Case study taken January 2019
How long have you worked in care?
It has been 5 years now. I’m from Nigeria and I came to the UK to study and then started working in care. I worked in different care sectors – I did some agency work and, in that time, worked in lots of different care settings. I started here in January 2018.
Why did you choose to work in care?
When I came here, I was a student studying mass communication at the University of Hertfordshire., so I thought that I should look for a part time job. Because I had been in the care sector back home, I already had a passion for it and wanted to continue that here. As time went on, I realised it’s very important to help other people. For me, it’s important to help people who are not capable of doing some things for themselves.
What do you do as a team leader?
I do all the necessary care, as well as lead the team and ensure care plans are correct. I lead by example to ensure that the team do what is expected of them. I arrange individual development for the support workers that work here too.
How supportive is your team?
It is absolutely brilliant because we work well as a team. We try to render good support for each other as well as our clients. Our goal is to give our clients excellent care and independence. We work collectively to ensure that everything is done the right way.
What hours do you work?
I am contracted to 37.5 hours but some weeks I do more if overtime is available, it depends who is on annual leave or if anyone is off sick. If people work too much, they get exhausted so we ensure people work within their limits. I normally work my contracted hours, and I work at 7am to 2.30pm. If I do a long day, I do 7am to 9.30pm with a break in between.
What would you say to someone who is interested in working in care?
There is a lot of enjoyment. It is challenging but you want to do it. It gives me job satisfaction. By supporting the residents, I am able to see their independence grow. My own son has autism so I actually learn a lot from work that I can take home to support my son. It makes things easier at home. I am able to pass the knowledge on to my partner who is with my son more than I am, I’m very grateful to be able to bring my learning home. The residents all have different triggers that cause behaviour of distress and that can be challenging, but the training you get is so good that you are able to deal with it. Care plans are there to ensure you support the individual the right way, it’s easy to adapt to different clients because it is all there in their care plan and you learn the behaviour of that individual.
If you really want to do it, it’s not as difficult as people think it is. Put yourself in a situation – if you needed support like them, you would want the right person to support you. When you think like that, you are able to provide the best care possible. You get full training and the training will give you the confidence to do it.
It’s very important to support people with learning disabilities – it helps to give them a sense of belonging and to feel important and loved. It is a great sector to work in.