Badges: 4
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
TL;DR question: Current or former HCA's, was there any way for you to progress upwards e.g. to a level 4 role? How common is it for hospitals to offer an internal apprenticeship to an HCA, without advertising it on NHS jobs?


I've previously worked as a physiotherapy assistant but left because I felt incredibly unneeded/ underutilised in the department I was in.

Being an HCA seems like a very demanding, underappreciated, potentially stressful job but I've seen how much they really help patients and HCA's seem to be in high demand, so perhaps possible to get jobs all over the country. For various personal reasons, I'm not willing to go for a nursing degree.

I don't mind putting in a few years of hard graft, but just concerned that there's absolutely no chance of progression apart from doing a nursing degree. To go from HCA → Assistant Practitioner (Level 4), you can either:

A) Do a Level 5 Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship (and according to NHS jobs there are zero employers offering this anywhere in England).

B) Spend £18k to do a 2 year foundation degree (I already used up my student loans allocation on something stupid when I was younger, and they don't give secondary funding for foundation degrees).

So this leads me to think that unless employers/hospitals are actually funding lots of Assistant Practitioner apprenticeships internally and not advertising them on NHS jobs, there would be absolutely zero way to move up even a single pay grade or to become slightly more specialised, aside from going for a degree.
Badges: 15
Report 2 months ago
Only way to improve your skills you have as a HCA is to actually go onto doing a nursing degree and climb the career ladder over period of years.
You stated you don't wish to do a nursing degree.. !! Have you thought about doing degree in pyshiotherpy as you have previous skills in this !!!
Unfortunately you feel being undervalued but what about all the qualified nursing staff to being undervalued.

I feel at times I'm undervalued in my role as midwife in hospital maternity unit but I don't think about money as I'm probably like millions of other nursing staff who actually do the job to help people but yes more money would be nice to have which we all know the government don't have it to chuck it at us !!!
HCA, MCA & Auxiliary nurses on all aspects of nursing are required to support the qualified staff but some do go on and become qualified themselves eventually. They are good help those other nursing staff but you can't expect to be paid the same wages as a qualified nurse who went & study a degree as a HCA, MCA or auxiliary nurse as you don't have same qualification. But I do agree they should perhaps be paid slightly more than at present.

Emily_B If you not done any previous nursing courses using student finance then you should be able to apply for funding for nursing as it's a exemption course ? Regardless of previous funding !!

Becoming a Healthcare Assistant
Kick-starting your NHS career as a Healthcare Assistant offers an ideal entry route to many careers within the healthcare sector, especially for people with commitment and enthusiasm rather than academic qualifications.

Although you may not need prestigious qualifications to start your career as a Healthcare Assistant, some employers will prefer you to have GCSE's (A-C) including English, maths and science, and basic IT and word processing skills.

Developing your career to become a Registered Nurse
Although working as a Healthcare Assistant should not be mistaken as a means to fast-track into nurse training, it will give you an insight into the role of a Nurse and useful experience when applying for training courses.

The great thing about becoming a Healthcare Assistant is that you can work your way up to a level where you can then apply for a degree course. The NHS encourages applicants of all ages and backgrounds to pursue nursing by offering bursaries and apprenticeships.

There are also many different pre-registration programmes to choose from to suit your needs. If you only have availability to study part-time, there are many university courses that will take approximately five or six years to complete part-time. This career route is available for staff working within the NHS, most commonly those who have gained an NVQ Level 3 working as associate practitioners or assistants.
Badges: 15
Report 2 months ago
Tracey_W yep you're right with how SFE fund nursing degrees. I think, but am not 100% sure, if SFE treats physio/OT degrees the same. Shame it isn't the same for nursing associates.

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