Healthcare Assistant becomes the first Registered Nursing Associate at Encore Care Homes

We are proud to share that a member of our team has become the first person to complete a course that introduces a new level of trained staff to the company.

Training to become a Nurse

Sarah Edgar was part of the first intake of students on the two-year Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Foundation Degree course provided by Bournemouth & Poole College, which is affiliated with Bournemouth University. Registered Nursing Associate is a new role within our nursing team, which will now see Sarah work under the guidance of Registered Nurses to deliver care to patients with tasks including ECGs, insulin, and complex dressings. It is also a stepping-stone to becoming a registered nurse, which Sarah is hoping to achieve by completing a top-up nursing degree course.

Sarah had previously worked as a Healthcare Assistant in a hospital, before going on to work in a number of different roles, including as a customer service manager within the retail sector for four years. In 2017, she decided that her passion belonged within the care sector and has always dreamed of becoming a nurse but says that she could not afford to give up work to complete three years of university as she has a family to support.

Working as a Health Care Assistant

Sarah joined the Fairmile Grange team in Christchurch where she progressed to Senior Healthcare Assistant within six months, having already completed her Level 3 in Health and Social Care. The care home manager noticed her enthusiasm and potential and encouraged Sarah to apply for the newly-created Nursing Associate course. We paid for Sarah’s tuition fees, as part of the government’s apprenticeship scheme, and Sarah was also paid a wage for the course placements that she undertook within all fields of nursing.

Sarah said: “I have a family and couldn’t entertain the idea of giving up work to become a full-time student for 3 years. The opportunity that Encore presented me with was a life-saver and gave me the hope that my end goal to become a nurse could still be in reach.”

She added: “It feels fantastic to have achieved this qualification alongside working full time.  It is a very exciting point in my career to know I have made a big leap in my personal progression. I could not have done it without the financial support and encouragement from Encore. It means that I can help residents and colleagues even more now with the skills and training that I have received.”

Now recruiting Health Care Assistants

We are recruiting permanent Healthcare Assistants to support the work of the team by providing practical, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing support to the residents in the care homes. The Encore family includes Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Oakdale in Poole, Great Oaks in Bournemouth, and Hamble Heights in Fareham.

Transferable caring experience is required to become a Healthcare Assistant to demonstrate a caring disposition, such as caring for a relative, childcare, or working in a school. Alternatively, candidates could be in a people-focused role with a customer service background in retail or hospitality, but they must have a compassionate nature and transferable caring skills.

The training needed for the role will be provided by Encore, including in infection prevention measures and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and new starters will be included in the rollout of vaccines in line with the team’s key worker status.

To apply for a Healthcare Assistant role at Encore, go to our Careers page.