Channel 4 Learning


Care Assistant

Being a Care Assistant

Working as a care assistant involves working shifts, you either work nights or days, and therefore you need to be able to be very flexible with your time. The job is varied and interesting and you meet a wide range of clients. The client group depends on the field you end up working in, for example, you could be working with elderly people, people with learning difficulties or a physically disability etc.

It is very rewarding job as you are making a positive difference to the quality of people's lives, who for various reasons need to be in a care situation. However, it is also very challenging and demanding at times. Tasks such as taking clients to the toilet are unpleasant at first but you soon get used to it and get on with the job. Depending on what client group you are working with, you may be faced with difficult situations for example violence or having to deal with the death of your clients if they are ill, but the reward do out number these kinds of challenges.

Female care assistant sitting next to an elderly patient in a care home, listening and looking interested in what she is being told.

You definitely need to be a people person as the majority of days is spent either with your clients or interacting with their relatives. You also need to not be afraid of hard work, as it is non-stop day or night. You have to be able to work as part of a team and organise your own work and pass on information to other on the team, especially the medical staff. Most importantly you have to care and listen to the clients as they do confined in you as you are the person that in most cases they spent the majority of their time with.

I do shifts in a residential home and a nursing home for the elderly, whilst the days and evening shifts do vary and no one day is the same in terms of what might occur, there are set duties that myself and the others in the team have to do.

We give out all meals and drinks and help those who cannot feed themselves. In a morning you help people to get up and get washed and dressed and for those that need extra support you also have to help them bath and take them to the toilet.

In the nursing home I also have to follow and help implement care plans that the nursing staff has produced for a particular patient, so here attention to detail is vital.

As a care assistant you also get involved in the activities that go on in the home during the day and on an evening, you help organise the activities and also take part.

The role offers a lot of on the job training; I have recently completed my NVQ Level 3 in Care whilst I was working. There are many advantages to being a care assistant and I would highly recommend it.

Sue Fisher
Care Assistant

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