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Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Home Care Worker?

Nurse_in_geriatryImage thanks to Craig

When people think of healthcare workers, they most often think of doctors and nurses in hospitals and surgeries. But these institutions aren’t the only place you’ll find healthcare workers. And doctors and nurses aren’t the only careers available. One of the most vital roles in the sector is that of home carer. Home carers allow people to live their lives at home with assistance, instead of someone caring for them in a care home or hospital. Home carers often work with children, the elderly and disabled or ill people. As a home care worker, you can help people to gain some independence and remain at home when they’re dealing with difficult situations.

Skills Needed

The one quality you definitely need to become a home care worker is compassion. You need to have a good bedside manner and work well with people from all backgrounds. Along with compassion and empathy should come patience, tact and sensitivity. You should always have a friendly and caring attitude to dealing with clients, as well as treating them with respect. Being a home care worker will involve both teamwork and making decisions on your own. You need to be able to stay calm under pressure as you are likely to be very busy.

Qualifications and Experience

Many home care roles don’t ask for formal qualifications. One requirement for almost all community roles is that you have a driver’s licence. Many people enter this career by first volunteering with a charity or organisation that supports vulnerable people. This is an excellent way to gain some experience and will help you find a paid job in the future. If you want to gain qualifications in the subject there are several options available to you. These qualifications are vocational and include diplomas, awards and certificates. You might also be able to find an apprenticeship in the field.

The Work

The work of a home care worker is broad. Tasks could include helping a client with everyday activities, such as washing and eating. You might also help with housework or managing their finances. Or you could be taking them out and back home, working with their family and just chatting to them about their day. Home care worker salaries aren’t among the highest salaries for healthcare workers. However, with qualifications and experience you can earn up to £21,000. You might even receive free or low-cost accommodation.

Criminal Records Checks

When you apply to volunteer and work with vulnerable people, the company will carry out background checks. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), performs these checks. The service checks your criminal history to make sure you have no convictions or history that could prevent you from being a suitable care worker.

If you think a career as a home carer might be for you, start by looking into volunteering or available jobs in your area. There are almost always jobs available and often they require little or no experience.

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