Palliative care assistant
Healthcare | Social care
Palliative care assistants provide specialist end of life care and support to patients and their families.
£18,005 Starter - £21,142 Experienced
41 to 43 a week (evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts)
Where to start
You can get into this job through
a college coursean apprenticeshipapplying directly
You could do a college course to learn some of the skills you need for this job. Courses include:
- Level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support
- T level for Healthcare Support Workers
You'll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a Level 3 course or T level.
You could train towards this role through:
This will usually take 12 months to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time at a college or training provider.
- a healthcare support worker Level 2 apprenticeship
- a lead adult care worker Level 3 apprenticeship
You'll usually need some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for a Level 2 apprenticeship. You'll need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for a Level 3 apprenticeship.
Experience, either paid or voluntary in a healthcare role, is usually expected by employers. Some employers will also expect you to have a good understanding of end of life care, or palliative care.
You may not need any formal qualifications to start work as a palliative care assistant, but GCSEs grades (A* to C) in English and maths may be useful in helping you to find a job.
Some employers may also want you to have a Level 2 qualification in health and social care, like a certificate, diploma, GCSE or NVQ.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- sensitivity and understanding
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- customer service skills
- knowledge of psychology
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and Requirements
You'll need to pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
What you’ll do
As part of your day-to-day duties, you could:
- apply simple wound dressings
- give medication
- change medical equipment like catheters, when required
- make sure equipment is cleaned and stored correctly
- support people and their family to cope with their emotional wellbeing
- care for the person's body after death
- update patient records
You could work in the community, in an NHS or private hospital or at a hospice.
You may need to wear a uniform.
Career path and progression
With experience and training, you could become a senior healthcare assistant.
You could take additional training as an assistant practitioner for other healthcare roles like:
You could also train as a health professional like a nurse, midwife or physiotherapist.
- chiropody or podiatry
- occupational therapy