The changing role of the healthcare assistant
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The changing role of the healthcare assistant

Jennifer Stokes Staff nurse, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey
Amy Warden Staff nurse, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham

Background This article analyses the changes made to the role of the healthcare assistant (HCA) in the British healthcare system and identifies when and why these changes occurred. The main influences on the role of HCAs, from the time of Florence Nightingale through to the present day, are discussed.

Conclusion The role of the HCA has progressed from being an undervalued ‘dead-end’ job, to a skilled role that is recognised nationwide. However, the future of the HCA role is uncertain.

Nursing Standard. 18, 51, 33-37. doi: 10.7748/ns2004.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review