A care home in Lincolnshire has introduced a new care practitioner role to tackle nurse recruitment challenges in the local area.
Havenmere, a care home in Immingham, said it had established the role to upskill its colleagues and bridge the gap between healthcare assistants and registered nurses.
“We felt that we had a lot of experienced and skilled health care assistants, who really wanted some career progression”
Care practitioners work under the supervision of registered nurses, taking on delegated clinical tasks such as administering medication and recording vital observations.
The role, which the home says is helping to tackle nurse shortages, provides experienced health care assistants with an opportunity to advance their job role.
To become a certified care practitioner, candidates must complete a bespoke 12-week induction, which covers specialist topics such as medication, PEG feeding tubes and ventilators.
Care practitioners at Havenmere, an Examplar Care Home, must also shadow nurses as part of the training.
Speaking about the new role, home manager at Havenmere, Hannah Blundell, said: “When I first started here in 2020, not only was there a pandemic, but there was also a national shortage of nurses.
“We felt that we had a lot of experienced and skilled health care assistants, who really wanted some career progression.”
Ms Blundell said the care practitioner role was introduced to provide progression and also to enable the home to deliver excellent care for its residents.
She added that the home has seen its first cohort of care practitioners graduate from the training course, but they are still searching for more people to join the team.
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One of the Havenmere’s newest care practitioners, Kerry, said: “I started working here as a care assistant when I was 18 and have since progressed onto other roles.
“I applied for the care practitioner role to develop my knowledge and progress at the home,” she said.
“I’ve always been interested in nursing but going to university to train wouldn’t suit my personal circumstances, and for now, I feel this is the best way for me to progress.”