New healthcare assistant job and given no induction or training..??

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Mandle
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Hello guys,

I would really appreciate some advice off any healthcare assistants/nurse auxiliaries/nurses working in hospitals. I was recently offered a HCA job on the acute medical unit. I am completely new to a "hands on" caring role. I wanted to gain some experience working first hand with patients and was very happy to land this role.

I assumed I would receive some form of training and an induction which I haven't. On my first day I was given a HCA to buddy up with. Which I thought okay great get stuck right in, I'm a fast learner so I'm happy with this. However for much of the day I was left on my own, I got shown how to do stats once and was expected to take other patients stats on my own on my first day with no prior experience?

On my second day, I got told to find someone to buddy up with and the lady I found made it very clear from her body language she didn't want to show me anything, and kept advising me to go off and do things alone "use my own initiative". Now at this point I got quite upset and decided I would go outside for a breather and ring my mum. After this I decided to find the ward manager and I asked "are you aware I am completely new to this role, no previous experience?" And she said yes. "Do I get some form of training/induction?" And her reply was yes usually the HCAs get an induction but you will be okay just find someone to buddy up with.

So I found someone to buddy up with again, and was very much treated like a hinderence which was upsetting but I wanted to push through with the day and not give up. Now since coming home and thinking about it I have some concerns and here they are..

It's my 2nd day, I'm taking stats alone with no training, I was left alone with a gentleman coughing on his back, I thought I need to sit him up that will ease it, I had no idea how to operate the hospital bed, I had no idea how to physically move him, iv had no moving and handling training, a gentleman wanted to have a shower and I didn't even know where to direct him as no one has even said, here is the linen room, here is the toilets, here is the break room etc (things I assume is just a basic induction to any work place) so this got me thinking I don't even know what the procedure is for a fire, where the fire exit it, what happens during an emergency, emergency buzzers etc? I was working an early shift, I had no break, everyone on that shift went home, which I figured out and then thought okay I'll go home. I did ask multiple times what is the structure for breaks etc, and I was told when you get a chance grab a sandwich.

I brought up all these concerns to my ward manager, she said I understand it's a busy ward and can seem overwhelming, we can move you to a quiet ward if it's too much. I know the NHS is under pressure, iv worked for the ambulance service as a dispatcher and iv worked as a police officer, iv worked in extremely pressurised environments before, and to be honest the ward isn't what I would describe as extremely busy to the point where someone couldn't show me around and offer me correct basic training. There where plenty of times the HCAs where stood in the break room chatting and eating. If anything I thrive in this environment that's why I wanted to work in AMU.

Like anyone I don't like being treated like a hinderence and being left alone to figure stuff out when I'm new, but I'm old and ugly enough to have done all this before in a new role and I will do it. But I'm worried all as this just all seems a little dangerous to me with the lack of training, surely I should be given some basic moving and handling, fire safety and given someone who I would stick with and be shown properly for the first few days at least? I have rang the ward manager again and explained all this politely and said i am thinking about not working here. She has told me to take some time to think about it and she can move me to a different ward, but I dont see how this addresses any of the concerns iv brought up? I don't know, some advice would be so appreciated, thank you if you've taken the time to read this.
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Fleuves
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Get in touch with the recruitment team who issued your offer letter/contract and express that being completely new to the environment you want training sooner rather than later.

You should receive a Trust induction (not a job induction) and an introduction to the Care Certificate, which included fire safety, manual handling, computer training. Both of those lasted 3 days each for me, but to be honest after that I too was thrown in the deep end and just left to work the job itself out on my own on the ward :-(

I will tell you one thing about the HCA role that I have observed: those who are permanently in it for years do the bare minimum ... initiative is not a thing ... and when a sparky young thing like you or me come on and tries to introduce better ways of working, more concern, more process-driven, more thoughtful, you make enemies not allies. Because you are seen to be shaking up the status quo and you make the oldies look bad. You need to go with the flow. This is why the manager is not concerned about your potential leaving, and this is also why a HCA job is nothing more than a stepping stone for anybody smart enough and hard-working enough to consider a professional healthcare role.
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Mandle
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Thanks for reading my long essay and replying!

Yes the dreaded Trust induction, I have endured it a few times and I can not believe I have found myself begging for one! Lol. This is temporary for me, I am purely doing it for experience, so I definitely have no problem about being thrown in the deep end, the more experience the better! I know from past experiences, that getting stuck in and doing it rather than just reading about it makes you learn and pick it up much sooner.

Sadly, I did notice this bare minimum attitude very quickly. There was one gentleman who was very distressed and trying to pull out his nasal tube thingy, the HCA was abruptly patting his hands away whilst shoving some food in his mouth, which he kept spitting out. I held his hand and rubbed my fingers reassuringly, I spoke to him and explained what was happening. However, doing this I felt extremely self conscious, I was aware I was being looked at like "oh here we go, a new girl who thinks we all have time to be nice and caring, she will soon learn".

