Fast-track nurse training for Healthcare Assistants Watch

Bames
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HCAs to be offered faster nursing degree courses

A renewed focus on fast-track nurse degree training for healthcare assistants is to be introduced by Health Education England, following a major review of education and training due out this week.

The move is expected to have the double effect of improving career options for HCAs – long seen as an issue for the health service – and as a means of speeding up the supply of home-grown nurses to help deal with the current shortage in registrants.

The national workforce planning body has toldNursing Times that it will draw up a standardised education and training framework for universities and employers in England, which allows students to use prior relevant experience to account for some elements of their degree.
This type of fast track training – referred to as accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) – means students can complete their undergraduate nursing degree in less time than the standard three years.
HEE said its new framework will focus on students being able to use previous experience that demonstrates they have the required knowledge and skills to account for up to half of their degree – meaning they will be able to graduate within one and a half years.

What do people make of these proposed plans considering normal students have complete the three year course.

http://www.liquidhc.com/news/blog/fa...are-assistants
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thabo05
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i think its a great idea for those who are going to be affected by this move like myself .it will motivate us HCAs to be ready for improvement due to career development ,unfortunate for those that completed the whole three years , legislation , policies change everyday so good one indeed
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moonkatt
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It's just regurgitation of something that can already be done. There's already the chance to APEL previous study on a lot of nursing courses. It's how quite a few of the post grad courses work as well.

While I agree it's a good idea to encourage HCAs who want to climb the career ladder to come into nursing, I don't think this is the way. It would be more worthwhile for trusts to invest in supporting staff to get relevant qualifications to get onto nursing g courses (quite a few HCAs would like to train as nurses but don't have the entry quals) and by increasing the number of places for secondment so that it's easier financially for these people to train.
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CosmicJay
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I totally agree with the last poster. My worry with this is whether a shorter course will provide enough time for HCA's to bridge the gap between support work and nursing - I think the jump between band 3 and band 5 is quite big and shouldn't be underestimated as just another step up the ladder.

I currently work for the NHS and I'm on training this week. There was an interesting discussion yesterday and apparently my trust is no longer doing secondments - which is a big blow for me. But what is being developed is the Assistant Practitioners role at Band 4. This involves a foundation degree alongside experience at Band 3 - perhaps that's the route HCA's should be taking - then they could introduce a shorter course to help Band 4's qualify?


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moonkatt
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(Original post by CosmicJay)
I totally agree with the last poster. My worry with this is whether a shorter course will provide enough time for HCA's to bridge the gap between support work and nursing - I think the jump between band 3 and band 5 is quite big and shouldn't be underestimated as just another step up the ladder.
And if you consider most HCAs sit on band 2 it's an even larger gap. This story isn't something new that universities have started doing, you've been able to APEL work you've done for a while now, it was offered when I started uni back in 2007, it's just be rehashed and pushed out to the press. It just meant you didn't have to do some of the modules as it was work already covered. As far as practical experience is concerned (not been discussed here, but has been elsewhere) while experience as a HCA is valuable to someone training as a nurse, it does not equate to time spent on placement as a student nurse, they're two different things, personally, I'd be completely against people being fast tracked through clinical placements because of experience as a HCA.

(Original post by CosmicJay)
I currently work for the NHS and I'm on training this week. There was an interesting discussion yesterday and apparently my trust is no longer doing secondments - which is a big blow for me. But what is being developed is the Assistant Practitioners role at Band 4. This involves a foundation degree alongside experience at Band 3 - perhaps that's the route HCA's should be taking - then they could introduce a shorter course to help Band 4's qualify?


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It's a shame they've stopped secondments, it bet it's a financial decision rather than a workforce planning one, a short sighted one at that as well. I'm in two minds about these band 4 assistant practitioners, I've met some and they're valuable members of the team, however I've heard negative things from other places (can't really go into detail here), there's a lot of confusion about accountability with this role, and to be honest, some scepticism that they'll be used to dilute the skill mix and have less band 5 nurses on wards to save money. I've no doubt they have their place in clinical practice, but we need to be very careful about what boundaries we set with this role.
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Bames
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(Original post by moonkatt)
And if you consider most HCAs sit on band 2 it's an even larger gap. This story isn't something new that universities have started doing, you've been able to APEL work you've done for a while now, it was offered when I started uni back in 2007, it's just be rehashed and pushed out to the press. It just meant you didn't have to do some of the modules as it was work already covered. As far as practical experience is concerned (not been discussed here, but has been elsewhere) while experience as a HCA is valuable to someone training as a nurse, it does not equate to time spent on placement as a student nurse, they're two different things, personally, I'd be completely against people being fast tracked through clinical placements because of experience as a HCA.


