Harry, support worker

Harry works as a support worker, helping people live a more independent life.

Find out why Harry chose to become a support worker

Having previously worked as an early years practitioner, Harry moved into adult social care because he wanted to make a difference. He enjoys making people happy and learns as much from them as they do from him.

What is a support worker?

Support workers, or care workers, can work in a range of places - care homes, someone’s home or within the community, supporting people with social and physical activities that could include:

  • Eating and drinking.
  • Attending appointments.
  • Undergoing basic medical checks.
  • Washing and dressing.

They might support lots of different people, including adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, dementia and other mental health conditions.

The day-to-day of the role

The day-to-day life of a support worker might include:

  • Booking and accompanying people to appointments.
  • Assisting with personal care such as showering and dressing.
  • Helping people to eat and drink.
  • Monitoring individual’s conditions, taking their temperature, pulse, respiration and weight, and possibly helping with medication.

Skills, experience and qualifications

As a support worker, what’s most important is:

  • Kindness, patience and compassion.
  • Good English, numeracy and writing skills.
  • an ability to understand and follow procedures.
  • Strong organisational and time management skills.
  • Good communication and listening skills.

You may also need:

  • GCSE A-C in English and Maths.
  • A social care qualification such as Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.

Don’t worry if you don’t have these qualifications – if you’re interested in getting them, you can work towards them once you start the job.

Working hours

Adult social care roles can be flexible. Hours are usually based on shift patterns, enabling you to find a work/life balance that suits you.

Training and role progression

When you first start, you’ll do an induction which should include the Care Certificate. You’ll also undergo basic training such as health and safety, first aid, and moving and handling. You might also receive specific training based on individual care needs.

 

You will also benefit from:

  • Informal training & education.
  • Formal qualifications such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care (up to Level 5) or specialist subjects like dementia care, communication skills and team leading.
  • Over 50 vocational qualifications at all levels including topics such as dementia care, communication skills and team leading.
  • Opportunities to progress and develop in adult social care, and specialise in a certain area or take on more responsibility.

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