What does it take to be a care worker?

No two days in care are ever the same. A main part of the job requires supporting people with daily activities, which could include physical and social activities, as well as personal care, help with mobility and food.

Care workers can work in nursing homes, in the person’s own home or in the community. Other similar roles include support workers, personal assistants and healthcare assistants. These individuals can also support people in terms of life skills like shopping, cooking, budgeting, housing advice and different aspects of emotional support too.

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Live in care workers spend time living in the person’s home. That person may have been deemed vulnerable being left alone in their own home, but they would prefer to stay in their property. It can be on a long- or short-term basis, including weekend respite care or support during the day or night. For more information on Live in Care, visit a site like https://www.liveincare.com/

Personal assistants tend to be employed directly by individuals who decide what they want you to help them with. You could be asked to help them get ready in the morning, go to work or doing household chores such as cooking and laundry, social activities and appointments to attend.

You can work with many different people including adults with learning disabilities, those with physical disabilities, substance abuse problems or mental health conditions and those who are older and infirm.

Your role may include:

supporting people with physical and social activities

booking and attending appointments with people

help with personal care such as bathing and dressing

supporting people with feeding

monitoring general health of individuals such as pulse, temperature and weight, and may help with medication.

Everyone who works in social care needs good English language skills, number skills and digital skills. Employment skills include teamwork and problem-solving skills.

There are also some special skills required to work in this role. These include:

ability to work on own initiative and prioritize your workload

good listening and communication skills

the ability to understand and follow the policies and procedures

good writing skills to fill out a treatment plan.

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You do not need any qualifications to become a care worker. What is really important is that you have the correct values and behaviours to work in social care.

Your employer may ask that you have the qualifications that show both the English language and number skills such as A-C GCSEs in English and maths. It may also be helpful to have a social care qualification such as Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health & Social Care. You don’t need to have these before you start work as you can train for these as you do the job.

It can be beneficial to have some work or voluntary experience in something care related or with vulnerable adults. You can get this experience through work placements, from your personal life, through volunteer or as part of an internship or apprenticeship.

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