Care worker skills are gained through experience, training and most of all hard work. Yet to date, care workers, no matter how experienced, qualified or committed they may be are still undervalued by our society.
Care work is a sub-class of work that incorporates all assignments that lead to the support, care and administration of others. It is frequently (incorrectly) separated from skilled professions when listed as career choices due to the driving factors behind such a choice. For example Care workers do not tend to be driven by remuneration, more by their preference to support others in need. The truth though, is quite the reverse. Care Workers tend to be highly skilled individuals.
In this article we discuss at its core, what makes a care worker and what are the required care worker skills needed to help others.
Who are Care Workers?
Care workers offer encouragement and support to individuals with physical and learning incapacities in a wide scope of environments.
Care workers need good communication and observational skills. They are required to assess the level of care a customer needs and work with other social care experts to create a care plan for their clients. Budgets need to be taken in to account along with medication and any other unique requirements the individual may need. Mental and physical resilience is a necessity.
Care work can be at times lonely, hard work and require commitment outside of normal work hours. Care workers tend to be caring in nature but also require a high level of understanding regarding rules and current legislation.
The care worker may be responsible for all aspects of their clients’ life, may live with them, work in a care home or manage multiple clients in a single shift.
Tasks can be as diverse as helping the customer and their families obtain financial assistance, offering social and emotional support, assisting with the administration of medication as well as performing household or daily care related tasks such as washing, bathing, cleaning and cooking for the patient.
Care workers might work in a nursing or a private home or may be required to work as part of a group or individually, visiting patients in their own home. Depending upon the area of care work that the carer is interested in the spectrum of client they can deal with can vary from children, the elderly, those in rehabilitation or patients with physical or learning incapacities.
The duties of a care worker varies greatly dependent upon their customers individual needs but could typically include:
- Building a relationship with their patients paying specific attention to their physical and social needs.
- Working with the patient and external experts to ensure the well-being of the client.
- Helping customers with everyday individual care, for example, washing, dressing and feeding
- Helping patients perform physical activity, such as exercises as part of rehabilitation after an illness or injury.
- Supporting individuals with administrative errands, for example, paying bills, overseeing spending plans, composing emails or letters.
- Escorting patients outside of their home (e.g. school, visits to the doctor or shopping).
- Giving palliative care to customers who require end of life care.
- Performing tasks on behalf of the patient, such as, paying bills, shopping, dealing with third parties.
- Helping ensure individuals correctly administer medicine.
- Offering company and emotional support.
Care Worker Skills:
As mentioned Care Workers need to have exceptional communication and observational skills. In addition, the following skills are common to Care Workers who need to deal with a variety of situations and engage with not only their patients but the patients’ extended family and numerous external parties such as colleagues, health care experts and care co-ordinators.
- A benevolent approach and the capacity to comfort customers, whatever their physical or social needs.
- The capacity to be prudent, sometimes at their own expense.
- A good sense of humour (can help in extremely difficult situations).
- Regard and Respect for the patient and their families.
- Great stamina.
- The capacity to remain calm under stressful situations.
- The capacity to think quickly and act quicker in emergencies.
- A commitment to self-development.
- An understanding of basic life saving techniques.
- A sound understanding of legal and professional requirements related to the duty of care of the patient.
A career as a carer can be tiring and hard work. It requires a certain type of person, someone that is willing to put others before themselves. It requires commitment and constant re-assessment of the patient, their care plan and their longer term goals. That said, Care Workers strive to enhance the lives of their patients in a way that would not be possible without their support.
To many, the rewards in seeing someone else succeed, even in daily routines most people take for granted, more than justifies the time and effort.
At Tutorcare we offer a wide range of courses covering all aspects of health and social care. From QCF diplomas to Care Management, specialist carer training to E-learning courses for the Care Certificate, our aim is to help those that wish to help others pass first time.
For more information on all of the courses we offer in-house training, online training or on-site training for please follow this link to visit our ever growing list of accredited care training courses.
References for this Care Worker Skills article include: