Carer's Week - the hard work doesn't stop there
Big Up to all our Carers! We would just like to say that you’re all amazing! As many of you will be aware, it’s been Carer’s Week this month. We have plucked one of our very own Directors, Yvonne, from her computer screen and put her in the hot seat to talk about her experiences working in the care industry.
What were your motivations for joining the care industry?
I became very bored with my previous work in a restaurant; the only part of the job I enjoyed was the contact I had with customers and colleagues. I have always been the type of person who enjoys helping someone; the feeling it gives you is second to none. It occurred to me that I should be in a job that could utilise these skills and started to consider the care industry - I’ve never looked back since. It felt like my calling.
What are the rewarding parts of the job?
I know that it’s a bit of a cliche, but carers CAN make a difference. As a support worker I’ve able to make the impossible possible, and I feel passionately that it’s against all human rights to restrict those with a disability. I have worked for 3 Trees Community Support for nearly 16 years and truly love being part of a very supportive dedicated team of people who all seem to work towards a common goal. We work for adults who have been diagnosed with severe Learning Difficulties and/or Autism; most of which live in their own homes with 24/7 support. It’s a great opportunity to enable and empower a person to have control over their lives. I feel very privileged to support and facilitate people to integrate fully into their communities.
Can you give us one highlight of your career?
The one thing that I’ll never forget is when I supported someone to be able to go into his local supermarket and buy a few items independently. This may not seem like a big deal, but it took several weeks of breaking the task down into achievable phases to ensure the person didn’t experience acute anxiety. I will never forget the elation that person showed when he walked out of the supermarket with his shopping bag - his face epitomised why I chose to work in the care industry.
What are the challenges?
No job is without its challenges and this one is no different. There will be difficult situations, but our procedures are there to guide and support you to correctly manage whatever is thrown at you. Because most of our service-users require 24/7 support, there are always some unsocial hours, but this is evenly balanced with day shifts. Like any job that requires you to work with people, it can be difficult to avoid becoming too emotionally involved and sometimes you find yourself taking the job home with you.
What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in care?
You need to be a people person and want to engage in something meaningful. You need to be able to work within a team but equally be confident enough to work independently. Honesty, transparency and trustworthiness are vital requirements; the people you support entrust you with most areas of their life and need to be able to trust you. You also need to show compassion no matter how challenging a shift might be. Establishing a good work life balance is also important to prevent yourself from burning out - easier said than done, I know!
What changes would you like to see in the future?
I often feel frustrated that the importance of our role in society is overlooked. We are highly skilled, professional members of the community that have to manage volatile, high pressured situations on a daily basis. I would love health and social care to gain the respect it deserves - what is more important than caring for another human being?!
Thank you to all our health and social care heroes! And thanks for reading!