Auxiliary nurses assist other health care professionals with nursing duties in hospitals or care facilities. They are predominantly employed in the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth countries and are often called health care assistants. There are no formal training requirements and they are unregistered. Although not required, some auxiliary nurses will take National Vocational Qualification courses to receive certification.
The auxiliary nurse works alongside the registered nurse or midwife. The exact duties vary by institution. Generally, her role is to make the patient as comfortable as possible. She helps the patient to wash and dress, and assists him at meal time. She makes beds and helps patients with mobility problems. She will assess bedridden patients and turn them on a regular basis to avoid the development of bed sores.
The auxiliary nurse assists the registered nurse monitor patients' conditions by routinely taking their temperatures, pulse, respiration and weight. He will aid in minor medical procedures. He helps to identify disease by diligently assessing a patient's progress. He may offer clinical support to other health care professionals such as nutritionists, physiotherapists and speech therapists. The auxiliary nurse is also known as a therapy assistant when he works alongside a physical therapist. He will assist patients to prepare for therapy sessions, or set up therapy equipment. He plays a key role in administrative duties by keeping accurate records of a patient's progress.
Health care scientists will use the auxiliary nurse to assist them in research and treatment of disease. The auxiliary nurse may perform duties such as setting up slides for microscopic evaluation and aiding in the analysis of blood and urine samples.