It's a shame they've stopped secondments, it bet it's a financial decision rather than a workforce planning one, a short sighted one at that as well. I'm in two minds about these band 4 assistant practitioners, I've met some and they're valuable members of the team, however I've heard negative things from other places (can't really go into detail here), there's a lot of confusion about accountability with this role, and to be honest, some scepticism that they'll be used to dilute the skill mix and have less band 5 nurses on wards to save money. I've no doubt they have their place in clinical practice, but we need to be very careful about what boundaries we set with this role.
What is APEL? sorry I am not the sharpest tool.
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Alexmynameis
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(Original post by Bames)
What is APEL? sorry I am not the sharpest tool.
Have you read your OP? It says there.
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moonkatt
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(Original post by Bames)
What is APEL? sorry I am not the sharpest tool.
As the above posted pointed out, it's in your OP, Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning. Fancy education speak for them acknowledging previous courses or experience you have and letting it count towards part of a course you're doing.
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kevrobert
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brilliant idea. should have happend sooner. My daughter has worked as an HCA for 4 years, an apprenticeship is essensce....and does much of what a nurse does - apart from a few procedures. she can't just leave and study for 4/5 years for a degree.
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amyc123
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(Original post by kevrobert)
brilliant idea. should have happend sooner. My daughter has worked as an HCA for 4 years, an apprenticeship is essensce....and does much of what a nurse does - apart from a few procedures. she can't just leave and study for 4/5 years for a degree.
I think the gap between HCAs and RNs is much bigger than a lot of people appreciate. Not that our HCAs don't contribute hugely to patient care, but having done both jobs, there is a world of difference.
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moonkatt
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I'm completely against an apprenticeship model of training, it would be a step backwards as a profession.
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InArduisFouette
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For experienced HCA who has been working at Level 3 / Band 3 for a period of time , recognition that they don;t need to learn the basic care aspects assessed in the first year of Pre-reg is a good thing

However it does run the rislk especially with the level 3 who is working at Band 2 that they do not make the maturity and cognitive jump to thinking like an RN
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wbnurse
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I start my training as an RN in a matter of weeks. I started off as a band 2 HCA and then moved up to band 3 and then did a degree for band 4....now Training. I think jumping from a band 2 hca to band 5 is a bad idea. I think it needs to be based off clinical skills and time served 100%. I hope that they would still have to do the 3 years like I have to! I don't think it would go down well with HCAs who have trained for so many years and now this easier option is coming up. Not that I don't want it easier for HCAs of course.....but the right level of HCA. Even as a HCA you can never fully understand what life is like as RN and how stressful it is. I think drop out rate would still be as high


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Lhorsnell
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Hi this is very interesting and I have been trying to follow this a lot.
Do you know when this will be ?
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tinkerbelle2
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I definitely support it. I work as a HCA and would like to continue for at least a year then maybe do my nurse training or even occupational therapy which I've been finding really interesting and fun! But for now I want to gain experience.


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pollofthepolls
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(Original post by kevrobert)
brilliant idea. should have happend sooner. My daughter has worked as an HCA for 4 years, an apprenticeship is essensce....and does much of what a nurse does - apart from a few procedures. she can't just leave and study for 4/5 years for a degree.
With all due respect for our HCA's, there is an absolute world of difference between the roles and responsibilities of RN's and HCA's. Not something one would appreciate unless having trained and worked as an RN. Definitely more than "apart from a few procedures"
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tinkerbelle2
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(Original post by pollofthepolls)
With all due respect for our HCA's, there is an absolute world of difference between the roles and responsibilities of RN's and HCA's. Not something one would appreciate unless having trained and worked as an RN. Definitely more than "apart from a few procedures"
That's true and a good point, although one frustrating thing in the particular hospital where I work I feel that a lot of the HCA's do more than the nurses! And have a lot more direct patient contact. A lot of the nurses are in the office on the computer all day - they are working and always have a lot to sort out but that puts me off as I chose the role for the human connection.


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moonkatt
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(Original post by tinkerbelle2)
That's true and a good point, although one frustrating thing in the particular hospital where I work I feel that a lot of the HCA's do more than the nurses! And have a lot more direct patient contact. A lot of the nurses are in the office on the computer all day - they are working and always have a lot to sort out but that puts me off as I chose the role for the human connection.


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But the HCAs doing more than the nurses is your perception of things from the aspect of being an HCA. The nurses might be sat in the office at the computer, but that doesn't mean they're doing less. There's a lot of paperwork and documentation that has to be done by registered nurses, planning of individual patients care, meetings discussing detaining people under section in mental health units and so on which, unfortunately, takes them away from direct patient care.

There are areas in nursing where you're not as tied down with paperwork, but it's something that comes with the role. if you train as a nurse placements provide a great opportunity to get an insight into different roles within your branch and aim to work in.
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foxy 666
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I'm a band 3 hca the only thing that we do different from the registered nurses is administer medication although we admisister eye drops which in my book is medication , everyone puts hcas down from what I've read ,I personally think the hca role is undervalued! Backbone of the nhs
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moonkatt
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(Original post by foxy 666)
I'm a band 3 hca the only thing that we do different from the registered nurses is administer medication although we admisister eye drops which in my book is medication , everyone puts hcas down from what I've read ,I personally think the hca role is undervalued! Backbone of the nhs
You have no idea what registered nurses do then. What environment do you work in?

I have no problem with HCAs, without them the NHS would bring to a halt, but there's a huge difference between the roles of HCAs and registered nurses, I know, I've been both.
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