What Qualities Do You Need to Be a Carer?
At Three Sisters Care, we see many people applying for the role of carer. While we would love to take everyone on, it is not always possible. After all, our carers work with some of the most vulnerable adults in the community, which means their role is a crucial one, and we must be sure they have all the qualities needed to work in the role. Three Sisters Care is under regular scrutiny from the CQC to ensure we are working in an ethical and appropriate way with our customers. Their standards require that all the carers we employ have minimum NVQ level 2 in Care or hold the nationally recognised Care Certificate qualification. Once employed, they also require that our carers complete regular training and supervision and attend monthly staff meetings. But as well as a qualification, Three Sisters Care expect our carers to exhibit a range of specific qualities before we will allow them to work with our clients. Below are the qualities we seek when we are hiring a new carer.
It might sound obvious, but some people seem to forget the verb of the same name as the job title – to care! Our carers must show a genuine kind and caring nature – this is one of the most important qualities that we look for. Empathy and kindness are not something you can teach in the care certificate, so this often comes down to the personality of the carer, which will be assessed during their interview and in how they interact with us when they visit our offices. We also look for good references which show a past history of caring and compassion. In the interview, we are interested to know - why do you want to become a carer?
Maintaining a professional attitude at all times, as well keeping professional boundaries is key to good practice when working as a carer. Professional attitude can include a range of things, from how you communicate with the office staff to whether you show up on time for a shift with a client (or whether you phone them to let them know you will be late, for example). We understand caring can be a difficult job, therefore we need to know our carers are also able to keep a little distance between themselves and a client and take time for themselves to relax after work.
Supportive, encouraging and patient
Carers support clients to enable them to live from day to day. For this, the qualities we look for are being supportive and patient. While we understand that time schedules are tight, when working with vulnerable adults, patience is a must, as well as being positive and encouraging where possible.
Being able to understand the issues facing your clients is essential for being a good carer. Can you see things from their perspective? Once you can understand the world from someone’s perspective it can change how you treat them. By listening and understanding, you can find ways to meet client needs and ensure they have the best person-centred care.
Whatever your skills and experience, vulnerable people depend on carers to help them to live from day to day. Therefore, carers need to be responsible, dependable people. They need to attend their shifts when they say they will, and inform the office of holidays with plenty of notice.
Good interpersonal and communication skills are essential for a working in care. This sociable career allows you to relate to clients and co-workers on a daily basis. Being able to listen and understand is key.
A flexible approach
A carer needs to work with a certain degree of flexibility. This allows carers to tailor their approach to each new client. Being flexible enables you to shift with your caseload in order to carry out your best work. Being able to travel or do irregular times can be helpful too. Our clients require care around the clock, not just from 9 to 5!
Three Sisters Care run regular Care Certificate training in our offices in Shadwell. The training runs for 5 days over a number of weeks, and requires that the student do plenty of written work. It can be time consuming and challenging and it covers all the bases of becoming a carer. For more information, go here.