Simon, care worker

Having previously worked in the building industry, the flexibility of adult social care is what inspired Simon to start a new career in care.

Find out why Simon chose a career in care

"What drew me to the role was the flexibility"

Simon wanted to help others become as independent as possible, and becoming a support worker allowed him to see the difference he makes to the lives of those he works with.

What is a care or support worker?

As a care worker, or support worker, you’ll work in a range of places, such as care homes, someone’s home or within the community. You’ll support people with social and physical activities that could include:

  • Eating and drinking.
  • Attending appointments.
  • Undergoing basic medical checks.
  • Washing and dressing.

You’ll help lots of different people, including adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, dementia and other mental health conditions.

What does the role involve?

The day-to-day life of a support worker might include:

  • Booking and accompanying people to appointments.
  • Assisting with personal care such as showering and dressing.
  • Helping people to eat and drink.
  • Monitoring individual’s conditions, taking their temperature, pulse, respiration and weight, and possibly helping with medication.

What skills and qualifications do I need?

As a support worker, what’s most important is:

  • Kindness, patience and compassion.
  • Good English, numeracy and writing skills.
  • an ability to understand and follow procedures.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills.
  • Good communication and listening skills.

You may also need:

  • GCSE A-C in English and Maths.
  • A social care qualification such as Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Don’t worry if you don’t have these qualifications – if you’re interested in getting them, you can work towards them once you start the job.

What hours will I work?

Working in care can be flexible. Your hours are usually based on shift patterns, so you can find a work/life balance that suits you.

Is there training and progression?

When you first start working in care, you’ll do an induction which should include the Care Certificate. You’ll also undergo basic training such as health and safety, first aid, and moving and handling. You might also receive specific training based on what the person you’re caring for needs.

You can also benefit from:

  • Informal training & education.
  • Formal qualifications such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care (up to Level 5) or specialist subjects like dementia care, communication skills and team leading.
  • Over 50 vocational qualifications at all levels including topics such as dementia care, communication skills and team leading.
  • Opportunities to progress and develop in adult social care, and specialise in a certain area or take on more responsibility.

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