• 27 January 2021
  • 14 min read

How To Transition To Another Career Path As A HCA

  • Laura
    Occupational Therapist
    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 0
  • 2100
Play video: "Any experience you've got, is always really, really helpful.."

Former Healthcare Assistant, Laura, offers her advice on transitioning to another role as a HCA, and lays out some of the other possible career paths to consider.

Topics covered in this article

0.07 Introduction

0.41 Starting As A Band 2 Healthcare Assistant

2.49 Moving Up To Band 3

3.37 Working As A Therapy Technician

4.45 Band 4 Nursing

5.35 Band 5 Nursing

7.59 Working As A Ward Clerk Or Discharge Facilitator

10.40 Working In Social Care

11.24 Working In A&E

12.01 Agency Work

0.07 Introduction

Hello everybody and welcome to today's video.

Today, I am doing a video all about things that you can do after being at HCA.

So in previous videos, I've discussed about what it's like and the things that you might do and what to expect.

But now, in today's video, we're looking at how you can go forward from there and how you can look at what career you can get out of your first job or any job, as being an HCA.

Where is the next step?

So without further ado let's get started.

0.41 Starting As A Band 2 Healthcare Assistant

So you would start as a band two HCA in your first Healthcare Assistant job, you would be a HCA.

Now, depending on your job role, whether you are a bank HCA or a standard employed HCA, would depend on your past experience.

But any experience you've got, is always really, really helpful and I'll be discussing a bit more about that in an upcoming video about interviews.

So watch out for that one, I will link it in the description below, and in the iCard when it's released.

Another thing to think about is, as a HCA, that is obviously in a healthcare profession.

Now, if you're not interested in health care, the chances are going into a career in that is not going to be your bargain.

So you want to find a job that is really exciting to you.

And then of course, you want to do the pro and con list and all those kinds of things.

Now, if you decide a career in health care is exactly what you want to do, it is your bargain, it is your bucket and spade.

Then what can you do?

Am I stuck as an HCA?

Well, some people choose to stay as a HCA, because they like not having the responsibility and they don't really need the money, or they're just quite confident and happy with their choice.

And if that is you, that is absolutely fine.

We do need HCAs, so if nobody was one, then we'd have a big problem. But what if you want to progress?

What if you want to go to the next level?

But what if you aren't searching for an HCA job?

What if you want to know, what can I do after that?

Well, there are choices. Let me get my trusty phone.

2.49 Moving Up To Band 3

So as an HCA, you will be a band two and a band two will earn roughly, 18 to 19,000, generally, depending on your location.

That is an England basic rate, excluding London, Wales, and Scotland, and Northern Ireland and other places in the world will be completely different.

So if you're in England, that is your pay band rate.

As HCA band two, you can quite easily progress up to a band three.

A band three is also known as an assistant practitioner.

They are effectively more trained and qualified to do more things.

And as a band three, you'll earn roughly 19 to 21,000 a year.

So as you can see, you do earn more for the more experience you have and the more qualifications that you have too.

3.37 Working As A Therapy Technician

On a completely side of that, if you don't want to be a health care, you could also be a therapy technician.

A therapy technician that works with the therapy department, so physio, OT, speech and language, you will have a therapy technician who will be able to basically, assist the qualified professionals there.

That is a band three position, generally.

You can have some band two, but they tend to be band three, same pay rate, but a completely different job role.

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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It does require elements of HCA, so having that background is really helpful.

And a lot of the people that I've worked with, who are therapy technicians come from HCA background or similar.

As a therapy technician, you're more likely to be doing things such as mobility, or kitchen assessments.

In the hospital, it's completely different to the community, as well.

And so this opens up the ballgame of, "I could work in the community and I don't just have to be in the hospital."

So as you can tell, there is a completely different side of it.

And some people really enjoy that career progression.

4.45 Band 4 Nursing

Going up to band four.

Now, you could jump straight from a band two to a band four.

Band four nursing, is generally where you've done something like an apprenticeship.

So an apprenticeship in nursing is possible at the moment, and that would lead you to be a band four there.

You can generally do what a lot of what nurses can do, but they can't do things like administer drugs, so medication rounds.

You must really know your detail and things like that for that.

But some of the things like enemas and putting in cannulas, changing dressings, a band four nursing assistant can do that.

And that would be something that you would do apprenticeship for.

A band four would generally earn between £21,000 to £24,000.

5.35 Band 5 Nursing

If you chose, you could go from a band two HCA to being a fully qualified band five nurse.

Now, to do this you need to have a university degree at this current moment in time.

You could also choose to retrain and actually, leave the nursing and go into a different side of healthcare.

So you could be an OT, like what I do.

You could be a physio, a speech and language therapist, a radiographer, working down in like CT scans and x-rays, you could work potentially in theater doing some kind of surgical stuff.

You wouldn't actually be doing the surgery, it'd be more the cleaning and getting bits and bobs for the surgeon.

