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To ask about opportunities starting as a Care Worker

21 replies

lollybongbong · 28/12/2019 08:34

I'm 40 and prior to having children, I worked as an Account Manager in IT. Since having children I have done Purchase Ledger work and in the last few years have lived abroad running a holiday letting business and studying Health and Social Care with the OU. I was quite chuffed to get a first!

We are returning to the UK and initially, I would like to do Part-time Care work while we find our feet, preferably in a Care Home. I have so much respect for the people that do this sort of work and I'm under no illusions that it will be easy. I have done some informal caring for a relative after they had spinal surgery.

I think it would be excellent experience for me as I want to pursue a career in the field. I would love to eventually go into the field of Mental Health, perhaps train to be a Wellbeing and Mental Health Practitioner. Apart from nursing, I would love some advice from those that work in Health and Social Care and the path that Care work has taken you along.

I am suffering a bit of crisis of confidence lately, that as I am in my 40's I will have little chance to develop a career at my age.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

10 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Ohfrigginghellers · 28/12/2019 08:42

I wouldn't have thought that you would find it difficult to gain employment as a care worker as they are crying out for staff usually. Definitely not too old to pursue a career if you really want it badly enough and are prepared to work hard. Good luck.

Sparklybaublefest · 28/12/2019 08:46

That's fab op.
Do you have any mental health care homes near by?
can you get a job in a department of psychiatry as a carer?
or even as a ward clerk where you will be in a position to divert?
plenty of jobs in care homes though op.
and look out for nvq opportunities

Usingmyindoorvoice · 28/12/2019 08:50

If you haven’t come across it before, you may find this site interesting.
I am sure you will have very little difficulty finding work.

WBWIFE · 28/12/2019 08:51

Very easy to get a job in a care home, unfortunately they are always crying out for staff.

I have worked in a care home and hated it. Not enough time per resident it felt like a conveyor belt. I much prefer care work in the community. I did domiciliary care and now work as a palliative care assistant in the community, part time with my boring office job as part time too.

Wage is rubbish but like you I find the job very rewarding, but I do need two jobs to keep our money up

ODFOkaren · 28/12/2019 08:57

Think it through carefully.

It’s hard work, long shits, low pay. Usually no sick pay, no support from management. High turn over of staff. People don’t ted to stay for long due to poor conditions.

I work in a unit for mental health and alcohol related disorders. I get spat at, kicked. I have lift 20 stone men, even though we aren’t it supposed to but the council won’t fund 1:1 care so you have no choice.

It’s pretty grim and not something I’d be doing if I had any choice (and I did go back to college as an adult to trim to do this as level 3! I should have saved my time and money, I’d have found a job without it and the qualification had been worthless so far).

I’m not trying to put you off but it’s not the rewarding career some people think. It’s 12 hours a day/night of hard slog.

ANiceLuxury · 28/12/2019 08:57

As a former care assistant, i have worked in homecare, residential homes, nursing and dementia homes and its extremely common that people go into care when they have previously cared for a relative. They think its the same and they tend to get a shock when they realise that its nothing like caring for a relative.

There is no quality time spent with the residents, its all about getting everything done and everybody done in record time.

Budgets are tight, food is brakes crap.

Its back breaking and shit pay.

You work more or less every social occasion.

Its also really hard work and many care homes dont like you sitting with the residents, they expect you to be doing something all the time

Catapillarsruletheworld · 28/12/2019 09:00

Good for you. The sector is always crying out for staff. It’s such a worth while career, and it really need dedicated people to be applying for jobs.

I did domiciliary care for years while my kids were small. It was hard work, but rewarding. You have a lot of responsibility though for how much you get paid. Unfortunately the sector is horribly underpaid. In a care home you’ll have far more support and for less responsibility than out in the community, but you won’t be paid much less.

I now work in acute neuro rehab. Which is really interesting and again very rewarding.

Usingmyindoorvoice · 28/12/2019 09:13

Are you already back in the UK?
If so, I’d recommend looking for jobs working in social care for you local authority.
The training and career progression options are usually good.
Here are some examples of what’s out there

lollybongbong · 28/12/2019 09:13

Thanks for all your responses.

I don't intend to do Care Worker for the long term, but considering about a year to give me an insight and to see what other opportunities arise within the sector. I have seen some positions for Wellbeing practitioners where they will send you to Uni once a week to study for a post-grad certificate. However, I want to do part-time for the first year while my two boys get settled in at school, so hoping to do that in the future. In the meantime, I want to get exposure and experience in working with vulnerable people, some of which will have mental health problems.

