There’s nothing more important than your health. After all, our health is what sustains us. It is the very thing that gives us more time on this earth. And with more time and less pain, we have the freedom to experience everything we can.
So, the people who extend and ease our time on earth have chosen a career path of special nobility. Caring for the sick and suffering, relieving their pain and maintaining their health, helping those who have been injured to recover – the people who devote their days to improve the lives of others constitute some of the most meaningful and valuable work there is.
Healthcare Support Worker is among a large number of healthcare-related apprenticeships designed to make compassionate care possible. These apprentices are individuals in the thick of it, on the front lines delivering hands-on care and supporting registered practitioners to perform complex tasks. They can also work in many places: care homes, hospitals, day centres, hospices or even the homes of individuals.
Apprentices in a Healthcare Support Worker programme assimilate a wide variety of knowledge, skills and behaviours to provide the best possible care, including health intervention skills, personal and people development, communication, adaptability, reliability and discretion. They’ll learn how to monitor a patient’s condition (taking blood pressure, temperature and weight), checking their overall progress in their recovery and how to measure their general wellbeing. They’ll be in charge of record-keeping, cleaning and organising equipment.
But more than all this, the apprentice will learn the guiding values that inform all of a healthcare support worker’s actions, including being caring, compassionate, honest, conscientious and committed. It is vital for the apprentice to incorporate these values into everything they do.
Assessment for these apprenticeships will follow closely the details of the apprenticeship standard, ensuring the presence and practice of the principles in the Care Certificate and all the appropriate knowledge, skills and behaviours. TQUK’s excellent assessors will verify things learned, including the apprentice’s communication skills, health intervention abilities, knowledge of health and safety and how they show empathy, compassion and adaptability.
Once an apprentice completes their training with the training provider and employer, the final test can begin: the end-point assessment.
The assessment provided by TQUK will include several activities:
- A multiple choice test
- An observation of practice
- An evidence portfolio
The multiple choice test will be composed of a series of questions, written by TQUK with the guidance of sector experts, that will assess the apprentice’s knowledge of the importance of communication, health interventions, personal development and equality and diversity, among other things. The test will ensure the apprentice has assimilated the correct knowledge and could apply it in hypothetical situations.
Following the test, the assessor will conduct an observation of practices undertaken by the apprentice in their everyday duties. The observation will assess the apprentice’s higher level skills and behaviours, including their ability to communicate effectively, the quality of the person-centred care they deliver, their ability to treat people with dignity, the range of techniques they use for infection prevention and more. This is to ensure the apprentice can operate effectively within their normal place of work.
The final activity is a review of a portfolio of evidence, followed by an interview of the apprentice conducted by the assessor. Over the course of the last three months of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will gather evidence of their performance in the workplace – with direct observation as the primary source – but will also include reflective accounts completed by the apprentice that demonstrate their knowledge in practice, as well as their values and behaviours. An interview between the apprentice and the assessor will then take place in order to touch on any areas that are not covered in the previous activities and will allow both assessor and apprentice to explore any areas they will relevant or useful.
TQUK has developed rigorous assessment materials, operations and practices to ensure that apprentices receive a quality education and that employers receive, by the end of the programme, a confident and well-rounded member of their team.
This is only one of the apprenticeship standards TQUK offers assessment for – there are many others.
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