My thought was to next approach recruitment and inquire about some form of induction and care certificate. However, I am strongly considering just walking away from this role as I do have other interviews lined up. But, is everywhere just like this? Should I just keep my head down and try and get as much experience as I can whilst being nice and making enemies or possibly hiding this part of me as not to pee off people? This saddens me.

I experienced such amazing team work in the ambulance and police, the extreme pressure we were under forced us to become so close, and I never witnessed any of my work buddies having this attitude, yes we all had bad days, lazy days etc. This has made me question my career choice to be honest, I have left the emergency services to study for a healthcare profession and I'm thinking will years of healthcare make me have this deadbeat attitude? Will I just view patients as cargo, in and out?

(Original post by Fleuves)
Get in touch with the recruitment team who issued your offer letter/contract and express that being completely new to the environment you want training sooner rather than later.

You should receive a Trust induction (not a job induction) and an introduction to the Care Certificate, which included fire safety, manual handling, computer training. Both of those lasted 3 days each for me, but to be honest after that I too was thrown in the deep end and just left to work the job itself out on my own on the ward :-(

I will tell you one thing about the HCA role that I have observed: those who are permanently in it for years do the bare minimum ... initiative is not a thing ... and when a sparky young thing like you or me come on and tries to introduce better ways of working, more concern, more process-driven, more thoughtful, you make enemies not allies. Because you are seen to be shaking up the status quo and you make the oldies look bad. You need to go with the flow. This is why the manager is not concerned about your potential leaving, and this is also why a HCA job is nothing more than a stepping stone for anybody smart enough and hard-working enough to consider a professional healthcare role.
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Fleuves
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(Original post by Mandle)
Thanks for reading my long essay and replying!

Yes the dreaded Trust induction, I have endured it a few times and I can not believe I have found myself begging for one! Lol. This is temporary for me, I am purely doing it for experience, so I definitely have no problem about being thrown in the deep end, the more experience the better! I know from past experiences, that getting stuck in and doing it rather than just reading about it makes you learn and pick it up much sooner.

Sadly, I did notice this bare minimum attitude very quickly. There was one gentleman who was very distressed and trying to pull out his nasal tube thingy, the HCA was abruptly patting his hands away whilst shoving some food in his mouth, which he kept spitting out. I held his hand and rubbed my fingers reassuringly, I spoke to him and explained what was happening. However, doing this I felt extremely self conscious, I was aware I was being looked at like "oh here we go, a new girl who thinks we all have time to be nice and caring, she will soon learn".

My thought was to next approach recruitment and inquire about some form of induction and care certificate. However, I am strongly considering just walking away from this role as I do have other interviews lined up. But, is everywhere just like this? Should I just keep my head down and try and get as much experience as I can whilst being nice and making enemies or possibly hiding this part of me as not to pee off people? This saddens me.

I experienced such amazing team work in the ambulance and police, the extreme pressure we were under forced us to become so close, and I never witnessed any of my work buddies having this attitude, yes we all had bad days, lazy days etc. This has made me question my career choice to be honest, I have left the emergency services to study for a healthcare profession and I'm thinking will years of healthcare make me have this deadbeat attitude? Will I just view patients as cargo, in and out?
You are overthinking it a bit too much at the minute pet, don't let it deter you. This experience doesn't give us perspective or insight we don't already have, it just EVIDENCES that perspective/insight to the course providers we'll be applying to.

I'm so sorry that you had that experience with the elderly patient; I've had similar. The thing is, HCAs DO have time to care. That's why they're employed! The nurses struggle to find ample time to care. But it's literally our job to care. Make beds, and care. Once you're in the NHS it's really difficult to get the sack, so those golden oldies know they have a job for life and do the least they can. One positive for inevitable privatisation at least: sack the lazy and inefficient. Our dilemmas are parallel. My solution was to put myself onto the Bank. I have to fight for regular hours and watch my spending like a hawk, but, when I feel too self-conscious after being my normal, hard-working principled self on one ward, I can simply move on to another, and do the best I can all over again. I go home with a clear conscience at least. I don't think the same kind of anxiety would exist in the other healthcare professions i.e. medicine, surgery, or the allieds. Those careers reward hard work and ambition.

You might want to look at doing this role in a GP surgery; in a smaller place under more pressure your attitude would be welcome. You would also be trained to do more on the clinical side in time, taking bloods perhaps. Alternatively another band 2/3 post like a trainee phlebotomist.
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deviant182
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I will say from a nursing point of view, you cannot delegate duties such as clinical observations without ensuring the person carrying them out is able to carry them out safely and effectively.
It's in breach of the nmc code and you can be hauled before a nmc board if the clinical observations being carried out are incorrect and thus result in nursing negligence and put the safety of the person at risk.
The manager of the ward also needs to ensure the health and safety of all persons on the ward, including employees.
If you're not part of a union I would suggest joining one and telling your manager that due to a lack of training and your own concern, you're taking union advice.
In my experience this is usually enough to prompt some action.
However, I am very concerned you've not been given anything.
In various trusts I've worked in, both in the NHS and as agency, I've been made to have inductions, various training and have been observed by nurses to make sure I carry tasks out correctly and documentation is complete.
This is just bordering on gross negligence.