OP posts:
lollybongbong · 28/12/2019 09:15

//Usingmyindoorvoice I will be back in the UK in the summer.

OP posts:
Dhalandchips · 28/12/2019 09:21

I work in the best of care settings. It's a tiny home of just three friends, young adults with learning disabilities. We're a family. I consider myself to be very lucky to be part of it. Admittedly £9 an hour is a bit crap but it doesn't feel like work. I'm on a0 hours contract as I do other stuff too, so the support work it a top up really. If you're lucky, you'll find somewhere like this place. Good luck.

Usingmyindoorvoice · 28/12/2019 09:27

Likewise, I was going to suggest looking for work in supported living settings both learning disabilities and adult mental health ones too.

bobstersmum · 28/12/2019 09:39

I have worked in all areas of care. It is surprising very easy to get a job as a carer, simply because as others have said, they are desperate for staff. The reason for this is because it's very hard work, long hours and usually minimum wage. There aren't usually opportunities to progress, unless you're lucky. I worked in a NHS hospital for learning disabilities and mental health and the money was far better, but staff were mostly all burnt out, running on minimum numbers all the time and being assaulted by the patients regularly. I managed 10 years in that job but being assaulted when I was in the early stages of my long awaited pregnancy was the final straw.

milkysmum · 28/12/2019 09:40

I'm a mental health nurse and a manage a small specialist residential home for 9 women with complex mental health disorders. I love my job, I have a team of around 10 support workers who are amazing, staff turnover is low despite the terrible pay but I know this is unusual in the sector. Most of my staff have done NVQs or Diplomas in care of some description but be warned they generally get you no more pay! Neither do the fancier sounding Mental Health Foundation Degrees that seem popular at the moment. If you are going to look at university courses choose one that makes you qualified in something at the end would be my advice or you'll do the course and find yourself no better off for it ( so choose something vocational if you can like nursing, OT, social worker etc..) any question s please ask, if I can help I will. Good luck.

lollybongbong · 28/12/2019 09:41

[Dhalandchips] and [Usingmyindoorvoice]. Thanks for that. I must say that when I look at entry-level care jobs I am mostly drawn to the supported living, working with learning disabilities roles. More so that the Residential care type roles. Most of the ones I've seen though seem to involve sleeping in, which I wouldn't be able to do.

OP posts:
bellabasset · 28/12/2019 09:42

You will get your hand bitten off when you apply for jobs. There are two well run nursing homes near me, both of which also supply home carers. Look at the CQC reports for any home or service you go to for an interview.

I worked in admin in an LD setting and that was a lovely place to work with friendly staff, beautifully kept building and gardens, a high standard of catering and mainly happy residents.

GeraldineFangedVagine · 28/12/2019 09:44

Why not look for health care support worker roles within a NHS trust? You can access lots of career progression and trust are very keen on developing their own staff now. Good working conditions (mostly) and a chance to work with a large number of other professions as well as service users.

lollybongbong · 28/12/2019 09:48

Thanks for all of this advice, I really appreciate it. Do you think it is worth me doing some CPD courses to add to my cv? Learning disability awareness, Autism awareness etc. Or not?

OP posts:
Pumpkinandpeas · 28/12/2019 09:51

I would highly suggest to look for jobs within support rather than care. The level of care that individuals get in supported living is so much more personalised and better quality than in a care home. Care homes are mentally and physically demanding with very little time for 1:1 with the residents. Care standards are low, shortcuts are made for quickness but this usually results in bad practice. Just be very wary of going into a care home.

Mylittlerainbow · 28/12/2019 09:58

I work as a regional trainer for care (and have worked in care myself in different areas) and go into a lot of care homes, and whilst yes they are long hours/hard work etc, they're not all as bad as pp have made out. If you are interested in LD settings (which is my specialist subject so if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them) and wanted to do some CPD, I would suggest autism awareness because it's so complexed but very common, that having a bit of a background knowledge would help you to be a better support worker definitely. Vision2Learn have free level 2 qualifications that you can look into doing.

I think working with people with LD is the most rewarding of settings, especially if there isn't much challenging behaviour (which is something I would always ask in an interview, you want to know how likely you are to get beaten up lol).

blodynmelyn · 28/12/2019 11:06

I work as a support worker in a small residential home for adults with learning disabilities. I love my job and am lucky as the home I work in is well staffed and has great management. You don't need any experience to work there, as long as you show common sense and a good attitude at interview you will be fine. Staff at my unit do sleep in, if you aren't looking to work full time you could do bank work and choose your own hours and avoid sleep ins. The down side of bank is you don't have guaranteed hours - it's site dependent on whether they have shifts available

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