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5M4339 – Healthcare Support

Healthcare support is the most common Major Award selected by Healthcare assistants.
The award is made up of 120 credits on the NFQ at Level 5.
Each of the components in this award carry a credit value of 15 with the exception of Occupational First Aid which carries a value of 5 credits.
The total credit value required for this certificate is 120.
In Addition Healthcare Assistants will need 300+ hours of work experience, a moving and handling certificate, Occupational First Aid certificate, Garda Clearance and in some case they may require a Hepatitis B vaccination.

This will be achieved by completing: All of the following component(s)
5N2770 Care Skills
5N1794 Safety and Health at Work
5N0758 Care Support

A minimum credit value of 15 from the following components

5N0690 Communications
5N0972 Customer Service
5N1390 Personal Effectiveness
5N1367 Teamworking

A minimum credit value of 15 from the following components

5N1356 Work Experience
5N1433 Work Practice

A minimum credit value of 30 from the following components

5N1652 Intellectual Disability Studies
5N2706 Care of the Older Person
5N3773 Recovery in Mental Health
5N3737 Caring for Children in Hospital
5N3740 Haemodialysis Care Support
5N3734 Infection Prevention and Control
5N3746 Maternity Care Support
5N3767 Operating Department Care Skills
5N3769 Palliative Care Support
5N3775 Rehabilitation Support
5N3707 Activities of Living Patient Care
5N2705 Care Provision and Practice
5N1728 Person Centred Focus to Disability
5N1207 Occupational First Aid
5N0749 Anatomy and Physiology
5N4325 Nursing Theory and Practice
5N1279 Human Growth and Development
5N1773 Early Childhood Education and Play
5N1766 Childminding Practice
5N1765 Child Health and Well Being
5N1764 Child Development
5N2668 Exercise and Fitness
5N2006 Nutrition
5N1370 Social Studies

The remaining credit value of 15 can be obtained by using relevant component(s) from level 5. A maximum of 15 credits may be used from either level 4 or level 6.

Care Skills
The care skills module aims to support the HCA in recognising and meeting the care needs of patients. Practical skills are gained in moving and handling, assisting patients with daily activities such as eating, drinking and personal care, reporting and documenting information, supporting patient independence and maintaining a safe and clean environment.

Safety & Health at Work
This module aims to introduce the HCA to Health and Safety legislation and support them in maintaining a healthy and safe working environment by developing skills such as hazard identification, risk assessment and control measures, manual handling and ergonomics, fire safety, safety signage and personal protective equipment among others.

Care Support
The care support module aims to support the HCA in working within a model of good practice. This is achieved by developing an understanding of patient autonomy and privacy, the implications of dependency, the strengths and effectiveness of the care worker and the structure of the health care services.

Communications
The communications module aims to support the HCA within both their professional and personal life by developing upon written, oral, listening and visual communication skills. These skills can be applied within the patient/ HCA relationship and the HCA/ nurse relationship. This module also allows the HCA to develop their knowledge of and ability to use information technology, and introduces relevant legislation.

Work Experience
The work experience module aims to provide the HCA with an opportunity to apply the learned skills in a supported environment, to set achievable goals through which the HCA can evaluate their own performance, and develop a critical awareness of the working environment. The importance of confidentiality, health and safety, equality and the rights and responsibilities’ of both the employee and employer is highlighted. This module also supports the HCA in considering their future educational, employment and career opportunities.

Care of the Older Person
This module aims to support the HCA in providing good practice through understanding the physiological and psychological processes of aging and the impact it holds for the older person. It identifies current social attitudes and highlights the importance of promoting a positive attitude towards aging, advocacy, empowerment, dignity, independence and respect for the older person. The physical, emotional and social needs of the older person are also identified as is the role, duties and responsibilities of the health care assistant.

Activities of Living Patient Care
This module aims to support the HCA with the knowledge, skill and competence to provide holistic care to the patient while working under the supervision of the registered nurse. The role of the health care assistant is considered in relation to the patients activities of living, maintenance of a safe and hygienic environment, effective communication and working independently. Practical skills achieved include pressure area care, foot care, personal hygiene, fluid balance, urinalysis, catheter care, pulse taking and blood pressure monitoring.

Infection Prevention & Control
This module aims to support the HCA in preventing and controlling infection within the health care environment by developing knowledge and competence in the application of standard infection control precautions. The basic principles of infection and infection control are considered, as is the importance of a hygienic environment, with particular intention given to cleaning standards, procedures and frequencies. Specific micro organisms and blood borne viruses which pose a threat to the patient and the health care worker are identified. The need for safe and appropriate use of antibiotics is also discussed.