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Pantego
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(Original post by Mandle)
Hello guys,

I would really appreciate some advice off any healthcare assistants/nurse auxiliaries/nurses working in hospitals. I was recently offered a HCA job on the acute medical unit. I am completely new to a "hands on" caring role. I wanted to gain some experience working first hand with patients and was very happy to land this role.

I assumed I would receive some form of training and an induction which I haven't. On my first day I was given a HCA to buddy up with. Which I thought okay great get stuck right in, I'm a fast learner so I'm happy with this. However for much of the day I was left on my own, I got shown how to do stats once and was expected to take other patients stats on my own on my first day with no prior experience?

On my second day, I got told to find someone to buddy up with and the lady I found made it very clear from her body language she didn't want to show me anything, and kept advising me to go off and do things alone "use my own initiative". Now at this point I got quite upset and decided I would go outside for a breather and ring my mum. After this I decided to find the ward manager and I asked "are you aware I am completely new to this role, no previous experience?" And she said yes. "Do I get some form of training/induction?" And her reply was yes usually the HCAs get an induction but you will be okay just find someone to buddy up with.

So I found someone to buddy up with again, and was very much treated like a hinderence which was upsetting but I wanted to push through with the day and not give up. Now since coming home and thinking about it I have some concerns and here they are..

It's my 2nd day, I'm taking stats alone with no training, I was left alone with a gentleman coughing on his back, I thought I need to sit him up that will ease it, I had no idea how to operate the hospital bed, I had no idea how to physically move him, iv had no moving and handling training, a gentleman wanted to have a shower and I didn't even know where to direct him as no one has even said, here is the linen room, here is the toilets, here is the break room etc (things I assume is just a basic induction to any work place) so this got me thinking I don't even know what the procedure is for a fire, where the fire exit it, what happens during an emergency, emergency buzzers etc? I was working an early shift, I had no break, everyone on that shift went home, which I figured out and then thought okay I'll go home. I did ask multiple times what is the structure for breaks etc, and I was told when you get a chance grab a sandwich.

I brought up all these concerns to my ward manager, she said I understand it's a busy ward and can seem overwhelming, we can move you to a quiet ward if it's too much. I know the NHS is under pressure, iv worked for the ambulance service as a dispatcher and iv worked as a police officer, iv worked in extremely pressurised environments before, and to be honest the ward isn't what I would describe as extremely busy to the point where someone couldn't show me around and offer me correct basic training. There where plenty of times the HCAs where stood in the break room chatting and eating. If anything I thrive in this environment that's why I wanted to work in AMU.

Like anyone I don't like being treated like a hinderence and being left alone to figure stuff out when I'm new, but I'm old and ugly enough to have done all this before in a new role and I will do it. But I'm worried all as this just all seems a little dangerous to me with the lack of training, surely I should be given some basic moving and handling, fire safety and given someone who I would stick with and be shown properly for the first few days at least? I have rang the ward manager again and explained all this politely and said i am thinking about not working here. She has told me to take some time to think about it and she can move me to a different ward, but I dont see how this addresses any of the concerns iv brought up? I don't know, some advice would be so appreciated, thank you if you've taken the time to read this.

Hey there,

I can completely understand that you're frustrated and by the sounds of it, you have every right to be. The NHS is under pressure but the induction training should still be offered to you for the safety of patients, and even if that had to be postponed for a later date, you should have been shown at least where the basic facilities are! If you are just looking for experience, I would genuinely suggest being an HCA in a care home setting instead first? I'm an HCA at the moment in a care home, and whilst it's not the same fast-paced environment as in the hospital, you do get a chance to learn some of the important skills in care and how to talk and engage patients. Most care homes also provide the training as a requirement before starting properly. Maybe you should consider starting out in a care home and then maybe progressing to being an HCA in a hospital if that's what you're aiming for?

Just my advice Hope it all goes well, you may find that you just need to get used to it and that things will get easier after a couple of shifts. I think it depends if you want to do that or not
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nexttime
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That just sounds like a bad set of staff. Go to those other interviews and, if things don't improve, change jobs.
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Scotglas
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Worst job in the history of bad jobs, I'm still employed on the staff bank as a HCA but it's got to the point I can't even force myself to go in and work a Sunday shift, for double time.

Much more to life than that gig

I just got myself a part time delivery job and went bk to uni, best thing I ever done
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Doncaster72
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I’m actually going through the same thing I’ve been there 5 days I hate it don’t know what to do.
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Scotglas
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(Original post by Doncaster72)
I’m actually going through the same thing I’ve been there 5 days I hate it don’t know what to do.
prob leave to be honest , I've actually being doing a lot more shifts since my last post however I'm on the bank and can pick and choose . it's no good for a full time gig unless you get a really cushy ward , however most ppl work in heavy care of elderly surgical wards etc and they are terrible places to work for hcas . plus the money is absolute gash mon -fri
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