But there's all sorts of career progressions all around that sort of bit.

You could be a midwife, which is slightly different to nursing, but still similar, more than other jobs and professions.

And but as I said, for that you do have to have a university degree, which does limit the people that can do it.

You have to have certain grades to do that and you have to be able to do a university degree and be quite prepared for the amount of time and effort that, that's going to put into that.

And the younger you are, generally the easier it is.

It's a generalized statement though. Please feel free to prove me wrong, but that's kind of the truth.

A band five generally, earns between £24,500 and £30,000.

However, the big difference here is that is a massive difference in comparison to the other pay bands.

That's because you progress as your years go through and you become more qualified in your band five role.

And so there's a massive scale difference, there's £5,000 difference.

But it does depend on your experience and things like that. So as a newly qualified, you start on roughly, £24,500.

Obviously, then you go into a completely different ball game, because I could keep going up.

But that would be talking about nursing specifically.

And we're looking in this video about how you can go from a HCA to different career paths.

7.59 Working As A Ward Clerk Or Discharge Facilitator

But say you wanted to still work in the hospital and do something slightly different.

Well, you could be a ward clerk or a discharge facilitator.

They tend to be either around about a band three, a band four type role, depending on the severity.

So a discharge facilitator to an A and E, tends to be a senior nurse, but on a ward, you could be a discharge facilitator.

They are generally, as I said, three or four ish.

So they'll earn roughly, £18,000 a year.

They, as a discharge facilitator will work with outside services, internal services, and basically plan the whole process of a patient going from hospital beds to bed at home or care center or wherever.

They'll make sure that all the professions are happy and they won't send the patient without a specific profession being, "Yes, that's fine. You've got the go ahead. You got the green tick."

They have quite an intense role.

And will often have quite a lot of communication via phone with family, patients friends, but also internally with the bed managers who know where all the bed spaces are in the hospital.

Especially around Christmas, I'll have quite a lot of pressure, especially with COVID, to get people home.

So it can be a really demanding and totally overwhelming role sometimes.

So you have to be on it and on your feet to do that job role.

So again, it depends if that's your area or your interest, I guess, is the word to say.

A ward clerk, on the other hand, they tend to deal with the paperwork and the general maintenance of the ward.

So if there was a problem with printer ink, they'd be the ones to ring.

They'd be the ones to make sure that all the paperwork, all the notes got sent down to the right location, for them to be filed and stored.

They'd be the ones that would do all the administration, compile the paperwork when they first arrive from A and E or from a different ward.

And they generally, make sure that the place is organized and accurate, and this bed is this person and all the notes relating to that person are in that bit.

And there're no other patient notes in that bit.

Really important role, one often gets overlooked.

And again, they're band three to four, so roughly £18,000 to £19,000.

10.40 Working In Social Care

Now obviously, the financial bit that I'm talking about is NHS pay bands, but as an HCA, you could go on to doing things in other locations.

So you could go onto being a carer in a nursing or residential home.

Now, their pay will be slightly different, but probably quite similar still.

I wouldn't expect it to be lots more.

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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They will be doing care and everything that an HCA does on the ward, but for people that live in permanent residential or nursing homes, generally.

You could potentially also work in community hospitals, intermediate care centers, so you wouldn't have to be in a big hospital to be doing a HCA role.

11.24 Working In A&E

You could also train to be a band three and work down in A and E, which often you take things like ECGS, blood pressure, weights, heights, of patients that are not emergency trauma people.

So that's also a possibility, if you felt like that was something that you wanted to do a bit more of.

And you could also, go into the private sector.

The private sector is obviously, completely different, but still very similar job role.

But it pays a bit more, but then different perks.

Also, in the private sector, which people don't think of very often is live-in carers.

12.01 Agency Work

So some people decide they're going to join an agency and they will go and be live-in carer.

Now, this is a role very specific and often taken by those that are from abroad or don't have family, because you are literally living with this elderly patient, elderly person, potentially elderly, it doesn't have to be though, to help them, to be there at their beck and call night or day.

It's a very demanding role and does get paid therefore, slightly more.

So that is something that is also an option.

Completely different to the hospital, but still rewarding in its own way.

On healthjobs.co.uk, there is actually a bit purposely about careers and all the information that you can find out on that page.

There's videos by different people, about their job roles and different things.

Having a little scout, there are things such as, what physiotherapy is like, how to change your career to become an occupational therapist, five things I wish I knew before becoming a paramedic.

There is thousands of different videos and information on there, about things that might be useful for you to have a little find out about, before you'd potentially go and do a career change.

Although it's not really a career change, if progressing up, I personally don't think.

Anyway, thank you so much for watching this video.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on transitioning as a HCA and what I've said about above - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

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  • Laura
    Occupational Therapist

About the author

  • Laura
    Occupational Therapist

Laura worked as a Healthcare Assistant for the NHS before training and finding employment as an Occupational Therapist.

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