Top 10 things you need to know as a care assistant
Whether you're embarking on a new career adventure or are a pro in the field already, we spoke to some Cera carers to get the inside scoop on the top 10 things you need to know as a Care Assistant. Here’s what they had to say!
1. Have a good sense of humour
A lot of aspects of care can be pretty serious, so it’s important to find points of the day where you can have a bit of a laugh. Whether it’s sharing stories with your service user, talking to other carers or even finding light in your everyday tasks, a good sense of humour will definitely bring some brightness to your day.
Having a positive and sunny attitude towards your work will lighten the mood when necessary - which ultimately, will help your service user.
2. How to breathe through your mouth
Working in personal care, there will be occasions where having a strong stomach and breathing through your mouth, not your nose will be necessary! While it’s not the most memorable or glamorous part of the job, we do often have to clean up.
In this case, practice makes perfect and learning to deal with accidents or cleaning in a calm, efficient and professional manner will benefit both you and your service user.
3. The importance of patience
Patience, patience and more patience! When aiding your service user try not to rush them and avoid interrupting them as they speak. Take your time and use active listening skills to help build rapport and trust.
Some of our service users can take much longer to complete tasks than they once would. Support them as much as you can without becoming flustered or frustrated and they will feel a lot more comfortable and confident.
Having patience and being observant can also help when it comes to noticing any differences in an older person. This can be crucial - spotting changes in a service user could literally save a life.
4. The first cup of tea is the best
Nothing beats that first brew of the day. Having said that, who limits themselves to just one?! Take a few tea bags with you just in case - or a flask is a great ‘on the move’ alternative.
5. How to love a good yap
As a carer, you’ll meet new people from all walks of life. Being able to hold a conversation will help you build relationships and trust with your service users and their families.
Making friends is also a great way to really enjoy what you are doing. There’s nothing better than looking forward to your next shift to see what everyone has been up to!
You must be willing to dive into the deep end when it comes to caring. Giving 100% to your job will show you how rewarding this career venture can be.
Like most jobs, there can also be the opportunity for career progression. So, bear this in mind if you want to move on from being a Care Assistant at some point. It might be worth setting yourself some career goals to keep an eye on how well you are getting on.
7. Listening to your people shows you care
Your days as a Care Assistant can feel like you are moving from one task to another with little time in between.
When you’re having a conversation with your service user, it’s really important to let them know that you are listening to them. It sounds simple but stops what you are doing (where possible!) and take your time to show that you are actively listening to them. Bear in mind eye contact and body language.
8. Major job satisfaction
Working in care is hugely rewarding where you can really see the results of your hard work. You’re enabling service users to live in their own homes which will have a positive impact on their lifestyle by helping to maintain their independence.
9. Expect the unexpected...people are unpredictable
Having a plan for your care visits is crucial to making sure you are able to get everything you need to do done.
There will be times when you find yourself having to react to certain situations which may have caught you off guard. But it’s important to remember your training and know that you are more than able to cope with anything your job throws at you!
10. Wear comfortable shoes
Chances are, you will be on your feet for a large portion of your working day, so comfortable shoes are a must! If you drive, you may want to take an extra pair with you.
There we have it, directly from Cera carers, the top 10 things you need to know as a Care Assistant.