Case study taken August 2023

How did you start a career in care and what initially attracted you to the sector?

After I had my twin girls, I struggled to get childcare, so started searching for a flexible job that worked alongside my personal life. I contacted someone via Facebook about a potential job in care and was offered an interview. Thankfully, I was successful and after completing a week of training I started working within the sector.

When I first started, I worked about three evenings a week, gradually taking on more hours as the girls got older and started school. I then progressed to full time where I was a domiciliary carer and would go out into the community to support people five days a week. When I met my current manager that is when my career really grew. Throughout the past few years, I have progressed from a Senior Carer in Hertfordshire to a Field Supervisor, to my current role as a Senior Field Supervisor.


Could you give some details about your current job role and what it involves?

 I am currently a Senior Field Supervisor. In this role I run projects such as Bridging projects, which enable people to come out of hospital quicker.

However, I have just accepted a new role within the company as a Candidate Liaison Offer, which is another progression up. I was going to do nursing, but I have now decided to do my NVQ Five in September instead, which will enable me to advance into a managerial position. 


What training have you completed in your care career so far? 

I’ve done a lot of complex training – the list is endless! We get signed off on complex packages, which can be anything from peg feeding to just normal care or end of life. I’ve just completed a course on end-of-life care, which was very interesting. You get signed off in different jobs. For example, if I went to a patient tomorrow that has suction and needs peg feeding, I would have a nurse come and observe to ensure I am doing it correctly, if they were happy then they would sign me off. If they don’t sign you off, then they will train you over a period until they are. 


Is there any other training that you would be interested in completing in the future?

In September I was planning to do my nursing training. However, I have now changed my mind as the NVQ Five fits better with my personal life. The NVQ Five can work around the job I am currently doing whereas the nurse associate would require a lot of placements, so It’s just personal preference.


What support have you received from your line manager and team?

My manager is one of the most supportive people I have ever come across. I have worked alongside her for nearly ten years now and I wouldn’t change her for the world. She is so approachable and amendable and will always try her best to make things work for everybody.

I can’t even begin to explain the support I have here. I could phone at any time, any day and somebody will always pick up and help. They are an amazing company to work for, I cannot thank them enough.


What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy visiting and seeing the clients and caring for people. The best part is the recognition you get from the person you support and how thankful they are for you being there. I would say about 90% of our clients thoroughly enjoy you visiting and it’s so heartwarming.


What do you find the most challenging part of your job?

At times it can be very stressful, especially with the end-of-life patients which can be quite difficult emotionally. Sadly, you do have to learn to put your emotions to one side when you come back through the door, which can be very hard. However, once you get through that and learn that you’re doing the best for them it does get a little bit easier. It took me a little while to get to that stage, but end of life always remains a challenge.


What are your hours of work and how does this fit around your personal life?

My role is a little bit different compared to others because I am a Senior Supervisor. If I am on a rota, I do the hours that are on there, and then in between I will do some voluntary hours of admin. On a typical day your first call would be at 8am and you would usually be out on visits until lunchtime. At about 3.30pm you would go back out again until roughly 8pm. Every day can be different but usually in the middle of the day you get two hours of free space to do whatever you want. However, with my role it’s a bit different as I usually have admin or work to catch up on, but that’s generally how the hours would work for a normal carer. Other people may work in the office and work from 8am-5pm or 40 hours a week with a lunch hour, so it really depends on your role.

You do have flexibility though which is great for a work-life balance. For example, on Wednesdays I always work from home and finish at 5pm.


In your day-to-day role, how do you enable clients to live as independently as possible?

It’s never the same for one person but I think the morning calls are some of the most important ones because you’re setting them up for the day. It does depend on what the client needs. For example, for people that have just come out of hospital they are usually a little bit nervous especially if they have had a fall, so we try and support them to feel confident and independent again. For end-of-life patients it is doing whatever we can to make that person comfortable within reason of what we can do.


What would you say to someone considering a career in care?

I highly recommend doing it and be patient, because at first it can seem quite daunting, but it is such a great career choice. I think most people assume working in care is just personal care, but it is far from that. You can progress so far with a career in care and every single day you learn something new. I never thought I would do this job in a million years, but I’ll tell you something, I’m so glad I fell into it.


Would you like to progress in your career? If so, what would you like to do next?

I absolutely love my current role, but I don’t think people should stand still. I think the NVQ Five is now my next step. It’s quite a heavy course, but it will enable me to move up into a management level role. One thing I do know is that I still want to be able to go out and visit clients, so I need to find a role that provides a happy medium.

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