Case study taken July 2021
How did you get into care and what attracted you to the sector?
I got into care because I wanted to help people. I have always been a happy and bubbly person and therefore have always felt that I have a lot more love to give than just to my family. I got into care with that in mind – that I would want to treat others how I would want my family to be treated when they are being looked after.
Tell me about your current job and what you do?
I am a Round Builder, so I am out in the community providing care for Herts County Council or private funding and deliver all types of personal care. I can sometimes visit the same person 4 times a day, providing personal care, helping at lunchtime, and administering medication.
We have also started to do wrap around care with a few of our clients who require additional support. This entails a day sit, a night sit, as well as the 4 calls a day if required. From companionship to assisting a person out of bed – we do all types of care.
What training did you complete at the start of your career in care and as you have progressed?
Our company is very good. My manager, Kelly Alexander, has always made sure, with the assistance of Nicola Lynch, that we have the appropriate training. It wasn’t until I came to work for Anchusa that I got the full amount of training.
Currently through Anchusa, I am doing my Level 3 in Adult Care. Once completed, I will be doing my Champion Pathway where you get to pick as many topics as you like to study and train so you can be the person who advises others if they need help. I will also be doing my pathway to teaching so I can become a trainer to train new Care Assistants joining the sector.
Do you have a career progression set out of where you want to be or are you just seeing where the avenues take you and seeing what you enjoy?
I have definitely made my decision; I want to become a Trainer, so I am able to train new Care Assistants who are starting their career. Whether it be in house or on the field I have found that you’re never going to learn unless you come across it.
What support have you received from your Line Manager and Team?
I have so much support, I don’t know what to do with myself! It is an open-door policy in the office. Whether it be a tough day, you’re feeling happy or have got something to share, come into the office or phone them up and they will be happy to help.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
That no single day is ever the same and if I can make at least one person I support smile on the day then I can go home knowing that I have done a good job.
I also enjoy making people feel comfortable in their homes. The fundamental thing we are trying to do in care within the community is enabling people can stay in their own environment and understand that they have choices. That is what we strive for and to make sure that happens is amazing!
What do you find most challenging about your job?
Not getting too attached. I have also found it takes somebody special to be a Care Assistant and of course you can’t fully care for somebody day in, day out and keep them at a distance. For example, we had a gentleman who had a heart of gold, we looked after him every single day, all day because he had the wrap around care so there was always one of us during the day, one of us at night. Sadly, he passed away and we all found that very difficult. One thing I struggle with is getting too emotionally attached to people.
What hours of work do you do and how does that fit around your personal life in home care?
Within our team and our Company in particular, you can choose. I chose to do full time because that suits my job role best. My usual hours are 7am until 2pm, then a 2-hour break, followed by 4pm to 10pm in the evening so that I can provide myself for the 4 calls a day. There is lots of flexibility.
In your day-to-day role how do you enable clients to live as independently as possible?
We have singles and we have doubles shifts. With doubles, we will go in as a team and see what the person is capable of. For example, are they able to move their hand or are they able to wash their face? We generally go in and assess what that person needs and what their usual routine is. Depending on the times and schedules that we are allocated we only have an allocated amount of time which we must explain to them.
Generally, a typical routine for doubles would be to get the person washed, dressed and ready for the day and then we will give them something to eat and a cup of tea. With a single call they are usually able to most things for themselves. The only assistance that I would give is ask them questions for things they may need help with, for example, if they are unable to reach lower parts when washing I would say ‘Would you like any assistance?’.
Some of the people we support can find it very uncomfortable when somebody is washing them, so they often do need a little bit of reassurance. That’s what I am here for though, I am here to help and look after them.
What would you say to someone that was considering a career in care?
Honestly go for it as it’s really the most rewarding job you could possibly ever have! I think it’s the most courageous thing anyone could ever possibly do – giving up their time to help someone else, it’s beautiful.
And what do you believe the benefits are for working within the adult social care sector?
The benefits are that we are keeping the people we support in the community and where I work, we are keeping them out of care homes. We’re keeping them happy and able to do things. We strive to make sure that we deliver outstanding care every time and I absolutely love the care company I work for. I have support when I need it, and I am praised when something has gone really well which is always a nice feeling.