Working as a Care Assistant isn’t as simple as sitting in a residential home and drinking tea, chatting and watching TV with residents; the daily life of a care assistant involves a lot more than recreational activities. The keyword being ‘assistant’ – you must assist residents in their day to day life, including meal time, and drinking as well as personal care. Here is a run down of a typical day in the life of a care assistant.
When a care assistant arrives at a care/nursing home (whether they’re agency or permanent staff) they will be given a handover from the staff they will be taking over from. Normally, this will also be a written handover so that they have something to refer back to. After that, they will usually be allocated to residents by a senior member of staff and will have to read the care plan for each resident they are allocated to. The care plan will detail everything about the resident; what you need to do for each resident, what they like, what they dislike, the level of assistance they require, moving and assisting guidelines, etc. Care assistants will be allocated in pairs, to allow for safe moving and assisting of residents. Ideally, agency workers will be paired with a senior member of regular staff.
When interacting with residents, it is important that the care assistant clearly communicate with the resident, as well as respecting their privacy and dignity. This can be as simple as knocking the door before entering their room, or asking if they’d like their curtains open in the morning rather than going ahead and deciding for yourself. The most important part of a care home, is ensuring that the residents are happy and taken care of. One of the best ways to ensure a residents happiness is to allow them to maintain as much independence as possible. For example, if they are more than capable of bathing themselves, then allow them to do so. If they are able to walk around easily, and make their own cup of tea, again, allow them to do so. You can even do simple things to keep them happy, as detailed in their care plan; for example, one resident might like to listen to the radio while they’re in the bath. All of this links back to supplying person-centred care.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of paperwork when working in care. However, this paperwork is very important to ensure that the service user is receiving the appropriate care that they need. One example is the fluid chart; each resident will have a chart detailing what fluids they have, and haven’t had that day. To elaborate, if you offer a drink to a resident and they decline, if it isn’t written on their fluid chart that they declined the offer, then it will look as if they weren’t offered a drink for a couple hours (as an example).
In summary, when working as a care assistant, you need to ensure: you get a clear (written) handover, you read and follow the care plan for the residents, ensure that you deliver person-centred care and finally, ensure that all paperwork is filled out correctly. If you follow your training, you’ll be sure to excel in the care industry.
At Elite Care, we have been known to supply the best training in the south coast. If you’re interested in being a carer, why not fill out an application form here, or email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org and join a field of work that is not only enjoyable, but incredibly rewarding.
Here is what some of our carer’s had to say about what it’s like to work as a carer for Elite Care.