At Active Care Group, we recognise that entering a career in care can be a little overwhelming, especially with the endless amounts of career pathways and sectors available in this field. Everyone’s journey is different, and you may find yourself asking questions such as, am I better suited to a role in social care or support work? Residential care or a rehab facility? Or better yet, what does any of this even mean? Luckily, we have accumulated a series of blogs to outline the definition and differences between each sector of care to supply you with all the information you need to choose the right path for you. And good news! As long as you are a friendly, compassionate person looking for a rewarding role, any career pathway you choose in the realm of care will contribute to making a real difference in people’s lives one way or another.
In this blog, we will talk all about support workers. A support worker can have various different titles, such as a care assistant or a carer, but these job roles are all very similar and based around supporting someone to live a better quality of life. This is a pivotal role in providing excellent care for clients such as personal care, emotional support, and assisting with daily hobbies and interests. A support worker delivers the most hands-on care with their patients, meaning you will be able to socialise and create meaningful bonds with your patients and the rest of the dedicated team on a day-to-day basis.
What’s the difference?
Support workers can work in a variety of settings such as residential homes, clinical practises, and communal settings. Depending on which setting you work in, the job can differ slightly in regard to the cohort of patients you will care for, and the day-to-day responsibilities you will have. No matter where you choose to work, a support worker will always be a key role at the very heart of healthcare.
In a residential home, you will be expected to support clients with daily activities, support their care plans to establish routine, and ensure the client feels safe and stable within their day-to-day care. A support worker in a hospital or other clinical setting’s duties may also include helping patients move around, monitoring and performing basic health checks, blood samples, lab samples and assisting with personal care.
Support workers in a clinical/communal setting
With a wide range of clinical and communal settings, there are many different cohorts of patients that support workers will care for. This can vary from one of:
Mental health – Mental health support workers provide physical and emotional support to patients to aid the treatment and recovery of patients.
Children’s services – You will support children’s outpatient clinics which specialise in providing paediatric clinics and walk-in urgent care for children, as well as assisting nurses at school-based clinics.
Community – Community support workers assist GPs and nursing teams to deliver and manage care in a patient’s home or community-based healthcare setting.
Midwifery – Working on the maternity ward and providing emotional and personal care to new parents and their babies.
Support workers in a residential setting
Residential homes are used by people who find everyday activities challenging, and require round-the-clock care needs. These vary from:
Rehabilitation – Supporting those with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health, and addiction with a person-centred approach to learn new skills, gain independence, and improve quality of life.
Elderly – To provide round-the-clock personal care, physical support, and companionship to those unable to care for themselves.
Neurological – Supporting and rehabilitating those dealing with neurological disorders such as epilepsy and brain injuries to regain control of their lives and aid recovery.
Children – Providing a nurturing, caring and educational environment for children dealing with learning, mental or physical disabilities.
The vast amount of pathways and settings for a support worker means that the opportunity to progress is endless, and you can choose to specialise in a specific setting that interests you the most.
What qualifications do I need?
One of the great things about being a support worker is the ability to begin this career without requiring any specific qualifications. With good literacy and numeracy skills, as well as being a friendly, caring individual, becoming a support worker is the first big step into entering the world of healthcare. Employers often provide expert training and inductions for administrating medicine, first aid, and other health and safety training. Support workers also benefit from on-the-job experience due to shadowing nurses and other health experts daily.
We hope that this blog has given you an insight into all the different aspects of a support worker and highlighted just how important they really are. If you are interested in becoming a support worker see our vacancies here, or if you would like to read more about healthcare recruitment, visit our news page here.