Skip to content

Essential Learning (Adult)

Please click on each topic below and work through the learning resources provided. You should complete this within two weeks of starting in your new role as a HCSW. For NHSGGC Bank Staff this must be completed prior to your first orientation shift.

A typical day in the life of a HCSW

HCSWs work in many different clinical areas delivering safe, effective, person-centred care. These areas include inpatient wards, outpatient areas, emergency departments, critical care and theatres.

The two resources below describe key aspects of your role and responsibilities.

Although these resources refer to inpatient care, they have relevance to all HCSWs new to our organisation.

Essential Learning Resources 

A typical day and the duties of a ward based Health Care Support Worker (Read through 10 min presentation)

Care Rounding (15 min voice over presentation)

Person Centred Care

Person-centred care is about putting the person at the heart of their care. By asking and listening, we can understand more about the person and do the things that are most important to them. This helps us to provide care that is individualised, and improves their experience of care. Delivering high quality, person-centred care is everyone’s business in NHSGGC

Essential Learning

Delivering high quality person-centred care (PowerPoint Presentation)

When you open this PowerPoint Presentation, please click to enable external content to be able to view the short videos. These videos take approx 5 secs to load on the page. Press the > key to move through the presentation.

Further Information Communicating with and supporting people : information for support workers in health and care settings | Turas | Learn (

Food, Fluid and Nutrition

Food and fluid gives our body energy to allow us to carry out our everyday tasks. Delivering the right amount of food and fluid to our patients is an important role of the HCSW. In your first few shifts on the ward, work with the mealtime coordinator at meal service and find out what’s available for patients, and how to help them with their meals. By supporting people to eat and drink ‘what’s normal for them’ we can help them recover from their illness or surgery and get out of hospital sooner.

Essential Learning Resources

learnPro module GGC: 270 An overview of Malnutrition

learnPro module GGC: 274 When Eating and Drinking Becomes Difficult

Other Useful Resources

Food, Fluid and Nutrition Manual (Staffnet- Access from GGC Computer)

Pressure Ulcer Prevention

A pressure ulcer is an area of skin damaged by pressure. It can be caused by sitting or lying in one position for too long or by rubbing or dragging skin across a surface.  The risk of developing a pressure ulcer increases when a person has problems with walking, using the bathroom or they don’t eat and drink enough. It is important that the skin is kept clean and dry and if there are any devices (such as a splint or catheter) the skin under and around these are checked regularly to make sure no damage is developing.

Pressure ulcers can develop very quickly. There are simple measures that you can do to help reduce the risk of your patients developing a pressure ulcer including regular observation of their skin and making sure that they are not sitting or lying in the one position for too long and writing this on the Care Rounding Chart. 

To learn more about your role in pressure ulcer prevention work through the resources below. Your colleagues may refer to pressure ulcer prevention as ‘Tissue Viability’.

Essential Learning Resources

NHSGGC Prevention of Pressure Ulcers (7 minute video)

learnPro module GGC: 080 Prevention of Pressure Ulcers

Other Useful Resources

Tissue Viability Resource Folder (Acute) (access from an NHSGGC Computer)

Falls Prevention

Anyone can have a fall, but older people are more likely to fall, especially if they have a long term health condition. People can fall many times and each fall might result in a serious injury such as a head injury or a fractured hip. A fall can happen due to many different risk factors e.g. poor balance, muscle weakness, poor eyesight, or the person is on multiple medications. 

The following modules will explain more about falls and your important role in preventing falls and keeping our patient’s safe 

Essential Learning Resources 

learnPro modules (Falls Prevention Training):

 GGC: 215 An Introduction to Falls

 GGC: 216 The Falls Bundle of Care

 GGC: 217 Risk Factors for Falls (Part 1)

 GGC: 218 Risk Factors For Falls (Part 2)

 GGC: 219 What to do when your patient falls

 GGC: 221 Bedrails video

Other Useful Resources

The Falls Homepage (Staffnet- accessed from a GGC Computer) has extensive resources including guidance on inpatient documentation, patient information leaflets and the Hoverjack ©

Dementia Care

These resources aim to develop your confidence and skills to implement person-centred care for the person living with dementia who is admitted to the acute hospital. 

Essential Learning Resources 

‘Dementia – Promoting Excellence – Informed’ (located within Specialist Subjects tab on LearnPro and will take approx 1 hour to complete)

Don’t Assume Do Ask campaign (5 minute video)

Getting to know me form (a website for your information)  

Other Useful Resources

Adults with Incapacity (Staffnet- Access from GGC Computer)

Delirium Care

Delirium describes a mental confusion that can happen when patients are unwell. Causes of delirium include illness, surgery and some medicines. Delirium can start suddenly, but usually improves when the cause is found and treated. It can be very frightening for the patient and for their family and carers. The resources below describe the experience of Delirium for patients and your role in prevention.

Essential Learning Resource

Introduction to Delirium Care (10 minute presentation)

When you open this PowerPoint Presentation you have to click to enable external content to be able to view the short video. The video takes approx 5 secs to load on the page. 

Healthcare Improvement Scotland Think Delirium Information Leaflet  

Other Useful Resources

NHSGGC Acute Sector Guidelines on the risk reduction and management of Delirium

Infection Prevention and Control

Infection control is everyone’s business and we all have a part to play in keeping both ourselves and the people we look after safe. People with infection are more likely to come to harm, stay in hospital longer and may even die as a result.  Keeping your hands clean, washing them regularly and using personal protective equipment (known as PPE) are important in stopping the spread of infection. In healthcare, Hand Hygiene and PPE are two of the 10 Standard Infection Control Precautions (known as SICPs), which are described in more detail in the GGC:007 Statutory Mandatory Modules (below).

