Assistant practitioners (sometime known as associate practitioners) have skills and experience in a particular area of clinical practice. Although they are not registered practitioners they have a high level of skill through their experience and training.
As an assistant practitioner, you'll always work under the direction of a health professional such as a nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist, podiatrist or biomedical scientist. Your level of training and experience means you can often work alone, without supervision. You'll carry out agreed procedures, referring to a professional for guidance when necessary.
What does an Assistant Practitioner do?
- Respiratory medicine
- Testing and assessing lung function
- Assessing people’s need for aids and equipment at home
- Providing personal, social, therapeutic and rehabilitative care
- Dietetics, encouraging people to make healthier food choices
- Mental health services, supporting adults or young people with mental health issues
- Changing dressings
- Monitoring medication
- To train as an assistant practitioner, you have to be working in the NHS, often in a clinical support role such as healthcare assistant, dietetic assistant or maternity support worker.
- As well as healthcare experience, trainee assistant practitioners have a healthcare qualification, usually at level 3, such as the CACHE Diploma in Clinical Healthcare Support.
- Knowledge of physical health, mental health and illness prevention, as well as more advanced knowledge