin throughout every shift worked, heroes to HCA troops.👍


  10. I, for one, appreciate the nursing care you folks give us all. You do the ACTUAL bed side nursing , and I see you as Nurses period. God Bless for you care and hard work. Also , you are the ones with the beautiful bed side manners. You are the true nurses.


  11. I too was a HCA. I started back in 1983 and as a volunteer in a Hospital. I didn’t make much at that time, but I cared and wanted to help. I enjoyed the teamwork and the meetings before the shift from Doctors, Nurses and NA’s, HCA,s and everyone else on shift going over the needs and cares and concerns of the patients first then the ward and even suggestions on improving care down to the cleanliness of the wards. It was professional and very fast & efficient because we had work to do. I have be kicked, punch, sworn but when your hurting and afraid and they are not living in their daily routine either, so I can understand and forgive that was from patients but what was worst is belittled and dismissed as a non-functional from people. I always smile and respect all the workers in Healthcare including security, which I also worked in the hospital as well before HCA.


  12. I love HCA’s. I am an RN, and I too clean the shitty poo. We should all work together for the benefit of our clients shitty or not! But, there are the “few” HCA’s who do not justify their existence in the healthcare scene, but this is the same in every “profession”, degree or not. We cannot exist without each other, so, “respect” is a very important word with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I was a HCA for 25 + years and I then became Physio Assistance but got laid off due to being in a contract. I went to persu my career but no one would hire me due to being a HCA so I upgraded to a PSW .. yes $8000.00 later I’m working as a PSW… nothing but a $ grabber ..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Only a carer, I don’t think so. I have had experienced what a carer does daily.My daughter lived in a Sue Ryder home. They are so hard working, they deserve a lot of extra money, the pay is so low. I really appreciate the care that my daughter had, the laughs, giggles, jokes that were told. I hold them so kindly and with love. Ignore people who says your a carer, you are not you are all angels.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Maybe this is different in Canada than in the UK but nurses do not “just fill out paperwork” as this post and many of the comments indicate. I think in the “caring professions” we really need to stop belittling what others do to justify our own choices. I regularly get asked why I didn’t study to be an MD instead of an RN and my responses are about the pros of being an RN, not the cons of being a doctor. If we could all just be a little more positive, maybe we could start to see how we all fit together as a team with the patient and family at the centre.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am a retired Registered Nurse. Before becoming a RN, I worked as a Psychiatric Attendant in a Psychiatric Hospital. Back in the day, the PAs did fill doctors orders, pass meds, etc. Without going into too much detail, I once had A DOCTOR say to me, “You’re just an attendant, you’re paid to wait! “. I was fuming but didn’t say a word. A few days later, after he noticed my ‘cold shoulder’, he asked if I was “upset” with him. I said that as a matter of fact I was and proceeded to tell him why. Part of my reply was “…if it wasn’t for JUST the attendants your orders wouldn’t get filled, the patients wouldn’t get the care they needed, and, oh, by the way…you’re NOT GOD, you’re JUST a doctor!” Needless to say he was shocked but did apologize for the insult…we got along after that with much mutual respect. I later went on to study for and obtain my RN diploma and worked with him again.
    A few years after I retired, I became very ill. I was bed ridden for 5 weeks and developed a skin condition which required special care. The doctors prescribed several different treatments but none seemed to help. At one point, I had an ANGEL providing my care. She came in to work one morning and stated that she had been thinking of me while she was off. She said she “…thought of something that just might work”. With the nurses help, and using the prescribed creams, ointments etc., she proceeded to show them what she had in mind. They agreed that they would give it a try AND IT WORKED!! That ANGEL was a HEALTH CARE ATTENDANT!
    Yes, doctors and nurses can, AT TIMES, appear to be ‘super heros’ but throughout my stay in hospital for those 5 weeks and through several admissions during the following year, I had numerous HCAs care for me. THEY are the ANGELS without wings who deliver the most hands on care to patients while the nurses carry out their duties of passing meds, starting IVs, etc., and the doctors do what they do.
    If it wasn’t for JUST AN ATTENDANT, many patients wouldn’t get turned, changed, fed, washed, bathed and given special little treats, like I received when I was a patient.
    A HUGE thank you and GOD BLESS to the REAL HEROS!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ve been in the hospital, as a patient, for 12 days and I share a room with a woman who has dementia. And every day it warms my heart to see how great the health care assistants treat her with such kindness, even though she’s yelling at them for a bedpan. I have really learned a lot about how important health care assistants are to nurses and doctors, they are always the first to answer every call and genuinely care about the people they take care of! I personally could never do what they do, especially with that much care. Some may say “just a health care assistant” but I am certainly not one to believe that. You guys are amazing humans, keep up the amazing work!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well said. I too, worked as a nursing assistant and loved every minute of my job. But, like you, I got the occasional derogatory comment, I got ignored by some consultants as I held open doors in corridors for them and one day I’d had enough of being ignored. As I held a door open once again for a consultant who glided on past me, I very loudly said “you’re welcome”. He turned and looked at me quizzically. I said, “do you have any idea how many doors I’ve held open for you and not once have you said thanks or even nodded your head in acknowledgement?” He apologised profusely and smiled at me and said he would not make that mistake again. Hopefully, he learned a small lesson that day, who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I have just retired recently, having worked as both an LPN, and later as an RN, in BC, AB and SK. My career involved teaching HCA’s in both BC and AB in both public and private colleges. As most instructors do, I would introduce myself when meeting a new class. Then…I would say “I do not ever want to hear you say..” I am JUST a HCA”, because that is what you will be!! Just..that’s all!! Those staff that do not recognize that you are the workers that see patients, clients, residents daily, as you so succinctly said, are not utilizing or respecting your abilities! Yup, with out HCA’s, Health Care would be in deep ca-ca!

    Liked by 1 person

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