With the rise in demand for caregivers and care workers, there has been an influx of younger carers as well as those who are changing careers mid-stream. This article looks at three of the essentials that every carer needs to have and to develop if they are to have a long and rewarding career in care work.
Professional first aid and healthcare training
It may seem redundant to mention as a piece of advice, but the fact of the matter is that many feel that care work can be done without detailed knowledge of nursing or healthcare. It does depend on what type of care is being offered, and if it’s more companionship and assistance with daily routines, then perhaps medical and nursing knowledge isn’t essential. However, it will be necessary if you are going to be able to provide the best care that you can and mitigate against any health risks. Even if there are health professionals involved in the care of the patient or older people in care, the daily monitoring and management are carried out by the on-site caregiver. As such, a basic knowledge of first aid should be mandatory.
A caring nature (can’t do this job just for the money)
If you enter the care sector to make money, you’ve made a mistake. There is money to be made, and from providing quality in-home elderly care to running your own care business, the opportunities to get rich do exist. However, unless you are in the care business to help others and provide a caring service, you won’t get far. There may currently be a huge demand for care, but it is also quality care that is required. Therefore, you must have a caring nature and essentially view this care as a vocation in order to get the most from it.
Support and a community of practice
There will be difficult moments in the care sector and in care work, as there are in all other types of work. Yet, the provision of care for others allows for relationship building, and as such, when there is a change or deterioration in health, it can be very tough on the caregiver. The issue of caregiver grief is a very real one that will affect those who have formed such relations and then encountered loss. This requires support, advice, and a community of practice to be able to discuss and overcome the tough times.
Dealing with long-term health issues or challenges with a disability all make for a tough life, and as a caregiver being part of this can be tiring and draining. Having the required mental and social support will go a long way to ensuring that you have a long career in care and don’t experience professional burnout like so many caregivers out there have done.
Caring for others is a critical part of current human development and progress, and the way that this care is provided is ever-changing. However, the three aspects of such care that are mentioned above have been the consistent elements of professional and people-based care.