How did you first get into care?
My mum’s friend had a community care business that she had just started and I thought it would be something I would like to give a go. Once I started, I loved it, and knew that this is what I wanted to do. I worked there for a year and then had my daughter. I left there and wanted to come into a residential care home setting because I wanted to be in a fixed place of work as opposed to doing agency working, which required going into different care homes. I applied here, got the job, and I’ve been here ever since; that was about a year and a half ago.
How does working in care fit around having children?
Even though I’ve got a daughter and I have another one on the way, I can see myself working in adult care forever. If you have people to support you, then it definitely makes it easier. For me, I’m lucky to have my family to help me, and now my daughter is in pre-school. If there are any days I need off due to childcare, the management here is really understanding. Some of the parents who work here do 8am to 2pm shifts, which works within school hours. The manager here is great as she works around us too; for instance, I do four 12-hour shifts a week. I’m lucky as my daughter’s grandmother is a childminder!
What training have you received in your role?
There is a lot of initial training and update training in areas such as ‘Moving and Assisting’, ‘Safeguarding’ and much more. I completed the ‘Dementia Champion Pathway’ at HCPA, which was intense but I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lisa, the manager, asked if I would like to do this course, we looked through it together, what it would involve and I agreed. She supported me the whole way through it and is now supporting me with what I am implementing in the home as a result of competing this course. For example, we have created an indoor garden for residents that are unable to go outside and we are making changes for each resident here depending on their individual needs. There’s a lot of other internal training such as ‘PEG feeding’ and ‘Nutrition training’ too.
Would you like to progress your career in care?
I would like to progress to Senior Care Assistant and then I’m thinking about the possibility of training to become a nurse. As this is a nursing home, you get to learn a lot here. When I apply for university in the future, my experiences of working with nurses here will hopefully work in my favour.
What do you love about working in care?
It’s so rewarding. You can go home knowing that you have made a positive impact on someone’s day, and essentially you are making a positive difference to their life. As it is also nursing here, we get a lot of end of life residents which is difficult, but knowing you are there to help them in the last stages of their life, is deeply fulfilling.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your role?
Managing your time can be a struggle sometimes. You’ve got so many residents in a care home and it is busy. You do manage though; each day is different. Some days can be busier than others but it keeps you on your feet!
What is the most rewarding part of your role?
Probably when you have a resident smiling or laughing who usually doesn’t; you can see that you have actually made a change. For the residents that don’t have family members come and visit, you are the person they rely on to see. So, it is rewarding that you get to make a positive impact on their life too.
What would you say to someone who has hesitations about coming into the care sector?
It’s something you don’t really understand until you actually try it. I’m dyslexic and thought that writing the care plans would be a struggle but because we have a good team here, if you ever struggle, there is always someone to help and no one judges. Care is one of those things that either is or isn’t right for you. Some people love coming into care but then some find it’s actually not right for them. I didn’t think I would be able to do personal care but it is another thing you just get used to. It’s not as bad as you may think. At first, I was really nervous, but when you realise that the individual cannot do this for themselves and we are the only people there to support them with this, you want to do it to help them.