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The Importance of CPD for HCAs

Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, is an essential part of every healthcare assistant’s (HCA’s) career pathway. HCAs play a significant role in helping healthcare professionals provide exceptional-quality care to the patients under their supervision.  

HCAs must ensure that their skills remain as up-to-date as possible to ensure that the quality of care never dips. In this post, we’ll delve into CPD, why it matters concerning HCAs and some areas in which HCAs can train.

What is CPD?

Continuing Professional Development refers to the skills you accumulate over time after any first formal training. It relates to a cycle of development in which new skills are documented and tracked, their impacts reviewed, and subsequent actions taken.  

Generally speaking, the impetus to engage in CPD must come from the employee, not the employer. In other words, you need to be the one driving it. The CPD cycle can be broken down as follows:

  • Identify. The first step is to assess where there are gaps in your knowledge that might benefit from training. Carrying out a self-assessment can help you achieve this if you can’t identify any areas.  
  • Plan. The next step is to plan out your training; lay out specific goals and aims that you want training to help you achieve, as well as the particular nature of the activity itself. Then, you’re ready to…  
  • Act. It’s time to undergo the training. Whether engaging in an accredited course, a program run internally or even engaging in self-directed learning, document the process!  
  • Reflect. Completing the training is only one part of the process; reflecting on what you’ve learned is equally essential. Did you achieve the aims you set out in the Plan phase? Has your knowledge gap laid out in the Identify stage been addressed? How successful was the learning process overall?  
  • Action/Implement. It’s time to take what you’ve learned and apply it in your day-to-day professional life.  
  • Repeat! The C in CPD stands for continuing, so this mustn’t be a one-time process. It’s called the CPD cycle because you’re meant to keep doing it over and over. There will always be areas you can improve upon, and nobody knows everything, so keep looking for problem areas and gaps in your knowledge base and start the process again.  

What Do Healthcare Assistants Do?

If you’re reading this and are considering becoming a healthcare assistant, then here are the primary responsibilities you’ll be tasked with (this list isn’t exhaustive):

  • Hospital. Wash patients.  
  • HospitalFeed patients.  
  • HospitalMake beds.  
  • Hospital. Monitor patient condition and take observations, e.g. Taking temperature readings.  
  • Health centre/GP surgeryTake bloods.  
  • Health centre/GP surgerySterilise equipment.  
  • Health centre/GP surgeryCarry out health checks.  
  • Health centre/GP surgeryProcess samples.  

So, why is it that CPD is so essential for HCAs?

CPD for Healthcare Assistants

Accepted practices in medicine are constantly evolving, so what might have been the proper care plan two decades ago won’t fly now. If you don’t stay on top of your training and CPD as an HCA, you risk falling into the trap of stagnating and supplying potentially outdated methods of care.  

Though there are no legal requirements for HCAs to engage in CPD, it is viewed as best practice that they do. In fact, many employers will require that you undertake CPD as part of the role.  

The benefits of CPD for HCAs include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Staying up to date with the sector’s latest practices.  
  • Improved patient care.  
  • Greater motivation.  
  • Elevated chance of career progression.  
  • More confidence.  

What are some examples of CPD training an HCA might undertake?

Examples of CPD Training for HCAs

You can get training in various areas as an HCA, including mental health, food safety and hygiene, end-of-life care and many more.  

Perhaps you feel like you could be better versed on LGBTQ+ issues? Maybe you want more understanding about what to do when someone has an anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction. Whatever it is, the chances are that there’s a CPD training course out there that you can take for it.  

CPD Online College offers various medical CPD courses that HCAs can take, all for reasonable prices. They’re all “CPD Certified”, too, which indicates the training’s quality.

Final Thoughts

Healthcare Assistants play a pivotal role in the everyday functioning of hospitals, health centres, GP practices and care homes nationwide. Their role is demanding and strenuous, but HCAs bear this responsibility with remarkable grace and goodwill.  

CPD can act as the icing on the cake, providing training opportunities for HCAs to become even more incredible than they already are! So, if you’re an HCA reading this, what are you waiting for? Sign up for training today!

Carry on reading