Healthcare Support Traineeship (Tralee)

Are you a friendly, caring person looking for a challenging career that will enhance the lives of other people? If so, this may be the course for you. This programme provides the participants with the knowledge, skills and competencies to work as part of a multidisciplinary team in the provision of effective and appropriate healthcare supports to clients in a variety of settings. This includes recognising clients’ individual needs, assisting daily living activities, and maintaining a safe and hygienic healthcare environment. Healthcare assistants provide personal, social and emotional care and support to elderly people in private residences, residential nursing homes, hospitals and hospices etc. The work involves a variety of tasks to enhance the everyday lives of older people. It’s a career for people with a caring and friendly disposition who empathise with older people and relate easily to people in general. The job requires a certain level of physical stamina, patience in dealing with the frailties of older people and the ability to provide personal care to older people.

Kerry ETB Training Centre is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

  1. Induction – The planned outcomes and conditions attached to attendance on the course; good safety, health and hygiene practices; the basic principles involved in environmental issues; and the meaning of equal opportunities.
  2. Patient Handling* Demonstrate proper techniques for safely lifting, moving and handling a patient which ensures the comfort of the patient and the safety of the care assistant.
  3. Care Support*Provide effective support for people in care. Utilise personal and interpersonal skills to competently address situations as they arise in a care environment and produce effective outcomes as a member of a multidisciplinary healthcare team. Promote good practice and respect for diversity in lifestyle, religion and culture in care work.
  4. Care Skills* Care for clients in a safe and hygienic environment using best practice guidelines.
  5. Safety and Health at Work* Promote and maintain safety and health at work. Examine and analyse the duties and responsibilities of employers and employees under H&S legislation and the role of the Health and Safety Authority. Identify common workplace risks and hazards including infection and contamination and the interventions required to reduce them to a minimum. Identify and implement procedures to be followed in the event of accidents and emergencies. State the function of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the various types of safety signs.



* Denotes assessed modules.

  1. Care of the Older Person* Discuss a range of age related issues, including: healthy ageing, the normal physiological and psychological process of ageing, the social impact of ageing, and differing attitudes to ageing and older people. Demonstrate good work practices in the provision of care for older people, understand the concept of the ageing process and explore ways to enhance the quality of life of the older person.
  2. Anatomy and Physiology*Display an understanding of the structure and function of the systems of the human body. Apply this knowledge to the understanding of common conditions.
  3. Human Growth and Development* Discuss, describe and explain the various stages of physical, intellectual, emotional and social development throughout the lifecycle. Relate to people at various levels of personal development and care for people at a level appropriate to their needs. Identify and evaluate your fears and anxieties about working with a variety of people in need.
  4. Personal Effectiveness* Apply a range of personal and learning skills in a variety of personal, civil and vocational contexts, while operating with autonomy and under general direction.
  5. Communications for Healthcare Assistants* Communicate verbally and nonverbally in standard everyday tasks and in work-related tasks, while operating independently and under general direction.
  6. Teamworking*Work as an effective team member, understand the fundamentals of teamworking, build effective teams, set team objectives, and apply the skills of team work.
  7. Customer Service*Provide effective customer service within a range of environments.
  8. Work Practice* Work independently, while under general supervision, in a residential healthcare setting and competently carry out the healthcare support tasks specified in the work practice plan.
  9. Career planning and job seeking skills – Plan and achieve realistic employment goals.


This is a full-time course of 45 weeks duration. A number of training methods are used to deliver it. These include instructions, presentations, supervised practice, practical work training, simulated work environment practice, discussion groups and role plays. The course offers a rich learning experience by integrating theory and work practice. Participants will spend 2 days per week over a 20 week period on work practice in a residential healthcare setting. They are required to actively participate in the learning process and engage in course work outside of normal course hours. They must complete a number of written exercises and assignments throughout the course and keep up-to-date records of their progress. A number of methods are used to assess the participants’ progress and for certification purposes. These include assignments, theory exams, practical exams, project work, portfolios, learner records, collections of work, and skills demonstrations. Satisfactory completion of the integrated work practice assessments is an absolute requirement to achieve the QQI Level 5 Certificate in Healthcare Support.

  • Participants must reach 18 years of age before the end of the Traineeship. Applicants who are under 18 years of age require a Garda Parent/Guardian Consent Form signed by their parent or guardian.
  • A QQI Level 4 Major Award or its equivalent.
  • A good verbal and written command of the English language.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to relate to people at different levels.
  • Demonstrate a positive outlook, be adaptable, and have the ability to work on your own initiative, to take direction and to work with others as part of a team.
  • A high standard of personal presentation.
  • Some previous experience working in a care environment is desirable.
  • Garda Vetting is a requirement for this programme and participation is subject to a satisfactory outcome of the Garda Vetting process.

Due to the physical nature of this occupation, successful applicants must submit a recent medical report from their G.P. specifying any identified conditions or illnesses which may compromise the health and safety of any client or learner engaged on the course.

The demand for healthcare assistants is projected to increase over the coming years. Ireland has an ageing population and this trend is set to continue over the coming years. Healthcare assistants are employed in public and private hospitals, public and private residential nursing homes, hospices, community care centres, and by the HSE and private agencies for the Home Care Scheme.