Observation Training - Non qualified

Externally Available: 
Overall Aim: 


To enable Healthcare Assistants to develop the appropriate knowledge and skills in monitoring and recording certain observations.




Healthcare assistants (HCA) support registered nurses, midwives and other health professionals, with the provision of patient care. In recent years the role of care assistants has changed greatly. The duties of the HCA have altered because of the evolving needs of patients and the care they require; the removal of enrolled nurses and difficulty retaining sufficient numbers of registered staff (Conway and Donohue 2003).

The continuing development of the role of non-qualified healthcare staff has lead healthcare assistants routinely performing essential observations in clinical practice (Conway and Donohue 2003). These may include monitoring electronic blood pressures, pulse, respirations, blood sugar levels and oxygen saturations. However, there is the potential for serious adverse consequences if the HCA has not received the correct training.

Ingram and Lavery (2009) stress the fact that healthcare assistants must have sufficient training and continuous monitoring of competence if they are going to be responsible for taking and recording observations. It has been found that HCA’s often do not understand what they are doing; deterioration in the patient’s condition is sometimes not detected, or the measurements are inaccurately recorded (Ingram and Lavery 2009). Such mistakes can have serious effects on patient’s health and the quality of the health care service provided.

The Trust fully supports the personal and professional development of healthcare assistants. One way to achieve this is by increasing the roles and responsibilities of the non-qualified clinical staff by encouraging HCA’s to take and record certain observations.

To ensure the protection of patients, the Trust has made it a mandatory requirement for all healthcare assistants to undertake this training session. The learners must also successfully achieve their Modified Early Warning Scoring (MEWS) competency, before being allowed to perform this vital skill in the clinical area.

  • References:

    Conway, N. Donohue, S. (2003) Core Themes for Care Assistants. Abingdon; Radcliffe Medical Press.

    Ingram, P. Lavery, M. (2009) Clinical Skills for Healthcare Assistants. Chichester; Wiley-Blackwell.


Learning Outcomes: 


1.  Identify the reasons why observations are taken.

2. Recognise roles and responsibilities as part of taking and recording observations.

3. Discuss the equipment required to record the observations; and its correct usage.

4. Identify the importance of accurate record keeping.

5. Demonstrate how to record findings, after taking a number of different observations.

6. Identify the normal/abnormal parameters of the observations.

7. Understand when and how to escalate concerns and readings outside expected parameters, your responsibilities and process.

8. Demonstrate how to take the observations featured.

9. Identify and demonstrate the importance of observation measurement, MEWS scoring, recording and reporting, to the external assessor.



1. Group work; observation scenarios; group and individual feedback; verbal feedback; class discussion and written quiz.

2. Summative MEWS competency assessment by a Qualified Assessor with either a formal Assessor course or as a minimum a recognised University based study regarding assessing, or a member of staff who has undertaken the Core Trainer study session provided by Critical Care Outreach Team in relation to MEWS. 

3. This needs to be completed within 3 months of  the date of the course.





For all Healthcare Assistants (Bands 2 to 4), who are expected to perform and record observations as part of their daily clinical duties. 

The training may also be adequate for healthcare assistants who feel their skills and knowledge could benefit from current practice.




4 hours.




The HCA must have been in their post for a minimum of six months.

The Trust requires all HCAs to undertake their MEWS competency before taking and recording any observations.


Frequency (planned dates): 


15th February 2018 at Solihull Education Centre

8th March 2018 at Good Hope Education Centre

19th April 2018 at Heartlands Education Centre

30th May 2018 at Solihull Education Centre

26th June 2018 at Good Hope Education Centre

26th July 2018 at Heartlands Education Centre

28th August 2018 at Solihull Education Centre

25th September 2018 at Good Hope Education Centre

24th October 2018 at Heartlands Education Centre

29th November 2018 at Good Hope Education Centre

13th December 2018 at Heartlands Education Centre


Please note: Candidates will need to bring a fob watch and a MEWS observation chart




You can now book and check your bookings directly using the following link:

If you have any problems booking onto this course then please contact [email protected] or ring ext 43036


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