Working in care frequently asked questions
Why should I consider a career in Care?
Working in Care is one of the most rewarding careers you can have. You are doing a job that will have real impact and make a difference to people’s lives on a daily basis. You will not only be helping people maintain their physical health but also their emotional wellbeing. There is plenty of flexibility around working hours and types of care. You will learn new skills which are transferable and can lead to other roles within care or other sectors. The experience you will gain is invaluable. You will receive training and can work towards qualifications too.
Where will I be working?
You can work in a residential home which will have a number of service users or in service users own homes depending on the type of role you have.
Will I have to do personal care?
Personal care is a very small part of the job and you really do get used to it and it becomes no different to making a cup of tea or serving someone a meal. It is just part of the day to day. You will receive training and support in all aspects of the role to help you.
What are the hours like?
The hours can vary, most residential homes have shifts 8am – 2pm, 2pm-8pm or 8pm-8am. There are some homes which do shorter shifts or longer day shifts depending on their service users needs. Homes use both staff who have set hours and those who are ‘bank,' meaning they are flexible and will work out with the care home each week what shifts they are able to do. This offers a flexibility you do not get with many other jobs. If you are looking at doing domiciliary care/community care this can vary depending on the service users, some may just need support for an hour some may need full days. Again this offers great flexibility as you can fit the working hours round other aspects of your life.
Will I be working alone?
If you work in domiciliary care you will often work alone once you are fully trained and confident – you will start shadowing another member of staff until you are ready. In residential homes you work as part of a team whose size will depend on the size of the home.
What is the pay like?
Pay can range depending on where you work and experience. Rates in care are very competitive and come with many other benefits such as training and gaining new skills, some homes even cover your meals while you are on shift. Most importantly helping and support people live their lives is rewarding in itself.
What experience do I need?
You don’t need any experience just a willingness to learn and committed to helping others. You will receive full training and be given the opportunity to shadow other staff members seeing how things are done and pick up best practice.
What career prospects are there?
There are so many options available once you have experience in Care. Within the Care sector you can go up the ladder becoming a senior care assistant, team leader and then on to management. If you decided to you could use the transferable skills you have gained in care and apply them to other sectors such as Hospitals, GP Surgeries, Childcare, Day centres, Care Recruitment/Agencies, Pharmacies, Support or Personal Assistant work and many more. Care Assistant experience can also be great if you are looking to go into further education in the Medical or Health sectors.
Do I need a DBS? What if I have a criminal record?
You will need a DBS, this stands for Disclosure and Barring Service. This will list any cautions or convictions someone may have. You will need to declare any cautions or convictions but speak with the potential employer as decisions are considered based on the individual circumstances.
Do I need my own transport?
If you are able to get to the place of work by foot or reliable public transport then no you do not need your own transport. It is normally required for Domiciliary Care/Community Care as often the calls you make are not always close together.
Do I need any qualifications?
No, you will receive all the training you need to do the role and if you opt to do an apprenticeship you can even gain qualifications while you work.