Advice needed from HCAs and Nurses

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    Hi All,

    New to the site and posting threads, but I am looking for some advice. I am currently applying for HCA roles (have an interview next week for one, so so nervous!) with the thought of training and progression once I am in the role. I have been a support worker in a care home for the last year.

    I am currently studying with the Open Uni and have been offered two degrees that are geared towards care, however I am struggling to choose which one I should go for. Are there any HCAs/Nurses on here who may be able to help? Both have similar modules but different overall premises. I know that either would be useful to have, but I have never done a HCA role and would like to hear from anyone working or have worked that role what they think about which degree to take. I would like to progress in HCA work, but until i start i am not sure what in. I am quite scientifically minded, so maybe diagnostics.

    The courses are: (will star subjects that are in both)

    Heath Science (more to do with the biology and psychology) includes (10 subjects):
    Science and Health an evidence based approach *
    Investigating psychology
    Human Biology *
    Cell Biology
    The science of the mind *
    Practical Science (biology and health)
    Infectious disease and public health *
    Science of the senses
    Evaluating contemporary science
    Researching Biology and Health science *

    Heathcare and Health Science (more to do with social care) includes (8 subjects):
    Introduction to health and social care
    Science and Health an evidence based approach *
    Health and Illness
    Human Biology *
    The Science of the Mind *
    Infectious disease and public health *
    Promoting public health, skills, perspectives and practice
    Researching biology and health science *

    Apologies for the overload in information, I am just really unsure if the science or the care route is best.

    Ideally i want to start as a HCA and learn as much as possible and progress within the role, but need to choose the right course to match this as well.

    Thank you all for reading this and any advice given, again sorry for the long post

    Scar!
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    (Original post by ScarlettHolley)
    Hi All,

    New to the site and posting threads, but I am looking for some advice. I am currently applying for HCA roles (have an interview next week for one, so so nervous!) with the thought of training and progression once I am in the role. I have been a support worker in a care home for the last year.

    I am currently studying with the Open Uni and have been offered two degrees that are geared towards care, however I am struggling to choose which one I should go for. Are there any HCAs/Nurses on here who may be able to help? Both have similar modules but different overall premises. I know that either would be useful to have, but I have never done a HCA role and would like to hear from anyone working or have worked that role what they think about which degree to take. I would like to progress in HCA work, but until i start i am not sure what in. I am quite scientifically minded, so maybe diagnostics.

    The courses are: (will star subjects that are in both)

    Heath Science (more to do with the biology and psychology) includes (10 subjects):
    Science and Health an evidence based approach *
    Investigating psychology
    Human Biology *
    Cell Biology
    The science of the mind *
    Practical Science (biology and health)
    Infectious disease and public health *
    Science of the senses
    Evaluating contemporary science
    Researching Biology and Health science *

    Heathcare and Health Science (more to do with social care) includes (8 subjects):
    Introduction to health and social care
    Science and Health an evidence based approach *
    Health and Illness
    Human Biology *
    The Science of the Mind *
    Infectious disease and public health *
    Promoting public health, skills, perspectives and practice
    Researching biology and health science *

    Apologies for the overload in information, I am just really unsure if the science or the care route is best.

    Ideally i want to start as a HCA and learn as much as possible and progress within the role, but need to choose the right course to match this as well.

    Thank you all for reading this and any advice given, again sorry for the long post

    Scar!
    You say you're wanting to progress from an HCA role, but do you know what you eventually want to do? Do you want to be a higher level HCA, nursing assistant, registered nurse? Do you want a science career?

    I would recommend seriously looking into career options and the endpoint you want before committing yourself to a degree course which may not be the right route for you to take. There is no point in wasting your time and money doing a degree that might not qualify you for the role you are interested in. Similarly, unless you want a clinical role such as a registered nurse, the experience as an HCA may not be useful to you.*

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    (Original post by Charlotte49)
    You say you're wanting to progress from an HCA role, but do you know what you eventually want to do? Do you want to be a higher level HCA, nursing assistant, registered nurse? Do you want a science career?

    I would recommend seriously looking into career options and the endpoint you want before committing yourself to a degree course which may not be the right route for you to take. There is no point in wasting your time and money doing a degree that might not qualify you for the role you are interested in. Similarly, unless you want a clinical role such as a registered nurse, the experience as an HCA may not be useful to you.*

    *
    Hi, thanks for the reply. In the end I would like to become a registered nurse, defiently stick with a clinical role. That would be my overall end goal. TBH until I start a HCA role I can't be certain, but from the research I have done a registered nurse or higher qualified HCA would be the best route for me.

    Do you have any personal opinions on which course would suit a future registered nurse/HCA?

    Thanks again

    Scar
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    (Original post by ScarlettHolley)
    Hi, thanks for the reply. In the end I would like to become a registered nurse, defiently stick with a clinical role. That would be my overall end goal. TBH until I start a HCA role I can't be certain, but from the research I have done a registered nurse or higher qualified HCA would be the best route for me.

    Do you have any personal opinions on which course would suit a future registered nurse/HCA?

    Thanks again

    Scar
    To become a registered nurse you would need to do a nursing degree, so neither of the above ones would be suitable for you. I would say that the vast, vast majority of HCAs do not have a degree, and if you did have one you would be overqualified for the role.

