Education for healthcare clinical support workers
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Education for healthcare clinical support workers

Robin Lewis Senior lecturer and research fellow, Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England
Shona Kelly Professor, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England

This article reviews the current situation regarding the provision of education and training for healthcare clinical support workers (HCSWs). In the UK, there has been an increasing reliance on unqualified clinical support staff to provide a significant proportion of the direct patient care in all healthcare settings. HCSWs routinely undertake several nursing activities that were traditionally the responsibility of nursing students or junior staff nurses. There is a need for an urgent review of the training of healthcare support staff. A ‘tick box’ approach to training, with an emphasis on classroom-based or on-the-job learning, makes it difficult for HCSWs to integrate theory into practice, and supports a transactional approach to caring rather than a relational approach to caregiving. Lessons from the educational experiences of other healthcare groups should be applied to the training of HCSWs. An immersive, participatory teaching and learning strategy is one approach that could be used.

Nursing Standard. 30, 15,38-41. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.15.38.s49

Correspondence

r.p.lewis@shu.ac.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 12 December 2014

Accepted: 29 May 2015