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So......You want to Wipe Bums for a Living??????
Member Name: nereesa85
Date: 02/11/05, updated on 04/11/05 (11721 review reads)
Advantages: Fantastic people, old people ARE cute, satisfaction, first rung on the ladder .
Disadvantages: Minimum wage, smelly stuff, death.
Hi I'm Nereesa, I'm 20 and I have been a care Assistant for a little over two years. I work in a 40 bed Nursing home. My clients are Nursing, Residential and sometimes Compassionate Care (terminal).
Before I go into more detail about my wonderful job I must emphasise to you that I am not a HCA. I am merely a Care Assistant. The only difference is that I work in a home environment rather than a Hospital. I would have made a product suggestion but the two jobs are basically the same so there's no point.
Whenever I tell people that I'm a care assistant I get one of three responses. "So you wipe old folk's bums all day!" or "So you abuse old folk for a living?" or you just get the look. You know the look? Its the one where the person is thinking about all those TV programmes that they've seen about poor old dears in hospitals or homes where the staff are... well you know what I'm raving about. Anyway for the last time IT'S NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL!!!!
I am about to go into more detail about my job. Subheading have been used to help you locate the sections that are more relevant to yourself.
What qualifications do they need me to have?
Well the most important thing would be a shiny CRB. A CRB is basically a background check. This is so that the company you intend to work for can be sure that you have no history of violence. Other things are also covered in your CRB. Things like official disciplinary action from previous jobs and GCSE results and other qualifications. So Don't lie on the application form because you'll be caught out!!! Most companies will pay for your CRB check and they will help you with the forms as they are complicated. They take ages to get back to you so the forms have to be filled in properly first time. If not you could be waiting ages before you are legally allowed to work.
The type of work involved means that a carer must be aged at least 18.
Other job requirements are having a good grasp of the English language. You must NOT be the sort of person who makes judgements about people by what you see. You can't hold any prejudices whatsoever.
Good team working skills are a huge advantage as is a caring attitude. Without this I'm sure you wouldn't enjoy your job at all!!!
There are no other qualifications necessary AT THE MOMENT. Rumour has it that at some point in the near future all Care Assistants have to have at least started their NVQ level 2 in Care. This hasn't come into play just yet but it may do within the next 5years.
Last thing to mention is that you have to be good at keeping your gob shut. You can not under any circumstances discuss your clients outside work or to people who do not need to know. How would you like it if the young lass who got you washed and dressed this morning went to the pub at the weekend and told everybody that you'd wet the bed??? NOT NICE. Believe it or not this actually happened and the young lass involved got her cards. This doesn't mean that you have to be like MI5 or something but be tactful. If something funny happens at work I do go home and tell my chap about it. BUT I don't mention names or anything that he may connect to, (family's names, where the client lived etc.)
I'm an ambitious person.... What if I get Bored?
Well being a Care Assistant will give you great experience in the world of care. This can open up opportunities in other Care based professions either on the same skill level or higher. If you are a high flyer you can become a Senior Care Assistant. With further study you can move onto a Nursing degree and become a Nurse. Nurses can then become a deputy manager or a Care Manager. Run your own Nursing Home if you want. It's entirely up to you. It all depends on where you want to go and how much study and hard graft you are prepared to do.
A lot of people use caring as a "first rung of the ladder" sort of thing. The pay isn't brilliant as a Care Assistant, its normally about minimum wage. As a result a lot of ambitious people use the experience to take them further.
Myself, I have just applied for my Nursing Degree. Once I get that I'll figure out what to do next but I think I'd like to work in a home environment. I like my job!!!
What bits of paper can I get?
Well that depends on the individual company. I have been offered everything going. I've done my.....
NVQ Level 1 in catering and hospitality,
NVQ level2 in Care,
Health and Safety,
Heath and Hygiene,
Care of Vulnerable Adults,
AND Pressure care
All that lot in 2years and I haven't paid a penny!!! The company I work for paid for the whole lot! I have been offered the opportunity to do my NVQ Level3 in care which would enable me to apply for a senior Care Assistant's job (20p wage rise and lots of extra work).
What's the job like?
I work in a Nursing Home. That means that we have clients who have Nursing needs although we do have Residential clients too. The other kinds of home environment would be Residential homes i.e. residential clients only, there are no Nursing staff required. Or an E.M.I. This is a very specific type of home environment designed for the Elderly Mentally Infirm.
A Nursing client is someone who needs more assistance and more specifically the assistance of a qualified Nurse. Perhaps they may be have diabetes which has to be monitored, they may need a lot of assistance to mobilise, things like that.
A residential client needs minimal assistance. they may be basically independent with the exception of cooking or remembering to take pills etc.
