Care Assistant job description

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Care assistants play a key role in supporting qualified professionals in hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries and other health-care environments. Depending on the individual role and setting, a care assistant may assist therapists or specialists by setting up equipment and providing hands-on support or by working directly with patients in carrying out routine personal care duties
A standard 40-hour week is normally worked. For those working in GP surgeries, this usually means working Monday to Saturday on a rota basis. In other settings, it may be necessary to work shifts, which may include nights and weekends. Many part-time opportunities are also available.
Although care assistants may not need any specific qualifications, it is important that they pass a basic medical test and a Criminal Records Bureau check. While employed in the health-care sector, it is possible to work towards a NVQ in health or health and social care. Those who have passed Level 3 can begin formal training in nursing. Average salaries are around £12,000 to 15,000 a year, or £18,000 in the London area.

Description

Providing quality social and health care to their clients is the direct responsibility of a Care Assistant. These Assistants may work in hospitals, hospices, senior homes or family homes. They take care of the daily needs or their clients, ensuring they remain healthy and active. These needs may include hygiene, medication, nutrition, exercise and entertainment.

A Care Assistant usually performs many of the following tasks:

• Performing household duties
• Organizing daily recreational activities
• Managing bills and letters
•  Assisting people in moving about
•  Liaising with other professionals
• Overseeing the personal comfort of their clients
• Providing palliative care
•  Keeping family members informed

Skills

• Having stamina
• Being physically, mentally and emotionally strong
• Being enthusiastic and amicable
• Having practical thinking
• Planning and organization
• Communication and listening
•  Using resources effectively
• Being approachable
• Having compassion
• Having extensive Health and Care knowledge
• Being flexible
• Being professional and respectful
•  Stress management
• People management

Education

Care Assistants have a variety of educational qualifications. They also derive from many job sectors, but primarily that of Health Care or Medicine. They may include former nurses, physicians, and physical therapists. Accepted certification in this field may start with a simple certificate or diploma. Sometimes a High School diploma is accepted but some employers, especially those in residential senior care, may require higher qualifications.
In some cases,  on the job training is required, and it may be provided by other experienced Care Assistants or Managers. Assistants perform a number of tasks and there are institutions which may provide training in cooking, cleaning, and performing other household tasks. Interested persons may also pursue a certification from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC).

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