10 qualities of a care worker – What care skills do you need to become a carer
Not everyone is cut out and has the care skills needed for a career in domiciliary/home care. A good care worker requires special qualities – some of which can’t be learned or earned but are naturally part of an individual’s personality. In this blog post we explore the ten most important qualities if you want to become of a carer.
So how many care skills do you possess – and what should you look out for when sourcing private home care?
1 – Patience
If you are looking at how to become a care worker, patience is of course key when dealing with patients and service users with diminished capabilities. Sometimes they may be slower at moving about or explaining what they need. They may also be difficult or frustrated, prone to taking that out on their carer. Remaining calm and patient no matter how stressful the task at hand may be is truly a skill and is incredibly important, as anger or irritability can affect a care worker’s ability to do their job and can of course upset patients.
2 – A cheery demeanour
A smile is sometimes more powerful than a thousand words.
A carer might be the only person an individual comes into contact with during their day, so if they are pleasant, friendly and personable this could make a real difference and demonstrated core care skills.
A cheerful demeanour also puts patients at ease and helps them to feel comfortable – and this is especially important if a care worker is dealing with personal care requirements.
3 – The ability to multi-task
When you are looking at how to become a carer, one of the key things you need to consider is your ability to multi-task.
Often carers are expected to work alone or as part of small teams, which can lead to them frequently being overstretched with lots to do. Good carers step up to the challenge and can effectively deal with more than one task at once whilst ensuring that the level of care they provide remains high.
4 – Being able to think quickly
The very nature of care means that things can change quickly – especially when patients have severe care needs. Therefore, one of the qualities of a good carer, is their ability to think on their feet and deal with unexpected occurrences and difficult situations can be invaluable – and can even save lives.
5 – Punctuality
This is especially crucial when working in a home care capacity – because often those receiving care look forward to or plan their day around care provision. If a carer is late it can be disruptive or disappointing and may even impact on the level and amount of care that person receives if their time is restricted.
6 – Willingness to learn
Good carers are never satisfied with their level of training or ability. They always want to learn more, progress further, be better at what they do and provide the best care possible.
7 – Being a good listener
Naturally people receiving care often have stories to tell or feel they need someone to talk to – especially elderly patients. Therefore, having good, and patient, listening skills is one of the many qualities of a carer for the elderly. Great carers take time to listen – both to the feedback they receive and any issues patients share with them, but also in a personal capacity.
8 – Kindness and empathy
A little kindness goes such a long way, especially when you are looking at qualities of a carer for the elderly – and it is often greatly appreciated by patients. When a carer is able to put themselves into the shoes of their patient they can truly appreciate what a difference they can make.
9 – Willingness to go the extra mile
Good carers will often stay past their clocking off time if it means a patient is properly attended to.
They’ll go out of their way to find the snacks a patient loves, sit for longer than they should as they talk about their family, or signpost them to other services when they indicate that they are struggling or need more support.
It’s these little touches that make a really good carer – and could make a huge difference to patients, especially where you are looking at qualities of a carer for the elderly.
10 – Being able to take responsibility
Ultimately carers often have great responsibility placed upon their shoulders. The best carers take this in their stride and never underestimate the importance of the work they do.
They also fully accept any mistakes they make and understand that nobody is perfect – taking something from errors and mishaps rather than blaming their rota or their patient.
How to become a carer
If you do want to become a carer, and feel you have the necessary skills, then you can start by approaching some of the companies on our job board looking for staff. Many will look to take on people with little or no experience.