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  1. #1
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    health care assistant interview help

    i have not been very lucky with the interviews i have had at the nhs i have nvq3 & 2 plus other certificates, i think its the interview questions are letting me down so can someone help please.
    position is hca with an interest in cardiothoracics and the intensive care environment.



  2. #2
    Junior Member graceunderpressure's Avatar
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    I can't remember what I got asked at my interviews now... Hmm... Erm I got asked what I would do if I encountered a situation where money was being wasted on stuff the trust didn't need etc. I think I said I would inform the ward manager and tell them how I would change it to save money. I also got asked what I would do if I found faulty equipment. I said I would first of all make sure no one used the equipment so inform other HCAs and nurses of fault, put a notice on equipment then I would report the fault to estates/ward manager etc. I also got asked what equality and diversity meant so giving all staff and patients the same treatment no matter what their backgrounds are, ethnicity, class etc. I was asked in both HCA interviews I have had what I understand about what the position involves. So just make sure you know the job description and that.

    I hope this is helpful, if you need any other help PM me.

  3. #3
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    thanks for the reply im sure you will get pm of me very soon i have put in another application at another hospital as well edoscopy unit.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Dr Noodle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaynemcmanus View Post
    position is hca with an interest in cardiothoracics and the intensive care environment.
    Huh?

    I don't know about the UK but as a care assistant here in Ireland you aren't allowed to wash post op CT patients. You can only special them if they are confused after their surgery, help the nurses change pads, make up the teddy bears (towel and pillow case) that they hold to their chest when coughing and help them eat if they're feeling weak.

    You do even less in ICU and the patient to nurse ratio tends to be very small (ideally one to one) which means the nurses help each other with washes and the care attendant just stocks and cleans.

    I'm sorry I really don't mean to sound patronising but perhaps a better understanding of the job will lead you to do better at interviews.

    One question I remember from mine was 'if a patient tells you they are an alcoholic and/or addicted to hard drugs, what would you do?'. I have to admit that stumped me but if someone does say that to you, or asks to confide in you, you have to let them know that you have to report things of this nature to the nurses.
    PCMD- final year (FINALLY!)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Varied A's Avatar
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    My experience of ICU in the UK is that the HCA's job is mostly restocking equipment at the bedsides and acting as a runner to get equipment, staff etc., occasionally helping in log rolls and bed-bed transfers.

    I love ICU as a nurse, but as a HCA I think I'd be a bit bored, because there isn't a great deal of hands-on contact of the kind you'd get on a ward, and certainly there's absolutely no chance whatsoever that you'll ever be left alone anywhere near a patient or get to do anything off your own bat - bed baths are like a millitary exercise usually involving several staff, and the very most you would be expected to do is probably help to hold someone on their side whilst someone else washes.

    If it's an "acute environment" you're looking for, rather than a general ward, perhaps because you're wanting to have experience with seriously ill patients, or pick up skills like recording ECGs and taking bloods which you want to try out for your future medical career, you could try admissions units or A&E. Another thing you might want to try is agency/bank working so you can try out a few different places and see how you like it.
    John

    Mark:- Dr Carter, you seen Dr Weaver?
    Carter:- err usually she's everywhere

  6. #6
    Senior Member Dr Noodle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varied A View Post
    If it's an "acute environment" you're looking for, rather than a general ward, perhaps because you're wanting to have experience with seriously ill patients, or pick up skills like recording ECGs and taking bloods which you want to try out for your future medical career, you could try admissions units or A&E. Another thing you might want to try is agency/bank working so you can try out a few different places and see how you like it.
    (!!) Even nurses aren't allowed to do that here (although they're trained to)!

    Do carers train on the job there or do you have to do a course first?
    PCMD- final year (FINALLY!)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Varied A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Noodle View Post
    (!!) Even nurses aren't allowed to do that here (although they're trained to)!

    Do carers train on the job there or do you have to do a course first?
    There's a load of crap wherever you work about what nurses are and aren't allowed to do. The bad ones use it as an excuse to hide behind, the good ones just get on with what they need to do. The fact is, that if you have a patient who develops a sudden tachycardia or irregular pulse or chest pain, then you need an ECG, and if you're going to wait for a tech or a doctor to come and do it you have to take the chance that the patient will either have reverted to a normal rhythm (hence you missing the opportunity to get a look at it), or deteriorated severely by teh time that happens. It really is quite important that an RN is able to take an ECG and have a reasonable stab at interpreting it.

    In areas where this is a common occurence such as A&E/assessment units, the actual act of recording the ECG is often delegated to the HCAs, after appropriate training.

    As for other training for HCAs - most training is on the job, but those working long-term are usually sent to do an NVQ level 3, which involves the odd day in college, being supervised/taught on the wards and filling in reams of paperwork as evidence of what you can and can't do!
    John

    Mark:- Dr Carter, you seen Dr Weaver?
    Carter:- err usually she's everywhere

  8. #8
    Senior Member Dr Noodle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varied A View Post
    There's a load of crap wherever you work about what nurses are and aren't allowed to do. The bad ones use it as an excuse to hide behind, the good ones just get on with what they need to do. The fact is, that if you have a patient who develops a sudden tachycardia or irregular pulse or chest pain, then you need an ECG, and if you're going to wait for a tech or a doctor to come and do it you have to take the chance that the patient will either have reverted to a normal rhythm (hence you missing the opportunity to get a look at it), or deteriorated severely by teh time that happens. It really is quite important that an RN is able to take an ECG and have a reasonable stab at interpreting it.
    It isn't 'a load of crap'. My mum worked in intensive care and was told she wasn't allowed. She kicked up such a huge fuss about it that several meetings were held and they had to let her go ahead because of course they didn't have any logical reason for it not to be.

    She lets the nurses do it on her ward now and she's had them all take the cannulation course. It's utterly ridiculous that nurses learn how to do all these things on a four year degree and are then told they aren't allowed to do them.

    You guys think you have it bad there you should see how much worse it is here. The health service is an utter shambles and the staff are treated like crap.
    PCMD- final year (FINALLY!)

  9. #9
    Junior Member graceunderpressure's Avatar
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    HCAs can definatly do ECGs, I can and I haven't had formal training.

  10. #10
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    Hi, I work on a respiratory ward as a H.C.A. Have only been there for five months. I am allowed to set up an E.C.G. As previously said you will only have to wait for doctor to turn up to be asked to do it anyway. The nurses on the ward are fantastic at teaching. There is always something new to learn. The ward can be quite heavy going sometimes.

    Death was difficult to deal with at first but most of the patients are brilliant. I think what I am trying to say is dont rule out the obvious. You can always transfer to another part of the hospital if a position becomes available. Learn the basics then try for something that interests you more.

    One thing I forgot to mention at my interview, the word care. Can you believe it. Just be honest there must be a reason why you want to be there in the first place. You want to work in a hospital enviroment and take care of people.

    hope this is of some help.

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