How To Become A Care Assistant
Be in the know about what you need to know.
With the rise in dementia and other neurological conditions as well as an ageing population, the health and care sector is one area where demand is rapidly increasing and set to grow in the next decade. Those considering work in health services can get onto the first rung of the ladder by working as a care assistant, which can lead to a whole host of other opportunities and is also a fulfilling role that offers a great deal of job satisfaction.
Care Assistant jobs can be found in many settings including care agencies and homes, GP surgeries and hospitals, and the role can have a variety of titles including Healthcare Assistant, Nursing Auxiliary, Nursing Assistant or Support Worker. Different settings may demand slightly diverse roles and experience levels but will involve the same set of tasks in essence.
WHAT TASKS DOES CARE WORK INVOLVE?
Depending on the setting you work in you will be supervised by a senior carer in a care home or residential environment and a nurse in a hospital setting. The primary function of the job is the care of the patient or service user, and you will be expected to support service users with personal care including dressing, toileting, washing, reassurance and help with eating and drinking. In addition, you will offer reassurance and company for the service users and support them to retain their dignity and appropriate comfort levels which is a very rewarding part of the role.
As care agencies, homes and hospitals continue to improve their services there is a certain amount of paperwork to complete to ensure service user care is consistent and that any issues can be addressed, such as insufficient food or drink intake and monitoring of medicines. Those who go on to work in a health centre or GP surgery may also perform health checks, sterilise equipment and undertake health education or health awareness work.
There may be opportunities to learn other tasks as the role progresses such as allocation of medicines and use of equipment such as lifting devices, and in some settings there can be chances to learn about taking blood (venepuncture) and other more specialised tasks.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND PERSONAL QUALITIES
Although there are no specific entry requirements to become a care assistant, at Abbots Care we expect good literacy and numeracy and may sometimes ask for a healthcare qualification such as NVQ or BTEC although this will not always be the case. Some experience is also desired through voluntary or paid work.
Some employers will be particularly interested in what personal qualities you bring to the role and will be looking for those who demonstrate that they are caring, have empathy and are friendly and positive. Other characteristics they will want to see include practical hands-on skills, a willingness to carry out personal care with individuals, an ability to follow instructions, procedures and paperwork and good communication and teamwork skills.
TRAINING AND QUALIFICATIONS
As well as care assistant induction training and extensive development on the job you may also have a chance to study for qualifications such as NVQs, BTEC or Cache depending on the setting you work in. Many care service providers have excellent training and development opportunities for the right people, and you will quickly become proficient in a range of skills. One such organisation is Abbots Care who provide award winning care and support services in the Dorset and Hertfordshire regions: View our care services.
Care organisations like Abbots offer a new model in care and are built on years of experience and a firm grounding in the care sector, and this company opened with a desire to provide excellent care provision after being disheartened by less effective services. With a large staff and a team approach that is family-orientated, the organization employ a huge amount of staff to ensure that second-to-none care and support is offered to service users. They also ensure that staff have care assistant induction training as well as ongoing support and that they are fully on board with their values and ethos.
Care assistant jobs can open up a range of other similar roles, but more than that it offers a chance to really make a difference to each individual you work with by supporting them to have the best quality of life possible. Many care assistants enjoy the job so much that once they have tried the role they find they want to continue in a job where you feel a great sense of achievement at the end of each working day.
“The Care staff that are supporting my Mum through her care needs are extremely lovely and supportive. Our Mum has cancer and she is receiving the most excellent and caring support from all Staff. We would just like to say a huge thank you as we know that there is more difficult times ahead for us as a family. ”
Child of Service User, Buckinghamshire BranchSee what our service users think