Care work is a field that has been getting a lot of attention in recent years. With the population aging and the need for care workers going up, there has been an increase in demand for trained people to step in and do this work. But before you decide to take up care work as your career, it is important to consider all the aspects of what you’re getting yourself into.
The nature of care work means that you will need to deal with people who are suffering from mental and physical health issues, which can be difficult at times. Additionally, it is an undervalued profession – meaning that you will often not get paid as well as someone who goes into a different field like teaching or nursing. But if you enjoy working with people and don’t mind unsociable hours then it can be a very rewarding career choice with some surprising benefits.
In this article we will look at what care work is, the pros and cons of being a carer, and whether it could be the right career choice for you.
What is a care worker?
Care work is a broad term that goes beyond just medical care. It is the work that provides emotional support, including emotional care, mental health care, and bereavement care. Care work can be done in a variety of settings with different kinds of people. Care workers are not all doctors or nurses.
There are many different types of care work. It includes nursing, social work, care for children, the elderly and disabled. As mentioned above, care is a profession that is becoming increasingly popular due to the rise in the ageing population, but there are also roles to be a caregiver for all different ages.
Ultimately, it’s a type of job that involves caring for people who need assistance as well as helping with day-to-day tasks such as helping to complete an application for car insurance for disabled adults, writing shopping lists, ordering various household products and assisting with whatever they might need help with each day. It’s not always just about helping with hygiene and medical tasks.
People can become care workers by either enrolling in a course or undertaking an apprenticeship. There are often learn-on-the-job style roles where you can start a career in care work with no previous experience and receive training as you work.
Care work is often seen as a low-status, low-paid job. But care workers can also experience personal fulfillment and satisfaction which we’ll explore more in-depth below.
What does a care worker do?
Care workers are professionals who provide day-to-day assistance to an individual, family, or group of people. Care work is done by anyone who wants to help others. It can be done full-time or as a side job, and this job helps people in many ways.
A care worker can be working in a hospital, in a residential care home, in the community or in the home of the person they are caring for. They help by assisting with activities of daily living. This work will involve tasks such as cooking, cleaning, giving medication, providing emotional support and assisting with personal care.
Care workers often work weekends and nights because they are there when the person they are caring for needs them most. They assist people with everyday tasks that may be difficult when someone is frail or disabled due to injury or illness. This could include taking the person out for the day, completing food shopping and other shopping tasks for them, as well as life admin.
The responsibilities of a care worker vary depending on the setting. The role of a carer can be varied depending on the circumstances. A carer could provide personal care, housework, financial management such as helping to arrange life insurance for disabled people, and so much more!
What are the advantages of being a carer?
There are many benefits to being a care worker, including being able to do meaningful work, feeling proud of what you do on the job, and helping others by caring for them.
Care work is one of the most important and fulfilling professions. Helping others is one of the biggest advantages of the role allowing you to develop your empathy and compassion towards others and your social skills.
Other positives to working as a care worker include the development of strong relationships with patients, learning new skills and increased confidence in abilities.
It is both rewarding and challenging. Working as a caregiver can be a stepping stone to other careers in the healthcare industry.
What are the disadvantages of being a caregiver?
Care workers often work unsocial hours for low pay.
They can find themselves exposed to difficult or distressing situations at work which can make for an emotionally exhausting experience.
It’s not the right career choice for everyone and the job tasks and satisfaction can vary wildly depending on the type of person you are caring for and in which setting.
Personal skills needed to be a care worker
As a care worker, you will be required to have certain qualities that will help you to succeed in this profession. Here’s a snippet of these qualities:
- Empathy: One of the most important skills a care worker can possess is empathy. It is one of the qualities that sets them apart from other professions and it helps to facilitate a bond with those they are caring for.
- A sense of humour: Humour is essential as it helps those who need caring for feel less anxious or distressed sometimes as well as making light moments more enjoyable for those delivering care services.
- Patience: A care worker shouldn’t get frustrated when they don’t know what to do or cannot do what is needed for their patients. They should take the time to figure out what is required calmly and with minimal fuss.
- Kind: They should put the patient’s needs first and make them feel at ease.
- Compassionate: A care worker should be able to empathise with their patients and make them feel like they are not alone.
- Ability to communicate well: A care worker needs to be able to communicate well with the people they are working with. They need to be patient and empathetic, as well as being able to listen, talk and help people.
- Emotionally resilient: One of the skills needed to be a care worker is emotional resilience. They need to be able to deal with the challenging emotions that their clients are feeling.
- A care worker also needs a caring personality, strong attention to detail and good organisational skills.
Conclusion: should you become a care worker?
The care industry is booming because of the ageing population, but care work is a broad term that can be interpreted in many ways. It may include everything from care for the elderly, people with disabilities, children and adults with mental health issues, to supporting people recovering from addiction. It could also include providing emotional support to individuals who are struggling with everyday life challenges.
Often undervalued, care work is actually an important and growing sector of the economy. The job of caring can be quite demanding, but there are many benefits that come with the career. It offers a range of opportunities to people with diverse backgrounds and skillsets. Whether it’s working in a hospital or in a care home, care workers can make a difference to people’s lives every day.
As a care worker, you need to have some specialised skills, such as the ability to work as part of a team, but also alone in some settings. An interest in the welfare of others is also important. The job requires a lot of patience and empathy. By helping people everyday you will make a huge difference in the quality of another person’s life which can help to fulfil your own.
If you are a caring people-person who has the above skills and you’re looking for a rewarding choice of career, then a job in care could be the perfect occupation for you.