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5 min read

How to become a Carer

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of vacancies for care jobs within the UK. There are various reasons for this, one being the increased ageing population in this country. There are an estimated 1.49 people who work collectively within social care. Becoming a carer, whether for the NHS or privately, is an extremely rewarding career which requires certain skills and qualities with a genuine desire to help others by making a difference in their lives. You will be providing emotional, physical and social support. Whether you are embarking on your first job or have decided on a career change, becoming a carer may be the job for you.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
August 10, 2023

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of vacancies for care jobs within the UK. There are various reasons for this, one being the increased ageing population in this country. There are an estimated 1.49 people who work collectively within social care. Becoming a carer, whether for the NHS or privately, is an extremely rewarding career which requires certain skills and qualities with a genuine desire to help others by making a difference in their lives. You will be providing emotional, physical and social support. Whether you are embarking on your first job or have decided on a career change, becoming a carer may be the job for you.

There are many different establishments in which you can work as an adult carer. The main being care homes who do not usually have the support of qualified nursing staff, nursing homes who rely on both qualified and unqualified nursing staff as well as carers, in the person's own home as well as a variety of community settings. Whatever the setting, you will undoubtedly become heavily involved with the lives of your clients and get to know them well.

There are often no formal qualification requirements to become a carer but you may be required to attend an initial induction process. By completing any relevant training courses that are available, it will boost both your confidence and your skills. These may cover health and safety policies and procedures, manual handling, basic first aid and the importance of confidentiality.

Because you are working with people, many of which will be vulnerable or rely upon you in some way, you will need to display genuine empathy, patience, compassion, understanding and kindness. You will also have to be resourceful, make decisions and have the ability to remain calm. These requirements override any formal qualifications. A DBS check will be necessary too because of the nature of the job.

You will always have the support of the staff that you work with whether you are working with other members of the caregiving team or working in someone's home. You will usually have 24/7 support in place from your employers if needed. You will often find that you become part of a close knit team who are not only dedicated to providing the highest level of care but also  support each other in the good times and in the challenging times. You will also forge relationships with client’s families and friends and other members of multi disciplinary teams if appropriate.

Work is often fairly flexible with different shift patterns and hours to suit. This is especially helpful if you have a family as you may be able to work around school hours and therefore have a good work - life balance. Rates of pay will reflect different hours.

There are often opportunities to progress in your career and to take on more responsibilities as you gain more experience and attain different qualifications. You will need to stay fully updated on all the latest developments and practices.

You may need a certain level of resilience as you may at times be required to deal with very unwell, distressed or angry clients. Additionally, it is a sad fact of life, especially in this line of work that you will come across grief so it is important to take this into consideration and how this may affect you personally.

Becoming a care worker is a very important decision as you are making a commitment to making a positive impact on people's lives. This requires dedication to do your best at all times and for a proactive approach towards continuous learning throughout your career. Being a carer brings much personal fulfillment in the knowledge that you are making meaningful contributions to those you care for.

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