A Care Worker is tasked with helping those who have difficulties in carrying out their daily tasks unaided. Therefore, as a Carer, your role is focused on ensuring that individuals are able to maintain their independence for as long as possible helping them with tasks which they require assistance with and attending to specific needs.
Care workers work with a variety of vulnerable people, in particular, those with disabilities or learning difficulties, children and the elderly.
It’s an extremely hands-on role and can be demanding at times; however, it’s also an enormously rewarding profession. To help you begin your career in care, we’ve detailed the career path you will need to take.
We’ve mentioned just how rewarding a career in care can be, but it can also be tough, as you are likely to face difficult situations on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, it is essential that you possess certain personal attributes.
You’ll need to have passion in delivering an excellent standard of care in accordance with care guidelines set by the government and your employers.
Patience is a must as you’re dealing with vulnerable people who could be anxious about certain situations, become scared in unfamiliar situations or frustrated if tasks aren’t carried out in a particular way. An ability to be supportive and provide encouragement to service users where necessary, as well as an understanding ear will ensure you are meeting client needs.
You will need strong communication skills as you will be working directly with people on a daily basis, so friend outlook and ability to work with individuals from all walks of like os a must. This also includes family and friends of the person that you are caring for, and it’s likely that you will be in regular contact with them too. So, ensure that you are able to build good working relationships with those who are involved in the service user’s life whether it’s a relative or someone else who is involved in caring for that person.
Daily tasks will vary as you could be involved in personal care for the service user and other household tasks such as washing and dressing, or you could be required to take an individual to appointments or social gatherings, Therefore, you should be flexible with your approach to work and embrace daily changes.
Above all, you should hold the desire to improve the lives of others.
While there are no set qualifications required to begin your career in care, it can help if you have some voluntary or previous experience in the profession. This will not only allow you to assess if care is for you but will place you in a better position when you apply for a paid position.
There are a number of health and social care qualifications you can take prior to starting a role. A level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care is one of the most common courses and is designed to suit all areas of health and social care and those who want to begin the career in care or who are already working in the industry.
The course provides an introduction to the elements faced in care, as well as covering the role of a health and social care worker health and safety standards and safeguarding and protection guidance.
However, if you haven’t completed previous studies many organisations, such as Hales Care, provide you with the necessary training to gain your Care Certificate.
A Care Certificate is a minimum training standard that those who started their career after April 2015 must meet before they are able to work with patients. It covers areas and standards such as the duty of care, communication, safeguarding, health and safety, awareness of mental health, learning disabilities and dementia, basic life support, as well as areas surrounding personal development.
The Care Certificate is designed to ensure that care workers are trained to a consistent standard, and have the confidence to carry out their duties and provide high-quality care to service users.
However, the qualification is just the start of training, as ongoing education is often provided to ensure that care employees are up to date with the latest care standards and can progress in their career.
You may also choose to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social care which is aimed at those who are already working in the care industry and want to develop their skillset. This could then lead to a more senior care position if you wish.
There is no set route into working in care, but with a passion for the industry and completed qualifications you will ensure that you begin your career in the best possible way. However, keep in mind that continuous training and development is provided, enabling you to keep your skills fresh and progress up the career ladder.