About First steps
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) brings you First steps for health care assistants (HCAs) to support you either individually, or as part of your workplace induction programme, to learn in your own time, at your own pace; the most important factors that will get you started in your health care career.
First steps has been developed around the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework and codes and standards for each of the UK countries (see ‘Useful resources in Additional material’.)
It also links to a range of National Occupational Standards that can be printed off in the form of an assessment checklist that could form the basis of a portfolio of learning. We suggest that you consider recording your reflections when you reach the end of each topic.
Overarching learning outcomes
After completing all the sections in this learning resource, the learner should be able to:
- Describe the principles of effective communication.
- Explain the policies and practices that protect the safety of staff and all other individuals in the workplace environment.
- Describe the principles of infection prevention and control including the importance and practice of good hand hygiene.
- Describe the legal requirements regarding confidentiality, consent, and best practice for recording and accessing medical records.
- Explain the process for identifying and reporting suspected abuse of vulnerable people (safeguarding).
- Explain the importance and benefits of continuing professional development and reflective practice as a lifelong learner.
- Describe the principles of quality care in terms of: teamwork; accountability and delegation; and best practice guidelines.
- Describe the principles of equality, diversity and rights in terms of: the legal requirements; promoting and treating people with dignity, respect and privacy; and the process for raising concerns.
- Explain the procedure for undertaking a range of observation tasks.
- Describe the principles of promoting health.
Brought to you by the RCN
If you are not a member of the RCN, we hope you will consider joining to make the most of the wealth of opportunities available to our members. Member services include advice and support from nursing professionals, protection provided by the largest in-house team of nursing-specialist lawyers of any union in the UK, and access to the most extensive nursing library in the world.
To find out more about the benefits of membership, visit www.rcn.org.uk/membership.
Looking for next steps?
If you have been in your role for a while or have worked your way through First Steps and are looking for more, the RCN has a range of online learning resources on specific topics such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, patient safety and supporting people’s nutritional needs. These and many more are available at http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/practice/cpd_online_learning. There are even more topics and useful resources such as an e-portfolio in the Learning Zone for RCN members: http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/learning/learningzone