Who are General Duty Assistants, what do they do?
General Duty Assistants are the healthcare professionals who ensure that immediate medical attention and timely assistance are provided to patients in hospitals, clinics, and old age homes. The responsibilities of a GDA are to ensure that those under their care receive timely medication, assist in daily routines and tasks that some patients will not be able to perform themselves, and also help maintain a suitable environment for a patient’s recovery.
In a world where there is an increasing demand for skilled professionals to assist the elderly and unwell, the role of a GDA is irreplaceable and can be quite a fulfilling career option.
To successfully fulfill the roles and responsibilities of a General Duty Assistant (GDA), one needs to have a minimum qualification till Class 8. Good communication skills and patience are add-ons that will help an individual to go a long way.
Duties and Responsibilities of General Duty Assistants
A General Duty Assistant is one of the key players in ensuring that the day-to-day needs of patients are met promptly. Their main roles and responsibilities include:
- Assist in basic patient care like helping with delivering their daily medication
- Dressing and feeding patients, the elderly, or the disabled who are under their care
- Helping patients exercise and other physio requirements suggested by therapists
- Assisting patients in and out of bed or moving around their rooms
- Patient’s hygiene and cleanliness
- Any extra care that needs to be provided, including housekeeping, and helping maintain a safe environment for patients
How to become a General Duty Assistant?
If you want to pursue a career in healthcare and aspire to become a General Duty Assistant, then you can join Tech Mahindra SMART Academy for Healthcare. These SMART Academies are an initiative of Tech Mahindra Foundation and are located in Delhi, Mohali and Mumbai. Tech Mahindra SMART Academies are world-class healthcare institutes and the GDA course is accredited by Healthcare Sector Skill Council (HSSC) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The duration of the course is 6 months which includes on-the-job-training / internship opportunities in various renowned hospitals and healthcare institutes. The SMART Academies’ GDA course will train students to work as a certified nursing assistant in hospitals and home care scenarios.
How to be a Good General Duty Assistant?
To be a good General Duty Assistant, one needs to have a whole range of soft skills and patience. The Tech Mahindra SMART Academy for Healthcare GDA certification covers the end-to-end technical skills needed to become a General Duty Assistant, but here are the soft-skills an applicant needs to have to be successful:
- Interpersonal skills
- Team player
- Service and result oriented
- High level of patience and tolerance
- Communication skills
- Kindness and compassion
- Mindful and practical
Work Environment and Working Hours
General Duty Assistants must be flexible to work in a wide range of healthcare institutes, such as:
- Old Age Homes
- Patient’s Homes
- Community Care Centers
- Mental Health Institutes
The working hours would vary depending on the position the GDA applies to, but most healthcare sectors have a practice of following a standard shift schedule.
Placement and Salaries at SMART Academies
Along with the training, SMART Academies also offer placement assistance to students. Since the induction of our first SMART Academy for Healthcare, over 3100 students enrolled across the Academies to become skilled healthcare professionals and were placed at various renowned hospitals, clinics and other healthcare centers. These Academies have maintained a placement rate of over 70%.
The highest and the average salaries of our GDA students for the FY 19-20 are INR. 17,500 and INR. 10,381, respectively, which is up by 18.64% as compared to the previous year FY 18-19. However, the salaries vary as per the location of the Academies. The highest and the average salaries of our GDA students in Delhi in FY 19-20 was INR. 17,000 and INR. 11,820 while in Mohali, it was INR. 18,000 and INR. 8,941 and in Mumbai, it was INR. 15,000 and INR. 10,910 approx.
Career and Job Opportunities for GDAs
A General Duty Assistant (GDA) can grow in their respective fields of choice by accumulating experience, specializing with various courses such as in physiotherapy or nursing, and looking for job opportunities in the domestic and international markets.
With an ever-increasing demand for skilled General Duty Assistants and opportunities opening up in multiple sectors, an experienced GDA can aspire to be a Nursing Supervisor or even a Head Nurse with the right profile.