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What Does A Care Assistant Do On A Daily Basis?
Care assistants, care workers, and social care workers help people experiencing some sort of difficulty to perform everyday activities. As a care assistant, you might work with older people and their families, children, or people having learning or physical disabilities.
You may work in clients' homes, in day centres, in sheltered housing, or in residential nursing homes. Specific duties may differ according to the kind of setting, but they may include:
- becoming familiar with your clients on an individual basis and learning their social needs and special interests
- providing clients with personal daily care with activities such as feeding themselves, washing, using the toilet, and dressing
- accomplishing routine tasks, including laundry, housework, and shopping
- aiding clients in paying their bills, organising their budget, and writing letters
- aiding families in adjusting to their new care responsibilities
- cooperating with other social and health care professionals to develop plans and deliver care
- aiding in the organisation of recreational activities
- accompanying clients to and from their residences
You might also become a 'personal assistant,' which means that you would work closely with a single disabled individual to help them with their everyday life needs.
What Experience And Other Qualifications Will Employers Seek?
Employers usually seek candidates with experience in the role of caregiver, maybe from within your family or as a volunteer. In the case of working with people having learning disabilities or mental health problems, prior experience will be required.
When applying for a job, you would get a medical check, and you would need Criminal Records Bureau clearance to ensure that you are approved for working with vulnerable adults and children.
To gain employment in the community, you will most likely be expected to have a driving license, since it is probable that you will have clients in many different locations. You could increase your chances of getting this job by using an Apprenticeship scheme. The variety of Apprenticeships available in your region will be determined by the local job market and the skills needed by employers.
What Additional Development And Training Can I Do?
As you begin working as a care assistant, your employer will provide you with on-the-job training, which often will include working alongside experienced colleagues. You could also take external courses on issues such as health and safety, lifting techniques, and hygiene.
If you are employed in the field of adult social care in England, you must participate in a twelve-week induction programme that will be offered by your employer. The programme will cover a group of national minimum standards of care, which include the following areas:
- principles of care
- communication skills
- understanding your role as a care worker
- developing as a care worker
- recognising and responding to abuse and neglect
If you will be working with children or supporting those having learning disabilities, then you will also need to meet additional criteria. You may receive encouragement to advance towards NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Health and Social Care.
What Salary And Benefits Can I Receive?
- Introductory salaries range from around £12,000 and £16,000 a year.
- With experience, extra responsibilities, qualifications or specialist support worker skills, this amount may increase to between £18,000 and £21,000.
In certain cases, subsidised or free accommodation is given. Those care assistants working night shifts and weekend hours may receive a higher hourly rate.
What Are The Working Hours And Conditions?
Working hours most likely will include weekends. In residential environments, usually you would cover a rota that includes overnight stays occasionally, and some jobs may require you to live in the home. Frequently, part-time hours are available.
Your employer usually will supply you with protective clothing, such as tabards and gloves.
If working in the community, you may have to commute between clients' homes.
What Knowledge And Skills Will I Need?
- a caring, friendly approach
- an authentic desire to help others
- the capacity to relate to people from a wide range of backgrounds
- sensitivity and tact
- respect for clients
- a sense of humour and patience
- flexibility and reliability
- ability to work with team and also on your own
- capacity to adhere to safety and health guidelines
- ability to maintain calmness under pressure
What Opportunities Exist?
You could work with voluntary organisations, private agencies that provide care services, or local authority departments of social services.
You could advance to a supervisor job or a senior care assistant. With qualifications in care and experience, you might be able to find employment in nursing or social work.
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