Health care assistants: the views and perceptions of course co-ordinators in the Republic of Ireland

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AIM: A research study was undertaken in Ireland to evaluate a pilot Healthcare Support course. One aim of the study was to obtain the views and perceptions of the course coordinators on a range of issues relating to the training programme. BACKGROUND: From the beginning of formal UK health care, there have always been unqualified or untrained assistants working within hospital and community settings. The provision of relevant training for these staff members has a number of benefits not just to registered nurses but also to patients, managers and health care assistants (HCAs) themselves. METHODS: Semistructured interviews were undertaken with course coordinators in 14 pilot sites across Ireland. RESULTS: The coordinators maintained that the course was too short but acknowledged that this was a pilot programme. The course structure was perceived to be appropriate and with the content relevant to the skills and knowledge required by HCAs. Selection criteria were varied across the pilot sites which led to some difficulties for coordinators. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, coordinators felt that the trainees on the programme were committed and motivated and that the course increased their knowledge and skills and was a rewarding experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2005


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