Health Care Assistants Experiences and Perceptions of Participating in a Training Course

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Although the number of healthcare assistants (HCA) in employment has continued to increase, the provision of training and development for this role has, to date, been largely dependent upon the discretion of individual employers. In response to this, the Department of Health and Children in Ireland decided to establish a national training course for HCAs and commission its evaluation. As part of this evaluation, the views of the trainees on the national training course were explored. The behaviour, attitudes and experience of these trainees were explored, as was their perception of the relevance of the training course to their role in employment as a HCA. One-to-one semistructured interviews with 22 randomly selected trainees were conducted. All interview respondents felt that the training course had been beneficial. Findings indicated positive changes in practice following their training. The interview respondents indicated that they felt more confident in their ability to undertake delegated duties and believed that the skills learned on the course would be useful to them in their future work. Other issues, such as course duration, selection procedure and level of assessment, caused some dissatisfaction. The training course led to a significant improvement in the trainees' knowledge and care skills. Suggestions for changes to the course from the trainee's perspective include amending the trainee selection procedure and improving the organization and content of the course and follow-up support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
JournalLearning in Health and Social Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2005


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