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Become a HCA

(17 Posts)
summershine2204 Tue 07-Jan-20 12:32:49

So as the title suggests I want to become a HCA. I'm currently working in finance and I hate it. Always have. And I've always wanted to become a nurse, however I want to go in as a HCA and work my way up as I've used my government funded student loan and I simply cannot afford university.

Could anybody tell me how they got into this roll? I'm due a baby in August so i won't be looking at rolls until 2021 but I'm starting looking into it now and see if there's any courses etc I could do at night school while I have the time!

latheritup Tue 07-Jan-20 12:43:31

Following as also interested!

titchy Tue 07-Jan-20 13:13:35

Nursing and other allied health degrees are exempt from the rule that says you can only access one lot of loan funding. Plus nursing students will now get a bursary, so might not be unaffordable at all.

summershine2204 Tue 07-Jan-20 13:28:06

Oh that's interesting, thanks @titchy - when everything was in the news RE nurses having their funding taken I presumed it was still the case!

titchy Tue 07-Jan-20 15:06:11

Never assume! wink

I'd suggest an Access course first, particularly if you did your first degree a while ago. OU or a local college.

EL8888 Tue 07-Jan-20 15:09:38

Looking at roles on NHS jobs would be a good start. Getting experience will help you with your nursing applications and help you work out if it’s got you -some are a HCA for a while and then realise nursing / healthcare isn’t actually for them. Also you can see if you can cope with shift work (13 hour shifts / nights / early starts) and working bank holidays / weekends etc

Chocmallows Tue 07-Jan-20 15:09:40

Following with interest as I have considered this.
Have you looked into nursing associate/apprenticeships?

summershine2204 Tue 07-Jan-20 18:03:54

Thank you ladies.

That was my other thought path too @EL8888 I don't want to commit to a degree and then hate the job at the end of it and not have a career I enjoy to fall back onto.

To cut along story short I went to university and completed two years however when I was in my third I was in hospital for 3 months and fell behind and missed my dissertation related field trip so I deferred the year. I then ended up doing a CIMA Level 4 qualification and never went back to my degree, however I hate finance and nursing is always something I wanted to do and I'm currently 23 but as the next academic year I could enrolled on to would be 2021 I'll be 25 and not qualified until 28. I'm also concerned about the financial side of going back to university as my partner has a good wage and he can afford the mortgage and bills but we will have a 12 month old by then and childcare to find etc as we have no family where we are.

So many decisions!!

EL8888 Tue 07-Jan-20 19:29:42

Yeah it’s good to try it out, it doesn’t suit everyone

Hairyfairy01 Tue 07-Jan-20 20:33:54

The competition to become a HCA is actually quite fierce. I would suggest trying to get on the bank (0 hour contract HCA) also not easy. Getting experience in care homes or as home help either paid or volunteering would be great. Also look at volunteer opportunities you can do at your nearest hospital, it might be selling newspapers, sitting with confused patients, mental health support etc.

CoffeeRunner Tue 07-Jan-20 20:39:40

You will find it very hard to get a job as an HCA in a hospital with no previous experience. There are hundreds of applicants for every vacancy at ours.

Nursing homes & community care are very different however - no experience needed.

Nursing Associate is an alternative route to nursing - but in our trust the programme is only open to current trust employed HCAs.

So in short, I would start in either a nursing home or community agency to gain experience & then keep applying into the NHS.

summershine2204 Wed 08-Jan-20 08:12:30

@CoffeeRunner thank you for that!

I wasn't sure if it was worth doing a BTEC at night school in the interim for social/healthcare just to help get a foot in the door. As I said this is 18 months away but I don't see any harm in using the next 18 months getting some basics down.

I've looked at the nursing apprenticeships, I friend is doing one and they look and sound perfect, but I know they're very few and far between!

I can get on my local universities nursing course and I've emailed them RE that but again it's catch 22 with finances.

EL8888 Wed 08-Jan-20 17:21:36

I think the level of competition must vary by area. Where l live there isn’t that much competition and it can take time to fill vacancies

Zelda93 Thu 09-Jan-20 19:47:32

Don't forget to look at local prisons as their healthcare teams often have HCAs and within my company we are putting them through apprenticeship to become qualified Nurses. That way you can get paid and get qualified.

summershine2204 Thu 09-Jan-20 20:32:39

@Zelda93 our nearest prison is over an hour away and that isn't in the rush hour. It was something I'd thought of as it's less appealing than hospital based work so I thought less competition (I could be wrong) however with a twelve month old and my husband bringing is considerably more money but working long hours I wouldn't be able to do the commute and make it back for nursery closing.

I have emailed a couple of local universities this week RE student finance and entry requirements and how flexible they are (they want BBB a levels and I have BBC). Just waiting a response at the minute.

Zelda93 Thu 09-Jan-20 21:07:06

Yes the prison environment is unique you either love or hate it so there is a high turn over of staff at some sites.. you could also try the Open University as they do the apprenticeship and may be more flexible.. good luck

jCarrie Wed 25-Mar-20 22:50:50

You can apply for an apprentice through the NHS jobs site. Nhs is a great company. Or you can register as bank staff but you would need 12 months experience. Consider that if you work full time (you would for the apprentice it’s long hours days/nights) you would get a fair wage though. NHS have lots of job opportunity register and good luck xx

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