You will need to be trained in all aspects of your job during your first 2weeks of employment. This will include-
-Safe use of equipment (i.e. hoists, dishwasher, blah de blah)
-Safe work practices (how to assist clients)
-Basic infection control (wash your hands all the time)
-Basic fire, manual handling, rules and procedures etc
There is an awful lot to learn in these 2weeks and this short list is not comprehensive. All the little things like the differences between a right and left sided stroke will come with time. As a result you should be monitored until you feel competent in your job. If you are ever unsure of anything you MUST not be afraid to ask.
Well then. What do I do all day?
Let's take today for an example.
I got up at 6am to get ready, very early eh! However I finished at 2.30pm so now I get all afternoon to play out...or write a review!
Anyway I got to work, had a cuppa, caught up with my colleagues and then started work at 7.30. First thing is report. The Nurse in charge of the last shift always gives a report of each resident to keep us all up to date with what's going on with our clients.
After report the carers (me and my mates)start getting the clients ready for the day. The home is split up into different groups and the Senior carer assigns the staff an area to work on.
The carer is required to give each client MINIMAL assistance. This doesn't mean that we leave the clients to their own devices. We are basically encouraging each individual to be as independent as possible. We assist clients to wash and dress, comb hair, rinse dentures.... you know what I mean. It's all the stuff you do for yourself on a morning. (All us young un's should throw a set of dentures and a hearing aid into the procedure!!!)
When a client is ready for breakfast I take them down to the dining room or fetch it up to their room. This decision is up to the client normally, unless in extreme circumstances. Take for instance the runs. (Spreads like wildfire...BELIEVE)
If the client needs assistance to eat their cornflakes I'll do this. If they don't then I move onto the next client.
After all the clients have been fed and watered I get to do as I please (within reason) until toileting time. This time is usually spent playing games with the residents, doing their nails and other odd jobs for them or just socialising with "Client X,Y and Z" in the smoke room so I can have a fag and a giggle about his/her "antics of youthdom!"
Before Lunch each client is given the opportunity to use the loo. Some may require assistance which is where I come in. The Assistance given depends on the client and yes some bum wiping may be involved.
LUNCH TIME!!!! All clients are fed and watered again. Medications are administered by the Nurse...again and after that all clients are sat where they want to be sat and ready for the afternoon. Some clients like to have a nap or sit quietly in their rooms until tea time or whenever they want really. The rest of the clients pick a nice spot in front of one of the tellies or next to the radio.
The time between Lunch and tea is again spent doing odd jobs or helping out in the kitchen. At 2pm the Evening staff have report and at around 2:30 the grafting begins again.
The evening staff take over and complete any jobs that the morning staff haven't finished. Any clients wishing to get up out of bed for tea are assisted to do so. The remainder of the time up until 3:30 is spent trying to look busy!!!
At about 3:30 allot of the clients start needing to "spend a penny before tea" (toilet call). When this bit's over with the clients are settled down in the dining room for tea. Much the same as Lunch and breakfast, assistance is given where necessary.
After tea the staff begin assisting clients to bed. It may sound stupid to you but when you're in your 80's and it gets to tea time you sometimes need your bed! Clients are assisted to get ready for bed. (much the same as getting up...except backwards)
Other clients who choose to park their bums in one of the lounges are made settled and reasonably happy before staff have their tea.
After the staff have had their breaks the laundry gets caught up on, suppers are prepared and more odd jobs are done.
At supper time (7:30), all clients are offered a choice of drink and snack which care staff prepare and serve. All clients in the building are checked on. This checking involves changing continence pads, turning over clients to prevent pressure sores.... Generally just maintaining the client's overall comfort and safety.
After supper some other clients usually want to go to bed. Completing this normally takes us up to the end of the shift at 9pm.
I have never worked a night shift so I cant really make detailed comments. What I do know is that the remaining clients are assisted to bed. Two hourly checks on all clients and a bit of cleaning and laundry are done. At 6am clients who wish to do so are helped to get up.
The job includes other things such as filling in the care sheets. (what you have helped each client to do), Turn charts and Fluid or diet charts (records).
Stop jabbering lass and sum up will ya!
Overall then I love my job. The people I work with are happy in their job and there is a lovely atmosphere. Everybody is so supportive and helpful. There are brilliant job prospects if you are willing to go the extra mile. My clients are literally amazing people. They have so much to say about life and can be soooo cute sometimes! We're not supposed to "get attached" to our clients but we do. I think this is a part of what gives me such great job satisfaction.
I hope you didn't fall asleep reading this lot because I've really gone on a bit...never mind eh! Another insight into the wonderful world of me!
Summary: Great job, rilliant job satisfaction, ever changing and never boring!!!
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