So much rests in the hands of our healthcare professionals. The continued safety and longevity of people in the UK depends on the everyday vigilance of doctors, nurses and support workers. Making sure patients are independent and healthy is the ultimate goal of healthcare. Senior Healthcare Support Workers play a vital role in achieving that goal.

In many cases, the type of care that needs to be provided requires many people working in tandem, with each person fulfilling their roles to the best of their abilities. Some levels of care need sharp coordination and tough leadership in order to provide the right quality of care. Sometimes, particular situations need an individual who can stand out from their team and take the reins to get things done.

Senior Healthcare Support Worker (SHSW) is the next rung up the ladder from a Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship and calls on apprentices to develop a more sophisticated set of skills. SHWSs help registered practitioners deliver healthcare services to all sorts of people, from infants, children, adolescents and adults and in all sorts of conditions. They carry out clinical, non-clinical and therapeutic tasks under the supervision of a registered practitioner, like a nurse or a doctor. The knowledge and skills they will attain include supporting mental health, implementing duty of care, understanding and demonstrating person-centred care, how to become actively involved a patient’s treatment regime

But SHSWs will wear many hats. While they will specialise in support, they will also step into a leadership role when necessary, coordinating other support workers to deliver the required care. To this end, the apprentice will cultivate their ability to delegate, supervise and mentor their fellow workers.

As part of their programme, Senior Healthcare Support Workers will choose one specialism that will direct them towards particular areas of practice:

  • Adult Nursing Support
  • Maternity Support
  • Theatre Support
  • Mental Health Support
  • Children and Young People Support
  • Allied Health Profession – Therapy Support

Any one of the pathways can offer an entry point into a unique and fulfilling area of healthcare.

Once the apprentice has completed their programme, they will undergo the final test – the end-point assessment – to ensure they will be able to operate effectively in their workplace. When you work with TQUK, our assessors will ensure that your apprentice has received the right training that will help them build on their position in the future.

The end-point assessment will comprise of three distinct components:

  • A multiple choice and short answer test;
  • A practical observation;
  • And a learning journal assessment and interview.

The test will comprise of 30 equally weighted multiple choice questions and four short answer questions. This test is designed to ensure the apprentice has core knowledge of their field and well as knowledge covered in their chosen specialism.

The practical observation will come after the knowledge test. It will take place during normal hours in the apprentice’s usual workplace and will assess the apprentice’s higher level skills and behaviours. This observation is to ensure the apprentice can operate effectively in the workplace and demonstrate all the skills they will need.

The final aspect of the end-point assessment will be an assessment of the apprentice’s learning journal and a subsequent interview. The journal will be completed by the apprentice 3 months before the end-point assessment and will comprise of a minimum of 3 reflective accounts completed by the apprentice that demonstrate their application of knowledge, values and behaviours in relation to their chosen specialism. The interview will take the form of a professional discussion and will cover any areas the assessor or the apprentice feel have not been covered elsewhere in the end-point assessment.

Senior Healthcare Support Workers are vital cogs in the functioning of any healthcare organisation, whether it be a hospital, hospice, school, prison, GP surgery, operating theatre or birth centre led unit. No matter what the organisation, TQUK will make sure all apprentices are fit for purpose and ready to work.

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How TQUK Can Help You

The new apprenticeship standards are designed to improve upon what’s gone before and help with the apprentice’s initial journey into their chosen career, before you know it, they’ll be on the road to success.

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