HCA question

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ClaireEmma
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HCA question

Post by ClaireEmma » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Hi everyone,
This is quite a random question and I wasn't sure exactly where to ask it. I am about to start a new job as a HCA for a child & adolescent psychiatric hospital and after receiving my official job offer letter today I realised that I have no idea what to wear. The letter doesn't say anything about uniform and I have never worked in this kind of setting before. I am guessing that it should be quite formal, office type stuff, but having never worked in the NHS I don't know if there's any specific rules - can I wear a wrist watch, can I wear small heels, what about boots when its raining (I cycle), can I wear a skirt if it's knee length etc? Obviously I could ring them but for some reason I feel a bit embarrassed calling them to ask about this :oops:

Any general guidance would be appreciated!

astra
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Re: HCA question

Post by astra » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:22 pm

It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask. I'd just ring them and ask if there's a dress code in the unit or if a uniform is provided/required. It will vary from place to place.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Borrowed Cone
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Re: HCA question

Post by Borrowed Cone » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:24 pm

There is a thread about what to wear somewhere on the forum. I'd suggest using the search function to find it!

PS - here is one such thread

The Cone
"We can rebuild him. We have the technology. But I don't want to spend a lot of money..."

Mya
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Re: HCA question

Post by Mya » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:43 pm

Hi Claire Emma

I used to work on an NHS adolescent inpatient ward in the North West and staff tended to wear jeans/causal trousers and tee-shirts, nothing too formal at all. I think the main things is too wear something that you feel comfortable in as you are likely to be moving around the ward a lot :) But definitely check if your unsure as where your new job is might be very different to the place I worked!

M

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ClaireEmma
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Re: HCA question

Post by ClaireEmma » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:58 pm

Thanks everyone. I did see that thread Borrowed Cone, but it seemed to be dominated by trainees/qualified CPs, however on second reading there are some suggestions for support worker at the end so thanks! I guess I should probably just bite the bullet and ring up (I think I was concerned that I might come across a bit 'vain' or 'fussy' or something I don't know). I know at my interview the people I saw walking around were smartly dressed, but as you say, for support work something more casual may be required.

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fledgling
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Re: HCA question

Post by fledgling » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:37 pm

When I worked as a support worker it was definitely casual jeans/t-shirt kind of wear, but then this was a community setting...

My rule in any new job if I'm not sure is to go for something in the middle- smartish trousers and flat shoes (not jeans/trainers), and a sweater/cardy (not a suit jacket!)- then you can't be too far out in either direction! If you're really worried about it though, I don't think it would seem silly to ring up- some inpatient settings do have uniforms and lots of Trusts have dress codes re trainers/jeans etc. There might also be things staff shouldn't wear because of risk issues e.g. scarves.

Good luck with the new job!

lisak2000
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Re: HCA question

Post by lisak2000 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:11 pm

Hi,
I currently work in a child/adolescent hospital for eating disorders. My normal daily wear is jeans, a t-shirt, a cardigan and plimsolls. I still wear clothes I would say are fashionable, as it makes us as staff look slightly more approachable, but nothing OTT or garish. I always have my arms covered, no cleavage on show, hair is normally tied back and minimal jewellery due to infection control. Comfortable shoes are an absolute must as you will spend a lot of the day on your feet - I'd avoid heels for that reason. Also, we don't wear skirts just because we regularly have to do restraints on patients to administer feeds - not very practical in this setting!

It's probably best to contact the unit you will be working on to check, but if they haven't specified a uniform then the likelihood is that there isn't one. good luck and enjoy the job!

sar302
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Re: HCA question

Post by sar302 » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:39 pm

Hi ClaireEmma,

Anything smart ish that you can move around easily in is a good start. If your job involves using physical interventions ie restraints etc. I find a good rule of thumb is to not wear anything you wouldn't mind throwing away at the end of the day if it gets torn or otherwise damaged. And nothing that's going to end up with you flashing anyone if you end up going to ground ie. if you wear a skirt, wear leggings underneath. If I have an "office day" I sometimes wear heels, but keep a pair of trainers in the office incase of above. Always good to have a change of clothes around as well!

Enjoy your new job!
Never assume that the other fellow has the intelligence to match yours... he may have more...

galaxy
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Re: HCA question

Post by galaxy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:19 am

To be safe, black shirt, black trousers and black shoes always work.

Regina
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Re: HCA question

Post by Regina » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:44 am

Hi ClaireEmma,

I currently work as a support worker in a low secure unit and the dress code is smart casual. Majority of female ward staff wear black trousers, flat shoes (heels are not allowed due to health & safety reasons, nor are jeans), plain tops and cardigans. As someone else has pointed out already it is important that the clothes you wear are comfortable in case you have to use physical interventions.I think it'd be a good idea to give your supervisor (anyone?) a ring.

Good luck in your new job!

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Borrowed Cone
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Re: HCA question

Post by Borrowed Cone » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:50 pm

galaxy wrote:To be safe, black shirt, black trousers and black shoes always work.
There is "safe"... and then there is "Grim Reaper-ish"...
"We can rebuild him. We have the technology. But I don't want to spend a lot of money..."

CuppaT
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Re: HCA question

Post by CuppaT » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:54 pm

Borrowed Cone wrote:
galaxy wrote:To be safe, black shirt, black trousers and black shoes always work.
There is "safe"... and then there is "Grim Reaper-ish"...
*quietly places chosen clothes back in wardrobe*...

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PolkaDot
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Re: HCA question

Post by PolkaDot » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:47 pm

Hi,

I was also looking for some advice about what to wear on my first day in my new job lol. I'm starting as a clinical support worker in an NHS adolescent inpatient unit on Monday. My outfit just now is black trousers, black flat shoes, and a animal print jumper. Will this be too casual? I was going to put on a smarter top just incase but thought that maybe it will be more casual wear as I'll be working with young people. I just don't want to look stupid on the day! Confused! :?

robinS
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Re: HCA question

Post by robinS » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:47 pm

Hi PolkaDot,

Different units have their own rules on what to and what not to wear. Some of them will have uniforms and some do 'smart casual'. Usually there is a certain dress code that applies to the latter and to be on a safe side on your first day, I would go with black trousers (not jeans), black flat shoes and a plain top. I would not wear animal print anything on my first day though but rather something plain and I would personally go for a shirt and a cardie or jumper. You will soon figure out what is acceptable for the staff to wear in your unit and they might be very relaxed about what they wear but it is always best to make a good first impression. Also, NHS operates 'bare below elbow' policy in most of the clinical areas and you are not supposed to wear jewellery except for the wedding ring. On some wards you might be asked to take your watch off for the duration of a shift. Oh, and no nail polish too. I hope that helps.

Enjoy your new job.

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PolkaDot
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Re: HCA question

Post by PolkaDot » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:05 pm

Thanks very much for your reply! It's helped me loads, I'm going to wear a plain t-shirt and a black cardi then instead of the jumper. So glad I asked now or I would have looked like a right idiot! Thanks Clairemma x

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