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How To Become A Care Worker

How To Become A Care Worker

The UK’s demand for care workers has steadily risen as our population ages. But becoming a care worker is more than just a way to make a living; it’s a calling that can change people’s lives for the better. Often, care workers are the difference between a lonely day and a friendly face for their patients. It’s certainly not always easy, but care workers are able to work in a range of positions, and often work more flexible hours than other healthcare professionals.

Learn all you need to know to start a career in caregiving in the UK in 2024, from where to get your training to how to land your first job!

Understanding the Role of a Care Worker

Caretakers play a critical role in the lives of their patients, who are often elderly, disabled, or struggling with other health issues. Their duties can include:

  • Assisting with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
  • Administering medication and monitoring health concerns.
  • Providing emotional support and companionship.
  • Assisting with household tasks like cooking and cleaning.
  • Transporting clients to medical appointments or social activities.

As you can imagine, people who are naturally compassionate and patient thrive in caring roles. Being able to stay calm, and maintaining a positive demeanour is absolutely paramount to being a care professional, as you are often assisting people at their most vulnerable.

Education and Training

Having formal qualifications isn’t necessarily required to become an entry-level care worker, but having relevant training and education can set you apart from the crowd and boost your chances of finding better-paying roles. Aspiring care workers should consider:

Relevant certifications and training

Employers in the care sector often prioritise applicants who have achieved relevant training for care roles. This can be a variety of different things, from Adult care courses online to in-person training. Current care workers can continue to develop their professional qualifications alongside their caring responsibilities as well.

The most popular training qualifications for healthcare workers include:

Similarly, those looking to become care workers can achieve degree level qualifications as well as management training to unlock the higher echelons of care work. Many of the qualifications available to care staff (including those listed above) can be completed online, at the pace of the student. This can give you ample opportunity to seek experience to back up your qualifications.

Gain Practical Experience

One of the most effective ways to prepare for a career in care is to gain hands-on experience. Volunteering at care facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals is a wonderful way to achieve experience, as well as getting a feel of what it’s like to work in a care environment. It also gives you an upper-hand when applying for roles, as employers love to see applicants who go out of their way to gain relevant experience. The NHS have a variety of volunteering opportunities for caring people wanting to gain hands-on experience, from working in hospitals to assisting local ambulance trusts.

Legal and Regulatory Requirements

To work as a care worker in the UK, you must meet specific legal and regulatory requirements:

Background Checks

Some employers require workers to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. This is a background check that ensures you don’t have a criminal record that would disqualify you from working with vulnerable individuals. They’re required for safeguarding, and most people pass them without incident.

Right to Work in the UK

To be employed, you must have the legal right to work in the UK. UK citizens don’t have to worry too much about this, but for those with other citizenships, it’s very important to make sure you have the appropriate visas and work permits.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) (Optional)

It’s not mandatory by any means, but registering with the Care Quality Commission demonstrates that you’re committed to offering your clients high standards of care. It signals to employers that you are a safe bet, and care about maintaining exemplary standards throughout your work.

Tailoring your CV and Applying for Roles

After the hard work you’ve put in achieving relevant qualifications, volunteering, and making sure you meet legal requirements, it’s time to start applying! Here are some tips to land your first care role:

Customise your CV

You want to prove you’re the best applicant for the position, so make sure to highlight your skills, training and experience. Emphasise your commitment to providing compassionate care, working well in a team, and any of your qualifications.

Network!

When they say it’s who you know, they really mean it! Tapping into your network and letting your friends and family know you’re looking for care worker positions can open doors. Similarly, setting up a LinkedIn page can help you get noticed as you show off your care achievements.

Job Sites

Online job search platforms like Indeed, TotalJobs, and the NHS job site are great places to search for care worker vacancies. Local care agencies and organisations are also likely to be interested in you, reaching out to them can be a simpler entry to the industry.

How Association of Learning Can Help

Since 2017, we’ve been helping aspiring care workers land their first roles in the industry. We offer recognised training from respected governing bodies, with unmatched support for our students. We offer our students:

  • Industry-recognised qualifications, studied from the comfort of your home, alongside your current position or responsibilities.
  • One-on-one dedicated expert support from our industry professional personal assessors.
  • The fastest marking time around (on average 3 days!).
  • Flexible payment plans that allow you to study nationally recognised qualifications without breaking the bank.
  • 14-days money-back guarantee or a switch to a better-suited course.

Our range of online healthcare courses will allow you to boost your CV. Whether you’re a current care worker looking for professional development, or looking to land your first position, we’re here to help.

To learn more, visit our website.

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