Meet Samantha. She joined our team of Support Workers in February 2022, and has been thoroughly enjoying her role, working within one of our residential care homes.
Here, she provides insight into just what makes her role so fantastic.
I am a support worker at one of Lisieux Trust’s residential care homes. A support worker role is nothing like an office job; there is no set day-to-day routine. Every day can be different, but with the same goal – to make a positive change in people’s life.
Although I have only been with Lisieux Trust for less than a month, I have felt welcomed and included since the first day of my role. I remember the first day, coming to work, I was nervous and worried about what the role would entail. However, through training and support from the Trust, my managers, and other support workers, my knowledge and skills as a support worker have been growing rapidly day by day.
During a morning shift, I normally start off providing personal care to residents, through verbal prompts or direct support, depending on what the individual needs. After that, some of the staff will help to administer medication while other staff members will start completing different domestic tasks, such as laundry, cleaning, and preparing food. We work as a team to deliver the best support.
The residents have their own schedule every day. Some of them may want to go shopping, some of them may want to go for a walk, and some of them may have work during the day. As a support worker, I will go out with them sometimes.
For example, I may be required to walk a resident to work and pick them up when they finish, due to safety reasons. Other times, we may just go walking around in the neighbourhood. We talk and laugh just like any other people. It may sound ordinary, but it could be enough to make their day.
In my evening shift, we tend to stay in the house at the project I work in. However, it does not mean that there is nothing to do. Sometimes, we do colouring together, we talk about football, about family, or even politics.
At teatime, we prepare meals. Sometimes I provide residents with personal care support as well. As mentioned, it depends on what the residents need. There is always something to do.
Each resident has a different nighttime routine. For instance, some of them like to spend time in their room using their iPad before bed, and some of them may like to spend time in the lounge with others until they want to go to bed.At the house that I am based at, the residents often have a cup of hot chocolate together before bed.
As well as physical support, I do have to complete some paperwork too. These can be daily records about what has happened during the shift, and any other information that other support workers may need to know about what has happened in a resident’s day.
Before I joined Lisieux Trust, I had been a support worker for a year within another organisation. After relocating, and seeing vacancies within Lisieux Trust,I decided to be a support worker again; despite being offered a number of roles outside of care. This is because of the huge sense of job satisfaction I get in this position.
From my perspective, being a support worker is not a job to just support others, but also improve yourself. In this role, you are able to enhance yourself in different aspects, such as communication skills, interpretation skills, confidence and leadership. When you are making a positive difference in people’s lives, you are also making a positive change in yourself.
So, you’re considering a career in care? Read on…
If you want a job where no two days are the same, then a career in the care sector is worth considering. If you’re looking for a position that is both challenging but incredibly rewarding, then care work may be for you.
To have a fulfilling career in care, you don’t necessarily have to have vast amounts of qualifications or experience; meaning that a care job may be more accessible than you think. Even if you do have experience, every environment and individual is different and will require adapted working styles, so adaptability and resilience are both crucial qualities to possess.
Here, we breakdown just what it takes to be a serious contender for a career in the care industry.
When it comes to interviewing, of course dressing appropriately and looking the part is important, but most employers will ultimately be impressed with your knowledge of the role.
It is important that, going into the care interview, you understand the roles and responsibilities of the care worker position, as well as the values of the company. Researching this beforehand will allow you to confidently navigate your interview, and will showcase your commitment to the role.
When responding to questions, try to remain relaxed. Practicing your responses to commonly asked questions in preparation for your interview may help with this; allowing you to respond confidently on the day.
Here are some samples of questions that could be asked. However, remember each interviewer is different:
- Can you describe a stressful experience you’ve been in and how you dealt with it?
- How would you deal with a resident that was displaying challenging behaviors?
- What would you consider when dealing with a resident’s personal finances?
- If you were delivering personal support to an individual, how would you maintain their dignity and respect?
Now, let’s cover some of the more tricky questions.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
In an interview, we are keen to impress, so it is understandable that you may want to list off a dozen strengths to your interviewer. However, still be prepared to have an open conversation about your weaknesses too. An employer wants to see that you can recognise your own areas of personal development, and have a solution for them too.
What qualities can you bring to the job role?
This question is all about you and why you think you’d be ideal for the job role, so, don’t be afraid to really sell yourself! This is what Jo Bongiovi, Head of HR Admin at Lisieux Trust, recommends:
“Transparency and honesty are important qualities to show in an interview, as they are qualities of a good person. I don’t look for any particular personality, but I do look for somebody with a warm energy. I look for somebody that is enthusiastic, and shows they have a passion to work in care.”
Can you give me an example of a time when you have actively participated in a team?
Teamwork is crucial in care. In high pressure situations, it’s important that your colleagues can rely on you, and vice versa. Your ability to work succinctly in a team will ultimately impact the outcomes received by the people in your care.
Good teamwork is formed by different elements such as good communication skills, ideas, support, and efficiency. Giving examples of how you’ve used these elements, or how you would use these elements, will truly show you understand the importance and impact of good teamwork.
Why do you want to work here?
As a care worker, you will be responsible for some of society’s most vulnerable. Your answer to this question will tell the employer a lot about you as a person and your intentions.
Working in care requires a person to be naturally compassionate and caring. Be prepared for the fact that working in care isn’t always glamorous, so pursuing such a role isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Think about all the reasons why you chose to pursue this particular opportunity, and be sure to show that honesty and authenticity during your interview.
The two most common questions brought up in a care interview are typically based around legislation and safeguarding. Both are incredibly important things you need to be aware of and understand when working in care.
The care industry is based on lots of ever-changing legislation. These form a standard to ensure that individuals who require support are being supported correctly.
Safeguarding is the action of protecting somebody in a vulnerable group. As a care worker, it will be your responsibility to report and intervene (where safe) any type of harm or abuse directed at the people you support.
Preparing responses that show your understanding of this will truly help to set you apart.
Being a care worker isn’t a 9-5 job, as care will always be required outside of office hours. It’s important to be aware that most care roles won’t come with regular shift patterns, and will require you to sometimes work unsociable hours, so flexibility is key.
Your day-to-day duties will differ hugely, and priorities will often change at the drop of the hat. Demonstrating your adaptability is important, as this will evidence your dependability.
Ready to kickstart your care career? If you think you have what it takes to be a successful care worker, visit lisieuxtrust.org.uk/work-for-us to learn more about our current vacancies.