Being a carer is a great career path for people who have a genuine passion for nurturing and for being around other people. Yes, it can be a demanding job and will, in most cases, require a degree of shift work. But there are so many rewarding factors to working in care – not least the satisfaction of making a tangible difference in a person’s life.
Over the past year, there has been a bit of a “call to arms” for people to consider working in the care sector in order to alleviate the pressures of the pandemic.
But what makes a successful carer? What attributes and skills are employers looking for?
Here are my top six traits of a brilliant carer:
It’s really important that – from the get go – you build up trust between you and the end user. Whether that’s in a domestic setting or a care facility, it’s crucial that you can demonstrate honesty and reliability. This not only applies to the person you are caring for, but for any friends and family they might have around – they want to know that their loved one is the hands of someone reliable.
Sometimes, you will be caring for someone with challenging physical or emotional needs. It’s important to be respectful of these at all times. Whether that is needing help to get dressed or needing time to get to the bathroom, giving that person their dignity will go a long way. It will help you build up a good level of trust and rapport and – most importantly – the end user will feel safe and unashamed.
Being around people all day is exhausting – we understand that! But when you are on shift and around your individual end user (or lots of care facility residents), it is important that you are seen as friendly and approachable. This can mean a warm smile, some kind words or simply joining in with an activity.
If your end user is working towards particular milestones or goals, be their biggest champion! As the person who (likely) spends the most time with them, it is important to be encouraging at all times. Whether that’s a small achievement like making their own breakfast or something larger, like re-learning to walk, your kind words will go a long way!
Patience, as they say, is a virtue. There will be days where you’ve had a particularly challenging shift or something has happened in your personal life that may make you feel low – but your end users can’t bear the brunt of your frustrations. It is important to treat your end users as you would a loved one – take a deep breath and remain calm.
Some people do prefer to go about their day with minimal chat, others like lots of conversation and / or background noise. Work out what your end user prefers – simply by asking them – and adjust your communication style accordingly. Not every end user will have the same needs but most will appreciate you making the effort to adapt to their particular style.
On top of all of these soft skills, it is also important that you have at least six months UK experience in the care sector, can provide two references and would be willing to join the PVG scheme.
If you would like to speak to me about care roles across Glasgow and the West coast, click here to drop me an email
and get in touch.