One of the most enticing course components offered by the best healthcare assistant (HCA) career college programs is the chance to do a work placement practicum in a long-term care setting alongside preceptorship in an assisted living setting.
This experience gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge from the classroom in a real professional environment, developing practical skills that are theoretically grounded. It also makes it possible for you to begin making professional connections in your desired field of work before you even graduate – a great way to make your future job hunt smoother.
With this in mind, you want to make the most of this opportunity so as not to miss out on any of the benefits it can provide. These tips will help you stand out from the crowd and learn more effectively during your HCA work placement.
Obtain the Workplace Details You Need Before Your HCA Training Placement
It is incredibly important that you make sure you have all of the essential details about your work placement before you begin. When attending the HCA program at Discovery Community College, the school will set up both your practicum and preceptorship placements for all students, instructions on shift times, and uniform (scrubs and shoes) colours. Always be sure to discuss details with your local Campus Manager on these steps.
While this advice may seem basic, showing up for the first day of your work placement having done no research can give a negative first impression. Instead, make sure you have followed the steps your school outlines so you can acquire all of the fundamental information you will need when you begin. This way, you can avoid unnecessary embarrassing mistakes and start your work placement off on the right foot.
Remember to Communicate Professionally With Your Health Care Team
A great way to make a positive impression on your supervisor and workmates during your HCA training work placement is to communicate professionally. Communications in the workplace should always be polite and timely. If you are unsure whether to address a superior formally or more casually, it is always better to start off formal rather than offending the individual by approaching them too familiarly.
Another important part of professional communications is to communicate proactively and clearly. If, for example, you notice a client in distress, communicate this information without delay in an informative, technically-correct manner to your supervisor. Showing respect to your healthcare team, taking constructive criticism, and working hard where needed are all important aspects to servicing your health care team to the fullest extent.
Ask Intelligent Questions to Get More From Your HCA Training
While your work placement is effectively a job, it is also meant to serve as a learning experience that enriches your training to become a health care assistant. Your supervisor knows this, and will work with you to make sure you are learning through your practice.
However, one way you can take the educational component of your work placement to the next level is to consistently ask intelligent, relevant questions. Ask you supervisor, co-workers, and instructor about how different tasks contribute to patient care plans. Inquire about your job performance, and look for feedback about strategies for improving your patient support skills.
Finally, when you receive answers to your questions, remember to listen intently and adapt your behavior to account for constructive criticism. By implementing this approach, you will be in the best position to build positive professional relationships with others in your workplace while simultaneously becoming a better, more effective healthcare professional.
Do you want to start your career in health care with a guaranteed work placement?
Contact Discovery Community College for details on our HCA training program.