    If you want to do nursing, see whether you have the qualifications at the moment to get onto a degree and if not, take steps now to sort out the right ones. Being a HCA is useful experience, but volunteering and work experience is just as good for getting onto a nursing degree, and it allows you to do a qualification at the same time.*
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    (Original post by Charlotte49)
    To become a registered nurse you would need to do a nursing degree, so neither of the above ones would be suitable for you. I would say that the vast, vast majority of HCAs do not have a degree, and if you did have one you would be overqualified for the role.

    If you want to do nursing, see whether you have the qualifications at the moment to get onto a degree and if not, take steps now to sort out the right ones. Being a HCA is useful experience, but volunteering and work experience is just as good for getting onto a nursing degree, and it allows you to do a qualification at the same time.*
    Ah I was unaware of this, thank you. I have spoken to my university and once I get a HCA job (my current care role is in the wrong setting) I can apply for a nursing degree.

    Looking into this further now thank you for your help, really appreciated!
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    (Original post by ScarlettHolley)
    Ah I was unaware of this, thank you. I have spoken to my university and once I get a HCA job (my current care role is in the wrong setting) I can apply for a nursing degree.

    Looking into this further now thank you for your help, really appreciated!
    That doesn't really make sense to me - there should be no need for you to work as an HCA in order to get onto a nursing degree. All you need is some relevant work experience or volunteering. It is possible to get a secondment as an HCA but these are few and far between so not a route I would recommend.*
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    (Original post by Charlotte49)
    That doesn't really make sense to me - there should be no need for you to work as an HCA in order to get onto a nursing degree. All you need is some relevant work experience or volunteering. It is possible to get a secondment as an HCA but these are few and far between so not a route I would recommend.*
    If I want to do it part time with the open university I need to be working within the trust that will sponsor me. Taking to the careers advisor later
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    (Original post by ScarlettHolley)
    If I want to do it part time with the open university I need to be working within the trust that will sponsor me. Taking to the careers advisor later
    Ah right, wasn't aware you were only looking at part-time options with Open Uni. Have you spoken with the trust and your potential line manager about your intentions to do this? While I'm sure some do facilitate this, some might not be keen, especially as you will be a new employee.

    To be perfectly honest I don't know a great deal about how they organise placements on Open Uni, especially if you're working part time as a HCA. The NMC requires experience of different care settings so I'm not sure how the shifts you get for these would fit in with your job and it's possible your employer may not be keen to have to work hard to fit in your shifts. You would need to find out whether work fits around placement or vice versa.*

    I'm not saying that it is not doable or an option, but that it's vital you make your employer aware of your intentions to do the course asap and also find out from the open uni exactly what they require of employers so you can let them know.*
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    (Original post by ScarlettHolley)
    If I want to do it part time with the open university I need to be working within the trust that will sponsor me. Taking to the careers advisor later
    You really need to speak to your employer. You can't expect them to sponsor you - that means they will put a lot of time and effort into it. They're not going to do that just for a new HCA, unfortunately. There are specific jobs to apply for if they will help you with this OU degree, and you would need to apply and be accepted for one of those specific roles. It's not just as simple as become a HCA and get a cheap degree.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    You really need to speak to your employer. You can't expect them to sponsor you - that means they will put a lot of time and effort into it. They're not going to do that just for a new HCA, unfortunately. There are specific jobs to apply for if they will help you with this OU degree, and you would need to apply and be accepted for one of those specific roles. It's not just as simple as become a HCA and get a cheap degree.
    Wow snotty response from you! I'm not expecting anyone to sponsor me! I'm quite prepaired to work within the Trust without the prospect of being sponsored. If I'm sponsored it's a bonus. Reason I'm talking to the careers advisor!!!! Finding out the best jobs to apply for that may have a sponsorship at some point in the future. I'm under no misconception they would just sponsor me straight away!

    Cheap degree..... valueable and recognised actually!
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    (Original post by ScarlettHolley)
    Wow snotty response from you! I'm not expecting anyone to sponsor me! I'm quite prepaired to work within the Trust without the prospect of being sponsored. If I'm sponsored it's a bonus. Reason I'm talking to the careers advisor!!!! Finding out the best jobs to apply for that may have a sponsorship at some point in the future. I'm under no misconception they would just sponsor me straight away!

    Cheap degree..... valueable and recognised actually!
    Maybe try reading the post again, because you haven't understood it at all. I wasn't insulting the degree, I was saying it's cheap for you because you're not paying the full cost (and are expecting the NHS trust to pay for it). But then if you're gonna get this nasty just because you misunderstand something, you should probably look at a new career anyway.

    And I work in healthcare and have a degree from the OU, so I'd love to know which bit I'm supposed to be insulting.
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    I'm not sure if you misunderstood the above poster.
    To get help with doing an OU nursing degree (ie secondment) you need to be working in the role a while and will be competing against others to gain a place on the OU nursing course.
    Alongside OU, you will have local universities also committed to only being able to offer a specific number of places to students. This is not just due to funding but also mentor availability and placement availability.

    You also need to be aware of how you come across on social media.
    It is very difficult to portray emotions and tell the difference between sincerity and sarcasm.
    Therefore, don't jump to conclusions and come across as harsh yourself.
    There is social media guidance for nurses which you may want to take a look at on the NMC website.

    If you only want to do this part time, please remember it will take longer and you will still be required to do placements of 37.5 hours a week to meet the recommended time laid out by the NMC.


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