"Health Care Assistants work harder than Nurses" Discuss.

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Little Old Me
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#1
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As the title suggests, please express your opinion on this. I work as a Health Care Assistant and although I don't completely agree with this, I do sometimes think this way after practically running around the ward all shift. I work in Mental Health by the way, but am starting a new job as a HCA in General Medicine soon! Please don't be offended by this thread, I just wanted to an idea of what other people think, whether they work in these roles or not x
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InArduisFouette
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This is a misapprehension that many HCAs have.

arguably in many settings the RNs works far harder than the HCA as the RN will still be expected to do 40 + % of the 'any person ' work as well as all the RN only work
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katiiiiie
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No. While HCA's work extremely hard, I don't think they work as hard as nurses, I think they probably work about the same/a little less. Nurses work extremely hard especially on specialist wards, I did some work experience on one and it was crazy how determined nurses are, standing up for hours on end and sometimes not getting a break, working twelve and a half hour shifts.
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Little Old Me
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Thanks for the replies. As I'm yet to experience working on a General Medical ward, I will get a proper feel for it once I start my new job. I think I will really know how roles in Mental Health and General Medicine differ when I can compare the two areas after getting used to my General Medicine role. I feel like the General side will be a lot more hands-on than Mental Health and will show just how hard work in this area can be. I find that in Mental Health, nurses seem to have a lot of computer-based work x
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x-Venezia-x
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I am a care assistant and nurses have far much more responsibility than we do. They have to administer meds, and make sure they sre alert at all times. Care ans health care assistants also work extremely hard, especially if we are understaffed which is very common in every care and nursing ho, e you go to. The residents still have to come first as that is what our main priorities are.

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moonkatt
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Everyone who works in the NHS believes they are the hardest working and work in the busiest department in the NHS. I usually cover about eight miles in a typical 12 hour shift as a nurse. Our HCAs probably cover further as they go on all the transfers and are sent to fetch things form different departments. Everyone works equally as hard, it's just different types of work. Just because someone is sat at a computer doesn't mean they're not working.
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Lord Asriel
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It helps to break down what you mean by working hard. As someone who has worked across Bands 3-8 (HCA to Principal Clinical Psychologist) I can see hard work has a variety of meanings.

In some ways the HCAs have the "hardest" job in the NHS. They have to do most of the hands on donkey work, and are more likely to be assigned to the more boring or unpleasant tasks such as observations, toileting and such. They get paid the least , have little recognition and have almost all of their time being occupied in various duties. They have less autonomy in their role and a fairly limited range of routine tasks they have to perform, which gives them little scope to be creative.

However, nurses (as well as medics, psychologists, and other higher roles) have far more responsibility and accountability for providing care. Checking meds and scheduling a rota, while not as physical, requires intense concentration and a good organisational skills if it is done properly.. They often will have to draw from a wider range of skills and work at a level that is more demanding in terms of knowledge or ability. At the higher level, your work isn't done once you finish your shift, and I will find myself doing work long into the night and well after my contracted hours are up. You can't develop a service, or manage a team by strictly sticking to shifts.

There is also the issue about working harder when things are going normally, against having to make tough clinical decisions and manage a crisis. Decisions about having to admit a seriously ill patient to a ward when the ward is full or how to respond to a serious untoward incident is tough, but tough in a different way to lifting a 16 stone woman on a hoist so she can use the toilet.
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xx-Samantha-xx
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They both work really hard in my opinion, i was a HCA while i was a student so can see it from both points of view....there was a few wards where the nurses wouldn't help with the hands on stuff and would go on their breaks when they knew we were struggling to make sure their patients were re-positioned etc

Forgetting for the moment about the responsibility of being registered and being accountable for everything you do, where i now work as a Staff Nurse in a High Dependency Unit both groups are run off their feet for the whole shift, our HCAs help us massively and i cannot thank them enough most days, help us transfer patients to medical/surgical wards, run to pharmacy for us and stock up, help us clean and set up the bed spaces for the next patient coming out of a long operation or as a step down from ITU. It's unfortunate they can't use more of the skills they have on our unit as it has to be a registered member of staff to do the observations in my trust and its the Drs that do the bloods if there are not lines to take bloods from.
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KingGoonIan
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What does it matter? Where I work we work as a team on a busy Vascular ward whether that be washing and dressing patients or changing wound dressings or preparing patients for operations. Everyone dips in on everything.
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Little Old Me
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Thanks for the replies. I just thought it might be an interesting discussion and it has been so far. Some of the nurses I work with say they wish they had more patient contact. (We work in Mental Health). Do any of you guys who are nurses wish this too? It must be frustrating having to work at a computer for so much of the day. I never realised how much paperwork/computer work nurses' jobs involved. Does everyone here enjoy their job, whatever their job may be? I like how different roles come together and work well together and it makes me want to explore different wards, illnesses, health care settings etc x
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moonkatt
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I'm at the bedside for the majority of my shift, it's one of the reasons I chose the environment I work in.
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KingGoonIan
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(Original post by moonkatt)
I'm at the bedside for the majority of my shift, it's one of the reasons I chose the environment I work in.
ITU?
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moonkatt
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(Original post by KingGoonIan)
ITU?
Yep
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Moma7*
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I'm hoping to become a HCA and the thing I'm looking forward to the most is the patient contact.
i want to work as part of a team I know my position and I'm quite happy with that and the fact that it's supporting the nurses and dealing with relatives and hygiene and obs is what I'm signing up for..
As for working hard we all have our own definitions of hard work,I currently work in a office dealing with accounts complaints customer care and I sit at a desk on a computer all day and trust me when I get home I'm so mentally exhausted it's untrue.
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Moma7*
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Got my offer through:five::five:
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fire2burn
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Depends entirely on the individuals in question, I've worked with some truly bone idle nurses who do the bare minimum possible including some who refuse to do any patient care (mostly agency staff) but likewise I also know a few HCA's who spend their time dithering and floating around whilst everyone else is run ragged. It isn't something you can generalise.

The important thing is for everyone to do their jobs properly, communicate effectively and work together as a team. It makes everyone's lives easier then If people aren't mucking in, raise it with a senior member of staff. Poor discipline and work ethic shouldn't go unchecked.
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falling
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Hmm it probably depends on the nurse/HCA. When I was in hospital some of the HCA's would sit around watching TV etc, while others would be more hands on. Same with the nurses- some didn't do much, while others worked extra shifts and stayed longer after their shift ended.

Generally though, the HCAs seemed to do more hands on work- making beds, making supper etc etc while the nurses were swamped with paperwork. This was in a psychiatric ward btw.
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J&M
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I say no/yes because many of nights I'm on the nurses are also helping with doubles or doing the care work to help and get it done if someone asks, nurses have far more responsibility but either way all care , nurse
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Diane Williams
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All respect to you I admire you
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ashonbooks
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It definitely depends on the person, not the role. As a student in the NHS, I really hate it when people ask these questions (no offence to you, just expressing my opinion on conversations in the staff room that happen all the time), because it creates such an Us VS Them culture which isn't beneficial to anyone. Instead of people saying 'Person A is so lazy', they always say 'HCAs are being really lazy recently' or something along those lines. Everyone knows that within different professions there is a huge disparity in how much effort people put in, and I don't think that comparing the two is helpful at all!
HCAs and nurses, and MCAs and Midwives all do different jobs, and people need to focus on what they do to help each other rather than create a blame culture that is so prominent in the healthcare industry.

(BTW this wasn't a rant at your question, creating discussions is important!)
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