Case study taken July 2021
What attracted you to a role in care?
For many years I worked in the corporate world, but I decided I wanted to step away from that and do something more meaningful, that would work around my homelife and children. I already knew many people who worked in the care sector so thought this might be something I could get into. I started calling different companies in the sector and finding out more about a career and that’s how it all begun. This is my first job in care and I have now been in the position for about 14 months.
Is it what you thought it would be? Has it lived up to your expectations or exceeded them?
It has definitely exceeded them! This is certainly not a role I ever thought I would do, especially when I was younger, but I feel like I have grown into it. At first it can be quite scary stepping from one career into another, it is honestly the best thing I have ever done.
Tell me a bit about your current role, what is your job and what does it involve?
My current job title is ‘Care Giver’ where I provide care for the elderly and for those who cannot look after themselves. This includes providing personal care, companionship and respite care as well as making sure the people I support can continue to do the daily things they can no longer do by themselves such as having a wash or getting dressed. However, it’s also about giving them independence with dignity and providing quality care.
What training did you need to do before you could start work and have you done any further training, or is there any training you would like to do?
There is training that you need to do at the start to get your care certificate such as manual handling, medication and focusing on person-centred care. I have also completed Dementia Friends training and I am currently doing a Health and Social apprenticeship to further my knowledge in the sector, enabling me to reach the next step in my career.
What support have you received from your line manager and the team you work with?
Everyone has been so supportive and anything you need they will help with and be there. If you are worried you can call them anytime about anything, they are great. Following my initial training at the start I wasn’t very confident with administering medication, so my manager ensured I had additional training so that I felt confident about carrying out the role.
We also have ‘Going the Extra Mile’ badges which the management team give out monthly and I have received one which does make you feel like you are appreciated and doing a good job.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Everything – I love doing the job! I’ve had some of the best conversations I have ever had in my life, and I feel honoured to know every person I support because what they have done in their life is amazing. I can’t believe this is my job.
What do you find the most challenging part of your job?
If you’re caring for a person with dementia, there can be a lot of challenging situations – which I’m still learning! Most of our clients have dementia at different levels and you must think about what they need as individuals. It can be quite challenging learning how to cope with this and how to deal with certain situations.
What hours do you work and how does that fit into your personal life?
The hours I work can be quite flexible. One of the reasons I wanted to get into this industry and why I chose it was so I could be at home with my children when they needed me. When I worked previously in the corporate world, I sometimes didn’t see my children but thought there must be something out there that I will love and that will fit in with my family life. It really has enriched our lives and I get to take my children to school and pick them up now which is lovely.
In your day-to-day role, how do you enable clients to live as independently as possible?
When you go to a client and are giving them personal care, you are there to help and encourage them to do their normal day to day things. It’s important to let them do as much as they can for themselves and only step in when they are struggling, so guiding them but not doing it for them. If you go out for a walk with them it’s allowing them to walk as far as they can and resting when they need to. With domiciliary care, you are only there for a short time and the rest of the time they may be on their own, so they need to be able to do things for themselves.
What would you say to someone considering a role in care?
First and foremost, make sure you do your research and read up about what is involved in being a Care Assistant. Reach out to friends and family who may have done this job before, it is hard work and you put a lot into it, but it is so rewarding, and you get so much back.
I wasn’t sure I would be accepted into the role as I had no previous experience, but the company were happy to have people who are not experienced so they can then train staff to do things the way the company want.
Would you like to progress in your career and if so, where do you see the next step?
I would like to have a natural progression; the next step would be a Senior Care Giver and provide support to other Care Givers. There are so many things you can learn in this sector; the world Is my oyster and I hope to be in this role for many years to come!