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Why work in a care home? 8 Good Reasons to Work as a Health & Social Care Worker.

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Why work in a care home?

There are a variety of reasons why you should work in a care home. The social care area currently has a significant shortage of workers, so many care homes wish to recruit people who have the passion and skills to consistently and professionally care for others. 

Below are a couple of reasons to consider working in a care home:

  • Caring for others can be satisfying 

Health and social care is an employment sector where your daily work makes a tangible difference in people’s lives. By working in a care home, you’re positively affecting residents who have a range of challenges and their relatives who are likely to appreciate your support and dedication. Understanding that your work is necessary, important and appreciated can boost your motivation in what can be a challenging job.

  • Care home employees often form strong teams 

Working as a team is important within the health and social care sector. Team members work together to ensure that the residents receive a high standard of care. Though there are different roles in a care home, staff are usually flexible, adaptable and willing to help each other, especially if there are new challenges, emergencies or understanding. 

  • You can make connections with people

A residential care home differs from a fast-paced corporate or retail environment where interactions can be fleeting. A big part of the work of a carer is building a productive, therapeutic relationship with residents to help them have the best quality of life possible. As you go about your duties, the care home may allot you with specific time to engage the residents in meaningful interactions and learn more about them.

  • The work is flexible 

Like other health and social care professions, care workers in residential homes tend to work in a shift pattern with late shifts, early shifts and waking care on night shifts. This means that you can work a variety of shifts that may suit any of your specific scheduling needs. For many care home workers, shift working suits their lifestyle and enables them to more effectively manage personal responsibilities. 

  • You can develop valuable clinical skills

Employers expect health and social care professionals working in care homes to observe the residents and be able to identify people who are becoming sick. Care work involves the careful monitoring of residents with escalations of developing problems to managers or the local healthcare team. Clinical skills you may use as a care home worker include:  

  • Checking pulse
  • Taking a blood pressure reading 
  • Counting respiratory rate 
  • Measuring urine output
  • Assessing hydration level 
  • Assessing mental state
  • There are many types of care homes that you can work in

Care home workers have a variety of options for choosing a residential care home to work in. This means that you can focus on providing specific types of care or working with residents or patients with certain conditions. Here are the main types of care homes:

  • Care Home 
  • Nursing homes
  • Care homes with dementia care 
  • Respite care 
  • Dual registered care homes
  • Care home work provides consistent pay 

HIgh levels of retention and a lock of competition mean that care work is a consistent form of income. Working shifts means that you have the opportunity to work paid overtime or night shifts, boosting your wages. Promotion can also lead to a large increase in your salary.

What are the responsibilities of a care worker in a care home?

Primarily, a care worker’s responsibilities involve physical care and support for the resident’s emotional wellbeing. 

Here is a list of the daily responsibilities I can include. 

  • Helping a care home resident get dressed, wash, and eat 
  • Providing company: chatting and sharing news
  • Involvement with writing residents’ care plans 
  • Providing information to family members regarding the care plan
  • Ensuring that  the resident’s need and wishes are met
  • Working with other health and social care professionals to provide holistic care
  • Recording and reporting essential information in the residents’ daily reports
  • Administering medication under supervision
  • Gently encouraging residents to get involved with recreational activities 
  • Giving feedback to health and social care professionals

Understanding the different types of care home

Care homes can roughly be split into two categories which are the following:

  • Resident homes    
  • Nursing Homes

Residential homes are more appropriate for those with lower level care needs, whereas nursing homes employ more specialist staff to deal with more intensive care needs. 

Both have a very similar staff and as a result roles are available, from care assistants and cleaners up to nurses and floor managers. Which types of care home jobs you apply for will depend on what you are comfortable with and what type of care you’re interested in. Residential care may involve service users who are more responsive and chatty whilst nursing care requires a more medical approach and could be more challenging. 

What specific types of jobs are there?

Care homes are large organisations which run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that lots of staff are required to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that residents are properly cared for – so there are often a large number of care home jobs available at any given time, making them a popular choice for many. 

There are various roles to apply for with a nursing home, but a few of the most common include:

Care Givers

If you are working as a caregiver you may be a:

  • Care assistant – dealing with low -level care needs such as washing, dressing and companionship
  • Healthcare assistant – a care assistant who is able to carry out general medical tasks, such as monitoring blood pressure, taking observations and administering medication.

All caregiving roles require some training and experience, as well as a warm, friendly personality, attitude and good communication skills. 

Nurses

Nursing homes require qualified nurses to be part of their care teams. A nurse in a nursing home is responsible for taking care of residents’ medical needs and completing observations and assessments of individual health, as well as sometimes overseeing the care given by other members of the team and advising on appropriate treatment. 

Also nurses are sometimes required to deal with unexpected illness or emergencies, and will generally be the ‘first port of call’ before a more senior healthcare professional is called upon, either for a referral or urgent attention.

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