A day in the Life of a Healthcare Assistant
I work as a health care assistant in a residential care of the elderly facility. A typical day starts at 7.50 am with a handover from the night staff. We then go from room to room assisting the residents out of bed for breakfast. Some sit out in chairs while others prefer to stay in bed for breakfast. We serve breakfast to each resident in their room, assisting some to eat.
Once breakfast is finished we assist the residents to get ready for the day. Some require very little assistance whilst others require full assistance with all aspects of their personal care. The morning routine varies from person to person. Some enjoy time in the day rooms, others go to the hairdresser, mass, art.
We fill in our care plans before lunch begins. Any changes in the residents condition is reported to the nurse at the earliest possible time. Most residents have lunch in the dining room. Having ensured everyone is in the dining room we begin serving lunch. Some days you serve and some you assist with feeds. After lunch the residents are assisted with toileting. Many of them require incontinence care. Most days there are activities organised for the residents. Tea is much the same as lunch. The evening passes assisting residents to bed. Some like to watch television or sit in the day room whilst others like to go to bed early.
Normal tasks that are performed by health care assistants are personal care, washing and turning patients, assisting with dressing, toileting, incontinence care, mobilising, feeding. It also includes observation and reporting any possible problems.
There are many rewards to working as a health care assistant. Although the day follows a routine it does vary. Healthcare assistants play a very hands on role with the people they care for. Over time they build a relationship of trust and respect with the individuals and their families. As a health care assistant you get to know the likes and dislikes, abilities and limitations of those you care for. You learn to be very aware of their needs and what assistance is necessary. There is a great sense of achievement to see a person retain their independence through encouragement and care.
Working as a healthcare assistant can also be quite stressful at times. Some tasks are unpleasant but necessary. It can be both physically and emotionally demanding. Some clients require a great deal of assistance and you inevitable need to deal with death at times. The position is 24 hours and involves shift work.
For me the rewards are far greater than the negatives. I feel a real sense of achievement knowing that I have made a difference in someone’s life.