Care Workers are generally helpful and compassionate people who are naturally drawn to looking after others. You may have grown up being a bit of a ‘fusser’ of people, perhaps often popping into your grandparents’ home and checking they had everything they needed for the week, or maybe you had a poorly family member that you looked after and cared for during a difficult time. Either way, at some point, someone probably pointed out to you, or you simply realised for yourself, that you would make an excellent social care worker.
You may be wondering “should I become an adult social care worker?” and “what makes a good adult social care worker?”. Although you may already have many of the traits needed to be a good adult care worker, here’s your guide to excel in this career and be an excellent care giver!
Attitude and mindset
A positive mindset and a ‘can-do’ attitude are key in this role. There will be many happy moments shared with the person you are caring for and you’ll get to enjoy the special bond you’ll form with them, however, sometimes there will be bad days when things like illness, disability and just feeling restricted may get the better of them. Having a positive outlook and cheerful demeanour can really help both you and the person you are caring for – positivity is infectious and will have a massive impact on the mood and environment around you.
Empathy and compassion
These are probably traits that you already possess as a naturally caring person but having the ability to put yourself in the shoes of your patient when making decisions or even just talking to them will help them to feel comforted and cared for; they’ll know you have their best interests at heart. Having empathy and compassion will help you understand why your patients tend to feel sad, afraid, depressed or lonely from time to time, allowing you to adapt your care to suit their needs.
Relaxed and flexible
Having a relaxed approach will help you tailor your care depending on how your patient’s feeling. Of course, you’ll still have the important jobs to do and it’s essential you complete certain tasks correctly, but sometimes your client will be in a brighter mood and may want to try having a little more independence that day. They may feel like making the tea themselves, hanging out the washing or even popping to the shops for some bread and milk; other days they may feel unwell and unable to perform the simplest of tasks. Allowing your client the opportunity to do the little things for themselves (if they want to), will make all the difference to their day.
Care workers unanimously agree that patience is one of the most important traits to have in this industry. Taking enough time with each patient and giving the correct level of care, even when they are slow in responding, is essential.
It’s not always easy to keep to tight deadlines but having patience and giving your clients the time needed to understand and complete a task is vital; rushing may make your patient (and yourself) unnecessarily stressed.
It’s important to remember that your clients, regardless of the level of support they need, are individuals and will require their own privacy and needs. Displaying simple respectful acts, such as addressing them by name, knocking on a door before entering and explaining the steps of care you are about to give (including any need to touch them and making sure it’s OK to do so first) makes a world of difference to how people feel. Not only does this give your patients the respect and dignity they deserve, but it also helps to reduce or eliminate any anxiety the patient may have otherwise felt.
Remain calm under pressure
The ability to remain calm in stressful situations is a trait that every care worker needs. Whether it’s a first aid situation or a patient is feeling angry and confused, keeping a cool head will allow you to offer help faster and more efficiently.
Here are a few things that will help you to remain calm in a stressful situation:
- If you can briefly stop what you are doing, take a short break and breathe deeply for at least a minute this will help you relax and lower your stress levels
- Try looking at the situation from a different perspective. If you feel really frustrated, overwhelmed or sad, try asking yourself “how would I think and feel if I were in his/her shoes?” (this may be your client, their family members, your colleges or even your boss). Trying to understand the point from their perspective may help you to understand why they feel the way they do and help you to resolve the issue quickly, calmly and respectfully
If you’re ready to begin your journey towards becoming an adult care worker,
find out more about our new adult social care diploma