So you’re thinking about a career as a care assistant?
The good news is that there’s a shortage in the UK social care sector, so there are plenty of opportunities for you to take advantage of.
But if you’re new to the industry and don’t have any relevant experience, it’s a bit of a daunting prospect trying to work out where you need to start.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to give you all of the information and advice needed to start your journey into the world of care.
Is working as a care assistant right for me?
Before you start jumping through any hoops to land your first care assistant job, it’s important to understand the reality of the job.
The truth is, a care assistant role is very demanding and draining – both physically and emotionally.
You have to think about:
The long hours
Shift work may offer you a more flexible life, but the job often requires you to work challenging hours.
If you can’t handle this, you could end up burning yourself out.
When you start out, you aren’t guaranteed a vast hourly rate.
So as long as you’re willing to build up your experience and work hard, there’s no reason why you can’t start to earn a better salary as you go along.
A lack of acknowledgement
While all of our clients are great for rewarding and recognising the achievements of their staff, the same can’t always be said for other employers in the care industry.
So as long as you don’t expect a pat on the back, you’ll be more than fine.
Naturally, these points might sound a bit negative, but there’s a high probability you’ll experience a lot of these issues in most industries.
So you just need to stand tall and understand that being a care assistant is an extremely self-rewarding and wonderful thing to do as a career.
If you still fancy becoming a care assistant, here are a few extra things for you to consider…
Get a DBS certificate
Attaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate is extremely important in the care industry.
It’s required if you want to work with kids and vulnerable adults.
This quick process is a simple check to let employers know whether you have a criminal past which could impact the safety of your patients.
To remain in date, you must renew your DBS certificate every year.
However, you can register it to the update service to save yourself the hassle and money.
This way, it will just keep updating automatically.
It will also speed up the recruitment process if you have this to hand as well.
For more information on what’s involved in a DBS check, take a look at our previous blog .
If you’ve got no prior experience or any relevant qualifications, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker.
In fact, according to the NHS, there are no set entry requirements to become a care assistant.
All employers will want you to have a basic level of literacy and numeracy skills, while others might ask for a healthcare qualification like a BTEC or NVQ.
If you are completely new to the sector, you can always look into apprenticeships to gain a relevant qualification and experience.
Furthermore, volunteering or completing a basic first aid course are other great ways of demonstrating some form of experience.
Once you’re working with an organisation, you’ll more than likely have to complete certain training programmes and a thorough induction scheme to make sure that you’re fit for the job.
Demonstrate the right skills and traits
As well as picking up a bit of experience, you need to possess certain personal characteristics and skills.
For example, you’ll need to be:
– happy getting hands-on with patients
– able to complete personal tasks for patients
– willing to follow instructions
– a good listener
– a great communicator
– a team player.
Register with an agency
Flying solo when you’re new to the care industry isn’t easy.
Try registering with a specialist care industry like us and we’ll get to know your requirements, flexibility and experience.
Our team of recruiters can guide you through the process of becoming a care assistant and alert you to any upcoming placements.
We’ll give you ongoing honest and practical advice to give you the best possible chance of landing your first assignment.
To register your details, simply click here.
Start your journey today
While a care assistant job might sound a bit challenging at first, if you have the right mentality and the desire to make a difference, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed in this fulfilling role.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself forward for a position, as many organisations will provide on-the-job training.
For more details on becoming a care assistant, subscribe to our free blog today.