There has been relatively little discussion in the literature regarding the role of the healthcare assistant (HCA) in midwifery. The study examines and contrasts HCA duties in one maternity department in the Republic of Ireland. Observations of six trained HCAs were undertaken to evaluate if they have the relevant repertoire of skills as taught in a national training programme, and to assess if they are using these skills competently. Findings indicate that HCAs carried out more indirect patient care activities than direct care activities. Findings show that the HCA provided support to qualified staff by assisting them in a range of care activities. This was consistent with the specified job description and with their training programme. This exploratory study helps to further understand the role of the HCA. It identifies the activities that HCAs undertake in support of qualified staff in maternity settings. The findings highlight the need for further investigation to determine the relationship between the role of the trained HCA and the qualified midwife.
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - Feb 2005|