Essential Learning Resources 

GGC:007 Standard Infection Control Precautions 

learnPro – NES: Prevention & Control Infection: C.Difficile (30 minute module)

Put on (‘donning’) and take off (‘doffing’) PPE (6 minute video presented by Dr Jennifer Armstrong). Please be aware that when working with patients in red (high risk) pathways, there will also be a requirement to wear eye/face protection. More detail is available in Table 4 within PPE determined by COVID-19 care pathway.

Speak to your line manager about understanding the pathways and PPE requirements in your clinical area.

Other Useful Resources

Infection Prevention and Control – NHSGGC Homepage


It’s Kind to Remind

National Infection Prevention and Control Manual

NES: Scottish IPC Education Pathway – Foundation (log in to learnPro and select the Infection Prevention & Control tab)

Basic Life Support

You may come across emergency situations when you are at work. Patients can have problems with their airway, breathing or circulation and become suddenly unwell. During your first few months in your new job, your SCN, SCM OR Team Lead may nominate you for a short course called Basic Life Support which will help you to respond correctly in an emergency situation.

As part of your orientation to your ward / clinical area take some time to locate the emergency / resuscitation trolley

  • If you find yourself in an emergency situation you may be asked to phone for the resuscitation team Dial 2222- ask for the resuscitation team and tell them your clinical area and the hospital you are in
Palliative and End of Life Care

Palliative care is the care given to people with a life limiting illness. The term ‘life-limiting’ refers to an illness that can’t be cured and that patients are likely to die from. You may hear the term ‘progressive’ (gets worse over time) or ‘advanced’ (a serious stage) to describe these illnesses. Examples include advanced cancer, end stage cardiac, respiratory, renal failure and motor neurone disease.

Essential Learning Resources

Palliative and End of Life Care

Coping with Death and Bereavement

What Can Happen When Someone is Dying

Moving and Handling

Moving and handling activities will be a key part of your duties. This will include assisting patients and other tasks such as moving equipment, laundry and stores. To keep yourself and your patients safe it is essential you have the correct level of training.

If you have a Scottish Manual Handling Passport then no foundation practical training course is required. Please bring the passport document in to show your SCN, SCM or Team Lead. For HCSWs on the NHSGGC Staff Bank, please send a copy by email to   The dates of Moving and Handling training documented in the passport will go into the ward/ department training records. Ensure you have completed the mandatory LearnPro module NHSGGC 005 Manual Handling Theory together with practical competency assessment within your clinical area carried out by one of the local assessors.

If you do not have a Scottish Manual Handling Passport ensure you have completed NHSGGC 005 Manual Handling Theory and your SCN, SCM Or Team Lead will nominate you for the foundation practical training course (1.5 days). For HCSWs on the NHSGGC Staff Bank, please send a copy by email to Whilst waiting for your training course please watch the following short videos Moving and Handling Videos (scroll down a little to section entitled ‘Manual handling practical induction training’). All patients should be verbally encouraged to move and position themselves independently. When a patient is needing to be moved , handled or requiring a mechanical aid then this should be carried out with a member of the ward / department team and not on your own. 

Sharps Safety

To prevent needlestick injuries, NHSGGC provides sharp safe devices across the organisation within all areas of clinical practice, for the protection of staff.

Essential Learning 

LearnPro GGC: 061 Management of Needlestick and Similar Injuries

If you use sharps as part of your role you must also complete the LearnPro module: Prevention and Management of Occupational Exposure (this can be found in the Scottish IPC  Education Pathway in the Infection Prevention and Control tab) and watch the relevant video on the How to use sharps safety devices webpage. 

Other Useful Resources

A Safer Place to Work – Sharps

Blood Transfusion

Ask your SCN, SCM or Team Lead if you will be involved in any part of the Blood Transfusion process, if yes please read on and complete the essential learning. If not, then tick N/A on the completion checklist.  

It is essential to discuss with your SCN, SCM or Team Lead to find out if you are likely to be involved in:-

  • Taking pre transfusion blood samples
  • Collecting and storing blood components

HCSWs involved in any stage of the transfusion process are required to undertake the appropriate learning required for their role. Appropriate training and learning must be undertaken before participation in taking pre transfusion blood samples or the collection and delivery of blood or blood products.

Essential Learning 

Safe and local transfusion practice – presentation

 If undertaking phelebotomy (Learnpro modules)

  • Learn Blood Transfusion – Phlebotomy pathway
  • Blood sampling for transfusion video

 If collecting / delivering blood/ blood products (Learnpro modules)

  • Learn Blood Transfusion – Blood Collection Pathway
  • BCCAP Assessment, delivered at ward level

Other Useful Resources

NHSGGC Clinical Transfusion Policy (Staffnet- Access from GGC Computer only)

NHSGGC Blood Transfusion pages  (Staffnet- Access from GGC Computer only) 


Print off and sign the completion checklist in the link below. If you are not able to print then ask a colleague to help. If your post is solely with the NHSGGC Staff Bank you are required to send a signed copy of the completion checklist to   

NHS Scotland HCSW Mandatory Induction Standards and HCSW Code of Conduct 

Each HCSW is expected to meet the NHS Scotland HCSW Mandatory Induction Standards and HCSW Code of Conduct after 3 months in post. If your post is solely with the NHSGGC Staff Bank you are required to sign your Code of Conduct before you start and you have 6 months to complete the NHS Scotland HCSW Mandatory Induction Standards. 

Work through this Workbook, which offers you guidance and suggests examples of evidence that will show how you have met the required standards. It provides a great place to store all your learning from induction and the activities you have undertaken in your first weeks in NHSGGC.