Why the AHCAI?
The majority of HCAs who have been told about the Alliance of Health Care Assistants in Ireland (AHCAI), and have been asked if they would like to join, have wanted to know “what’s in it for me”? Now that is a legitimate question. However, it is surprising that not one person asked, “What can I do for my discipline through this membership organization?”
Have we become a ‘wait and see’ rather than a ‘roll up your sleeves’ society, waiting to see success before joining, in the hope that others will do the work for us. The problem is there are no others. Unless you are prepared to chip in and do your bit the status quo is maintained.
What is the status quo?
The status quo is that HCAs have no voice. Those with vested interest in maintaining the status quo speak and act on your behalf without consulting you. In fact, there has been no improvement in the status of the HCA since first introduced into the health service 25 or so years ago.
What has the AHCAI been doing on your behalf?
The Alliance has produced a code of practice for HCAs which will be offered for ratification at our AGM later this year. We are also working with a consortium on a two-year apprenticeship training program for HCAs. We have short, free of charge, CPD courses on our website for members. There are ideas for activities for residential clients and much more on our open website. We are trying to create a career path and have the discipline of HCA recognized and respected and to achieve this we need more members, more ideas and more support.
We need HCAs to join this membership organization, we need people who can contribute actively on our council, other people who would be willing to hold discussion groups with HCAs around the country and report back to AHCAI.
We want to know what concerns you, how would you like your discipline to develop into the future? Working together we may be able to achieve your dream. We are aware that many of you are content with your working lives as they are and so be it. However, many more would like to contribute at a higher level, to work to their full potential.