Created on Friday 1 September 2017 by claire
One of the most common questions that we get asked by potential job applicants is “what qualities make a good domiciliary care worker”?
After all, working in domiciliary care can be an amazing and fulfilling experience for the right person; but if you are not the right type of person, it can be overwhelming and even a bit heartbreaking.
With that in mind, we asked our carers for a list of the top ten key qualities that they feel make you suited to a career in care, and thus came up with our Top 10 Qualities of a Good Domiciliary Care Worker.
Friendliness – in a domiciliary care job, you are likely to be interacting with many different clients, so being able to put them at ease by being friendly, confident and reassuring is vital. Indeed, at its core, domiciliary care is all about building up a relationship with clients so that they will trust you. Therefore, being able to interact with them sociably and continually build rapport is one of the most important skills you can have.
Empathy – above all else, a carer needs to empathise with the people that they help. In addition to being able to really see the people receiving care (rather than seeing their limitations before anything else), a domiciliary carer also needs to be able to think about how they feel about their care and how their loved ones/families feel, then react accordingly.
Open-mindedness – if you are very stuck in your ways and routine, then care work may not be for you! As well as continually adapting to new policies and learning new working methods, as a carer you will also need to understand and respect many different types of people (for example, you will have to follow the wishes of each individual Client and adapt to their varying cultural norms), meaning that open-mindedness is key.
Desire to learn – contrary to popular belief, you do not need to already have qualifications to be a care worker; here at Nursefinders we believe a continual training schedule is critical for your progression, which means that as long as you want to learn, you will be able to excel. We are committed to investing in the continual professional development of our staff, which is why all of our staff need to be passionate about ongoing learning.
Positivity – it would be foolish to say that a career in domiciliary care will always be easy; as with any job, on occasion there will be difficult days, difficult clients or difficult situations, but a good carer will be able to meet these with a positive attitude. It is important to maintain an upbeat nature that will encourage clients, and to remember that by doing so, you are making an incredible difference to someone’s life.
Good communication – being a good communicator is essential for all aspects of domiciliary care. As well as being able to easily strike up a conversation with all types of different clients, you will need to be able to truly listen to them and respond in an according manner (whether this be supportive, empowering, comforting, etc.). We also can’t overempathise the importance of communicating with colleagues, as it is important to coordinate with them regarding client details, preferences and tips.
Reliability – reliability is absolutely crucial for carers, for the simple reason that those receiving domiciliary care depend on their support in undertaking everyday tasks. Both clients and the people close to them will want to know that you are trustworthy, can be relied upon to turn up to deliver care on time/on schedule, and that you will maintain their confidentiality too.
Patience – the best care workers are able to exercise patience when needed. Age and/or disability can make undertaking certain tasks more difficult, more painful or just more time-consuming for clients, but it is imperative that carers enable them to maintain their independence and dignity by staying patient. Similarly, patience is needed to maintain good judgment if a client becomes agitated, confused or angry – and keeping a clear head also helps you to remember that you shouldn’t take anything bad that a client says or does to heart!
Flexibility – a career in care can be an amazingly flexible job, so in turn, carers need to be flexible themselves! A vast majority of the job depends on adapting to different situations and any emergencies that may arise – after all, things can change in a moment when you care for someone. Plus, it will be necessary to be open to variation in terms of clients and shifts.
Attentiveness – a carer must be conscientious and observant, paying close attention to detail and ensuring that no steps are missed or errors made in delivering quality care. In this way, you will be able identify and rectify problems without being explicitly asked, and be able to pick up on the moods of clients and respond accordingly.
Ultimately, though, these characteristics are just a guideline. The true secret to having a successful and enjoyable career in the care industry is, essentially, figuring out how to make the job work for you!