The entire Care Industry leans on responsible shoulders of Care Workers. It is one of the most underappreciated, yet one of the most rewarding professions in the world. Carers are responsible for accomplishing minuscule tasks from helping the service user move to intimate tasks such as helping them bathe or being the first responders and administering CPR to them.
While speaking to some Care Workers who provide domiciliary care, they mentioned that it is about finding the rhythm of needs meeting its ends. It is also one of the most important aspects of care work. As mentioned by one of the Care Workers, Rose (name changed), “a Care Worker’s job is to be practical, emotional and professional,” everything at the same time. They mentioned how rewarding this profession is, it changes their perception on life. Citing an experience, Rose spoke of one 99 years old service user whom she fondly remembered for being full of life and zest to live even more. She mentioned that that service user was no longer in their care. Due to mental health issues, she had to be moved to a care home.
There are times when an elderly service user is unwelcoming, but it is a dance that they keep doing until every step falls perfectly. However, it is equally rewarding when they gradually warm up to the Care Worker. Rose mentioned that one of the service user was unhappy to receive her as a Care Worker, to the point where she refused to make an eye contact with her. She took efforts in the right direction. With patience and time she began communicating and eventually even became fond of her.
Care Workers, in general deal with a lot of emotional burden. They should not formulate an emotional relationship with service users, but at the same time lend them physical and emotional support. Their jobs become challenging when suddenly a service user passes away. One of the hardest parts of their job is to listening to their last wishes and lend them support as they close their eyes forever.
Pandemic was one of the most challenging times for Care Workers. They struggled being the frontline key workers during this time. Pandemic is far from over. Every so often there is a service user who contracts Covid-19 and a Care Worker is responsible for attending to them.
A Care Worker is not just an assistant to lend physical support. They are also responsible to providing emotional support. As mentioned by a Care Worker, “sometimes, we are the only human interaction they might have in the entire day.” Hence, understanding the depth of their role is imperative.
In a day, a domiciliary Care Worker or a Healthcare Support Worker might take ten or more calls, it makes their role challenging. People outside the Health and Social Care Industry are seldom aware that the Care Workers have 24hours support and are backed by hours of mandatory and specialized trainings to be able to perform in the field. There are qualifications for different levels of experience and skills to succeed as a Care Worker.