Working in a healthcare environment can be incredibly challenging. The sheer complexity and urgency of the job demands contributions from doctors, nurses, EMTs and support staff.

One vital member of such a team is the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner. Assistant Practitioners respond to the real, immediate needs of patients while providing essential support to registered practitioners like doctors and nurses. They are the highly trained individuals in a particular area of practice that make consistent, high-quality care possible.

Healthcare Assistant Practitioners can work in hospitals, clinics, hospices, day centres and other environments. They can also work in any number of areas, including cancer services, physiotherapy, genitourinary medicine, orthopaedics, hospice care, mental health, social care, occupational therapy, learning disabilities and in hybrid roles across occupational areas.

While they usually work under the supervision of a registered practitioner, they have enough experience and training to operate on their own.

While there are many areas of progression available to a Healthcare Assistant Practitioner, most people go into healthcare occupations for the challenging nature of, and the high level of personal satisfaction individuals get from, their work.

The Apprenticeship

There is a multitude of employers around the UK hungry for Healthcare Assistant Practitioner apprentices. You can view all the details about the apprenticeship by visiting the Institute of Apprenticeships website.

During the apprenticeship, the apprentice is immersed in their healthcare training. A training provider will impart key skills while hands-on experience will enhance and temper their knowledge and abilities.

During the apprenticeship, apprentices are required to meet Care Certificate standards while completing a level 5 occupational competence qualification and the 20% off-the-job training.

Once all the training is complete and all qualifications have been achieved, the apprentice will undergo the final test: the end-point assessment.

The End-Point Assessment

During the end-point assessment, the apprentice will be assessed against the Apprenticeship Standard for the Healthcare Assistant Practitioner apprenticeship, a series of occupational benchmarks set by employers for apprentices.

The end-point assessment for a Healthcare Assistant Practitioner will include the following activities:

  • A multiple choice and short answer test
  • An observation of practice
  • A reflective journal and interview

The multiple choice and short answer test will gauge the apprentice’s knowledge on a variety of subjects covered in the Apprenticeship Standard. The test will include 40 multiple choice questions (worth 1 mark each) and 4 short answer questions (worth 5 marks each). It will test their knowledge of:

  • Principles and philosophy of health and social care
  • Physiology, organisation and function of the human body
  • Lifespan developments and healthcare needs from prenatal to end of life/bereavement
  • Research and development in the health and social care sector to inform and improve quality of care
  • Provision and promotion of holistic person-centred care and support, duty of care and safeguarding of individuals
  • Importance of the strategic environment in health and social care and the implications for the individual
  • Importance of current evidence-based practice within scope of the role

The observation of practice will then gauge the apprentice’s ability to perform regular duties. Their performance will be judged against the following benchmarks set out in the Apprenticeship Standard. The apprentice should be able to:

  • Communicate complex sensitive information through a variety of methods
  • Manage information, keeping accurate records and ensuring confidentiality
  • Use and promote a range of techniques to prevent the spread of infection including hand hygiene, the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and waste management.
  • Promote and maintain a safe and healthy working environment
  • Identify and manage risks
  • Demonstrate and promote what it means in practice to provide person-centred care and support
  • Treat people with dignity, respecting individual’s diversity, beliefs, culture, values, needs, privacy and preferences
  • Show respect and empathy for those you work with; have the courage to challenge areas of concern and work to best practice; be adaptable, reliable and consistent
  • Show discretion and self-awareness
  • Promote effective inter-professional and multi-disciplinary team working with peers, colleagues and staff from other agencies
  • Provide appropriate leadership within the scope of the role
  • Undertake defined clinical or therapeutic interventions appropriately delegated by a Registered Practitioner

The last activity is the reflective journal and interview. During the last 3 months of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will write a reflective journal and provide evidence of their experiences involving case management and supervision and teaching, totalling approximately 2,000 words.

The interview will last between 30 and 60 minutes long and will enable the apprentice to further showcase their knowledge and abilities, and for the assessor to ask any questions they may have that were not covered in the other assessment activities.

Once the apprentice has successfully passed the end-point assessment, they can choose to take on full responsibility in their role or choose to move on to another employer. They will also be eligible for membership of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) or a professional association relating to their particular speciality.

TQUK EPA is dedicated to ensuring apprentices receive quality training and that employers receive confident, skilled workers through our end-point assessment service, available at a competitive price. When you work with TQUK EPA, everyone wins!

To keep up to date with the latest apprenticeships and end-point assessment news, return to TQUK EPA’s blog or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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