Why did you get into care?
The reason I got into care 7 years ago was because the care provider I work for now used to provide care for my wife. I got to know the managers quite well in that time and then they offered me a job here. It gave me a real insight into both sides of care – the service users point of view and the business point of view. I started in intake, moved into operations, and for 3 years I have been a Customer Care Advisor.
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Getting someone started with care; it might all start with someone simply ringing up to find out about care in general, and about how it all works. It is my job in customer care to explain all of this and lead them on to their next steps. I follow this up as a process until their care plan is in place and I find that extremely rewarding. My experiences here have helped me grow as a person and made me more aware of different disabilities and needs.
What training have you received since working in care?
I completed my Care Certificate so that I could get an understanding of what level of care was required by the front line care staff, and I am going to complete my NVQ in Customer Services which is fully supported by the company where I work.
How does your employer support your career progression?
They are very passionate about people progressing their career here and are very supportive to everyone. It was very difficult for me to get a job; before I started working here, I had applied for nearly 90 jobs so I was very lucky to meet the managers when they came to assess my wife’s care needs. They spoke to me regularly about my wife’s care and one day offered me a job here.
In the past I have worked for a mobility company providing equipment and wheelchairs, so working directly for a care company definitely feels like progression.
What is the biggest challenge for you in your role?
My biggest challenge is timekeeping due to my disability; it takes me much longer to get ready in the mornings by up to 2 hours. Because of this, my working hours have been adapted so I now work 10-6, which gives me giving the extra time I need.
It is also challenging with the variety of people that phone us; care assistants, service users, family members, doctors, nurses and other health professionals. We are the first point of contact for everyone. I have had to call ambulances, and stay on the phone with care staff or service users waiting for an ambulance to arrive. It can be particularly difficult when calling family members if their loved ones have become ill or admitted to hospital.
What would you say to someone considering a career in care that has hesitations?
Just come and try it. It is extremely rewarding, it’s hard work but as with anything in life you only get back what you put in. I’d recommend anyone to give it a go. From my experience I know my workplace is very supportive and will support anybody wanting to give it a go.