A Career in Care - What to Expect
PART 1 - A guide to working in the care industry and for Bluebird Care. What are the expectations and requirements? Find out in Part 1 of the Care Career Guide.
The care industry is an important part of the health and care service system in the UK. Working for private and public care services provide different opportunities for their members of staff. Care assistants are people who are passionate, attentive and committed to providing the delivery of high-quality care to vulnerable people.
For a lot of care assistants around the UK, they show their true commitment and hard-work caring for residents, customers and their families. This has truly become apparent during difficult times in 2020, with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has had on our customer’s lives.
In this 3-part series, we will provide in-depth information and guidance on careers within the care industry, real employee feedback from our own Bluebird Care Assistants, as well as current career opportunities we have on offer if you are looking to start a career in care.
Care work is not only just a rewarding job, it also comes with a range of benefits such as flexible working hours, on the job training, good rates of pay, career progression and working with people. These benefits will generally help you to improve your personal and professional life, with guidance and opportunities to progress for your future.
How to Get Started
Depending on the availability of care services and employment within your area, care can be a competitive industry to get into. Similar to most careers, having qualifications is advantageous but not always necessary. A lot of facilities will provide you with a training program as part of your induction, helping you gain the essential skills and training that you may not have.
What are the qualification & experience requirements?
Depending on the care facility, qualifications such as GCSEs, A-Levels, and a degree/diploma may not be a necessity for applicants in their recruitment process. In some industries, these qualifications would be essential. Moreover, many employers in the care sector would like some level of First Aid training, or an NVQ in Health and Social Care (either Level 2 or 3) as an alternative.
That said, some careers in care won’t require this level of qualification, it is compulsory for applicants to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check during their application process. The DBS check will cover a background check consisting of a medical and criminal record check. This was once formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) assessment.
If you do not have a recent and up to date DBS check, the care facility you are applying for can provide you with help to make sure you do not miss anything out, or to help answer any questions or queries you may have. There will always be help available throughout your recruitment process, to make sure no important information is left out.
Training on the job
Once you have been accepted as a care assistant, you will be provided with induction training in order to get you started with your new career. This will consist of food safety and health & safety training if you do not already have this experience and training. First Aid and learning how to look after people in the safest way possible, will be two of the vital elements of the training process.
In a majority of care facilities, new care assistants will be placed on an induction period which will ensure that they will meet the UK national standards of care. As well as understanding all training requirements and getting the support needed to be a successful care assistant.
What is the working day like?
Working in care can be a heart-warming and rewarding experience for many care assistants. Being a qualified care assistant can mean so much more than offering help and practical assistance to our customers.
“The happiest carers in the UK are in South East England. On average, carers from this region work a 37 hour week and describe their mental health as 'excellent.” - Randstad
Even though working as a care assistant can be rewarding, it can also be challenging. This however, is something which a lot of care assistants enjoy as part of their work. As it makes their day more active, and they can overcome certain challenges to feel like they accomplished something.
For a lot of careers, roles and responsibilities can be very repetitive day after day. However, working as a care assistant will demand a lot more from you, which makes it more challenging and rewarding.
Working in care is an eye-opener for many care assistants as it truly gets rid of the usual perceptions and views of older people. Some care assistants feel like they become part of their customer’s family. Overall, it is a very intimate role and allows you to develop a close relationship with the people you care for and support.