A support worker is someone who supports vulnerable people to live happily and independently. Thus, it is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers anyone could choose! Every person has unique needs, so a support worker has to wear different hats. Not only is he a professional, but also an educator, coach, companion, and a community supporter. This support means that people have choices and controls in their lives. This makes the job role unique too!
From working with the disabled and autistic people to supporting the elderly with their daily activities, the role varies depending on the individual needs. As the support gets to know the individuals they are working it; some people describe it as a lifestyle rather than a job.
Besides, support work is not always about the qualifications or previous experience. There are a plethora of opportunities to train on the job and learn new skills. Also, care and support workers work during nights, weekends, day time shifts, as well as part-time.
Thus, if you decide to seek out a change in career, or want to kick start a decent career path, support worker might be the way to go. But, first, you need to know what are the different job roles of a support worker and find out the one that suits you. So, let’s get started!
Support Worker In Learning Disability
If you opt to work with people having learning disabilities or mental illness, you may work with just one person or a group of individuals living together in a setting. Being a support worker, you promote well-being and independence.
Some people consider volunteer work during the day, while others live independently by cooking, shopping, or cleaning for themselves.
Support Workers In Mental Health
Mental health is a diverse area of support care you work in. Here, you need to work with people suffering from drug addiction, dementia, depression, etc. Your work includes arranging for a peer support group, working with a psychiatrist, or managing a group of individuals who are mentally ill.
Support Worker In The Community
As a community support worker, you visit people who need assistance in their homes. These people may be those who are recently discharged from a hospital, elderly, have a mobility impairment, etc. The tasks involve personal care, bathing, dressing, cooking, etc.
Thus, you can work in different environments. You may need to visit the individuals’ home, or travel between the numerous care settings weekly. Besides, some carers and support workers acquire permanent positions in hospitals, schools, supported housing development, mental health clinics, etc.
The Day-To-Day Duties Of A Support Worker
Regardless of the setting you work in, your prime duty is to improve the lives of the people. Here are some of the common duties of a support worker-
- Conducting the interviews with the individuals and their families.
- Arranging recreational activities with the clients.
- Monitoring medical conditions.
- Maintaining medical records.
- Providing support to the families of those under your care.
- Participating in training or classes to further your knowledge, etc.
The Skills You Need As A Support Worker
Though support work is something you can do without any formal education, you can hone your skills by participating in training sessions and diploma courses. For example, a diploma for care workers can help you progress your career if you are already a Registered Care Manager or a Deputy Care Manager. If you are looking to take your first step, you can choose a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
Besides, there are some prerequisite qualities of a support worker, such as-
- Willingness to help the vulnerable
- Positive attitude
Moreover, you need to be a ‘people person.’ Whether you work with young, disabled children or the elderly, you’ll need to love interacting with different people. Also, you must have good communication skills.
Health and support care workers are present in all areas of healthcare. The range of tasks involved will vary greatly depending upon which setting you opt to work in. Have a careful at the job description of the role and apply for the one that suits you.