Case study taken August 2023
How did you start a career in care and what initially attracted you to the sector?
I never envisioned myself working in care as my background and studies are completely unrelated to the sector. However, I was looking to move away from Romania, and I had a friend who was in the UK and suggested I used an agency who could help set me up with a job in the UK as a carer. My first thought was ‘this is going to be a challenge’ but it was a challenge I was willing to take.
Prior to my interview I ensured all the required training was complete. The interview was amazing, and I was lucky enough to meet the directors of the company who really encouraged me to keep continuing with the process. With their support I managed to travel to the UK where I was picked up at the airport and started working in a care home.
I’ve been here three years now and I don’t see myself doing anything different. Working in care is fulfilling and after a day at work you go home with such a good feeling that you’ve done something for someone.
Could you give some details about your current job role and what it involves?
My current job role is ‘Staff Supervisor’, and it involves supervising both the team and carers, making sure paperwork is up to date, as well ensuring the people we care for receive the support they need, both professionally and personally.
I like to try and create an environment that people feel comfortable, so that they can address any issues or concerns they are having. If they do make a mistake, they know it’s a safe place for them to come and discuss, and together we can learn from that mistake. It’s a job that involves inspiring a bit of confidence, comfort for the carers to feel able to speak up but also, a way for them to progress.
What kind of training have you completed in your care career so far?
I’ve completed all the mandatory training such as medication, moving and handling, dementia, first aid, person centred care, multiple sclerosis and more. I also completed a Masters of Business Administration in healthcare a few years ago.
Is there any other training that you would be interested in completing in the future?
There’s so much more I want to learn, having completed my Masters in Business Administration I have shown an interest in learning more about compliance. I’d like to be able to keep up to date more with the rules, regulations, legislation, and guidelines which doesn’t typically fall under my current job role. In the future I would like to progress further in my care career into a management level role.
What support have you received from your line manager and team?
Before I even signed my contract the director and my line manager already had a 6-month plan setup for me. It’s a really nice feeling to know that they already had so much confidence in me and my capabilities.
They support me every single day and will often say things such as “Ok Christina, I think this is going to be good for you. What do you think? Would you like to try it?”. They always want me to progress both professionally and personally, which is amazing. It’s inspiring to see how much they have achieved, and I hope one day I can be like them.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love spending time with the people we support and working within the community with other healthcare professionals. Even though my current job role involves more office work, I do still go out about 30% of the time to see our clients and to work with other carers and members of the team. I really enjoy being hands on and ensuring that the people we support are getting the very best care that they need.
What do you find the most challenging part of your job?
It’s hard when you bring people in for supervision, if they’ve done something that could have been done better, you need to master a way of speaking to them to tell them that they’ve done something wrong, but in such a way that they don’t feel criticised. Often at the end of each supervision I’ll sit wondering to myself ‘Was I good enough?’ ‘Have I done that right?’ ‘Are they ok?’ I still worry even if I am doing ok, it’s a real learning curve.
What are your hours of work and how does this fit around your personal life?
My usual office hours of work are 9am-5pm. Usually you get on-call, which is out of hours either two or three days during the week, or one weekend a month. I think the hours are good because everyone knows when they are meant to work and cover calls, giving us time to make plans which you don’t always get with other companies. You can plan your life around work, or you can plan your work around life, its quite flexible in that respect.
I’m also very lucky that our team are always willing to support each other so if I have plans for a certain weekend, they are more than happy to help cover, and vice versa.
In your day-to-day role, how do you enable clients to live as independently as possible?
Always offer them choices, even if on the initial assessment the client will say what they prefer. For example, if a person usually always has porridge for breakfast in the morning, it’s still important to ask, ‘What would you like to eat this morning’ or ‘Is it still porridge or would you like some toast?’ Even something as small as that is giving the person a choice. Our main aim is to support people to keep carrying on with their life as much as they can and just support them when it is needed or requested.
What would you say to someone considering a career in care?
Go for it, because it’s really, really rewarding. Personally, you grow so much, you learn to be patient, to be kind, to be compassionate and empathetic, and you learn to organise your time. One of the best things about a career in care is that you have so many opportunities to progress and to grow. It’s a career where you can make it all the way to management level and beyond with the right support in place, and you can achieve so many things.
Would you like to progress in your career? If so, what would you like to do next?
I would like to eventually progress into a managerial role, starting slowly step-by-step, because it’s a lot to take on. My first step would be becoming deputy manager, then a manager and then a registered manager. I definitely want to stay in domiciliary care as it’s something I’m passionate about.