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Becoming a Carer

No matter what people say, working in care can be a stressful and full of challenges. However, if you’re a caring person, helping someone to maintain their independence and dignity can be life changing to both you and the person you are caring for. So how do you become a carer? Here are some things to consider when moving toward your chosen career.

Understanding What is Expected Being a carer is a job like any other. Every job comes with stressors, less-than-savoury aspects and downsides. Whether it is dealing with angry customers in retail, taking out the bins in the food industry, or dealing with employee relations as a manager. Occasional myths about care can be that it involves bringing an old person cups of tea. The reality as most carers know is that as well as the perks of conversations with your clients and getting to care and help a person, there is also the sides which are not so enjoyable. Dealing with personal care – aka dealing with bathing, toileting – mean you come up close and personal to the basics of being a human. It also sometimes means working irregular hours, and dealing with the sadness of a long-term elderly client’s death. All of that said, if you are a compassionate, resilient, reliable and punctual person, you may be very well suited to this profession.

Know Your Industry

Some people might just have a general idea that they want to work ‘in the caring profession’. The challenge can then be narrowing this down. If you enjoy bonding with people and providing an invaluable all-round supportive service to them on a daily basis, then becoming a carer might be for you. However, if you enjoy listening, paperwork or helping people with more practical and emotional problems social work or counselling might be more up your street. Knowing the key players in your industry is also key. Some regulatory bodies you should be aware of in the care sector are: The Care Quality Commission who regulate all health and social care services in the UK, and Skills for Care who are the workforce development body for adult social care in England that work with employers to make sure their employees have the required level of skill. Finally

Get qualified. Having a qualification in care is important to most employers. A NVQ level 2 in Health and Social Care is a good qualification to gain – ask your local jobcentre or college about what courses they run. Similarly, you can take shorter courses such as the nationally recognised Care Certificate which is usually run over several days or weeks. During or after gaining a care qualification, it can be useful to contact domiciliary home care agencies and care homes in your area to see what work is available both paid and voluntary. Then compile a CV including all of your relevant work experience and qualifications and begin your job hunt!

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