In this article, we will look at the 10 qualities that make a great care worker. Being a care worker takes a special kind of person. We have identified some of the key skills that help the job run smoothly.
If you’re new to caring this will give you a good idea of the attributes much needed by the profession. Don’t worry – everyone experiences a learning curve.
Has care work come into your life unexpectedly? Are you looking after a loved one because of a change in their circumstances? This handy guide of qualities that support the role will help your transition.
For the more seasoned, or professional carer – which competencies are most important to your role on this list? Get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.
Being Able to Multitask
A care worker’s ability to multitask greatly assists both their needs and those for whom they care.
Whether caring for one person or many different people, the ability to calmly multitask can be extremely useful.
This skill will help you to remember the small but vital pieces of information that make the day run smoothly.
The people whom care workers look after may have physical or mental issues; sometimes both. This can mean that patience is absolutely required.
It may be that instructions need to be repeated time and again, or that they need to be explained in the utmost detail.
It might be that the patient is slow moving, so going anywhere takes a long time.
It might be that a neurological condition such as Alzheimer’s makes them angry.
All of this will need to be dealt with using a great deal of patience.
When someone requires care, it is because they are chronically or terminally ill, or they are physically or mentally disabled.
Due to these health issues, things can change very quickly which is why a care worker must be able to think in a level and balance way about the tasks at hand.
Being a cheerful care worker can make all the difference to someone’s day.
The patient will look forward to seeing their helper, and will feel more positive in themselves which leads to many health benefits.
A cheerful demeanour allows patients to feel comfortable and relaxed, allowing the relationship between careworker and caree to thrive.
A Good Listener
The people who are receiving the care will often want to talk. They will want to talk about their hopes and fears, their frustrations, their worries.
They will want to talk about their plans. The care worker, therefore, must be a good active listener. It will put the patient at ease.
Be on Time
Punctuality is perhaps one of the most important characteristics of a great care worker.
Being late can have a serious impact on the care given both in terms of quality and time.
It can also be hugely disruptive to the patient themselves, especially if they are happiest when they are able to keep to a good routine.
Being kind goes a lot further than some people might think, and patients will appreciate some kindness and empathy, especially if they are having a particularly hard or painful day.
It makes a big difference to the overall outcome of the patient’s care, and to the immediate way they are feeling.
A Desire to Learn
It is beneficial for the carer to continue their studies, either as a form on continued professional development, or for family care workers to strengthen their support and knowledge base.
In keeping up to date with the most effective ways to care from teachers and peers you will support both your sense of wellbeing and that of the caree.
Going the Extra Mile
A good carer works hard to keep their patients safe and happy.
A great carer will go beyond this; if their patient needs something after they ‘should’ have stopped work for the day, a great care worker will ensure they get it done.
They will sit and talk for longer, they will cook a good meal, they will go out of their way to get in touch with people who can assist in other ways.
These little touches are what great care workers are all about. We’d also recommend all things in moderation – if you feel the strain is getting too much this also has an impact on the work you are doing.
Finally, care workers need to be able to take responsibility for their patients and their own actions.
Being a care worker is all about responsibility; the welfare of a human being (perhaps more than one) will rest entirely on the carer’s shoulders.
It’s also important to take responsibility for yourself too. Know when to ask for help and support. You got this!
As you can see, there are many qualities that make a great care worker. Arguably, however, it is patience, empathy and one’s listening skills that are the most important.
Care Work is specific to the needs and circumstances of the individual.
Know your strengths, ask for help when you need it and apply this skillset in a way that makes sense for you.
We would love to hear about all of your experiences. What topics and information do you want to see on the blog?
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