Good home care professionals are exceptionally hard to find. They are the home care sector’s most valuable and scarce resource. They’re needed in NHS hospitals, community settings, and private homes.
A home care professional’s job is incredibly physically and emotionally demanding and complex; it often requires long hours and a deep commitment. It can be difficult to find the right person for this extraordinary job.
Here are 11 qualities that we have noticed are common amongst the extraordinary care professionals selflessly providing care to vulnerable people across the UK every day of the year.
A people person
While care work can be challenging, it is also one of the most rewarding jobs available. Good care professionals are passionate about working with people, supporting their independence, health, and dignity. Through their work, care professionals develop strong relationships with the vulnerable people who rely on them. Strong bonds of trust and respect can often develop between the care professional and the person receiving care, their families and loved ones. The care role is at the heart of a family, and it takes place in one of our most sacred sanctuaries, home. Good care professionals often understand the responsibility and privilege to perform their work in one of the most trusted roles in society.
Compassion is an important quality. A compassionate care professional looks forward to providing care and comfort to the people who rely on them. When delivering care, they focus on providing relief and support to the person, rather than worrying about themselves. They are often described as selfless.
It’s also important for care professionals to know how to empathise. Care professionals should know that someone with a mental illness or impairment can contribute to society and with appropriate support can do things for themselves.
They should never make assumptions about what people with disabilities can and cannot do. Care professionals are curious and discover the most effective and safe ways to promote independence and purpose. They feel rewarded by seeing their client live as independently as possible.
Care professionals often have to adapt to different situations and competing pressures, so they are decisive and focussed.
Therefore, by acting with unwavering kindness in difficult situations, care professionals are often described as being passionate about what they do and enjoy providing the best possible care.
There are many reasons why care professionals need to be dedicated. Dedication allows for better care for people who need assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing or hygiene. It’s important to devote time to do more straightforward things like laundry and grocery shopping.
It takes patience when working with a person with behaviour that challenges. Family members are often involved with care provision to a lesser or greater extent, and they too may struggle, sometimes, with some aspects of daily life.
Through continuity of care and building professional relationships, dedication also allows for creativity in providing care, which is often necessary to give people more comfort, independence, or purpose.
Patience is a major quality of a good care professional. It’s important for care professionals to be patient with their clients, family members and themselves.
Patience is one of the most important qualities a care professional can have because it has long-lasting effects on the client. When patience is lacking, it can cause the client to feel frustrated and hopeless about getting better. Additionally, lack of patience can lead to critical errors that can impact on a client’s health or even death.
A care professional needs to be patient to provide comfort and care for their clients. This means showing empathy toward them and staying calm in tense and difficult situations by focusing on what they need by understanding what is driving the behaviour(s).
One way care professionals show patience is by taking time outside of work to rest, so they don’t lose their perspective on what they’re doing and why it matters.
Another way care professionals show patience is by not getting frustrated when their efforts aren’t immediately rewarded. Instead, they keep trying appropriate and different ways until there is a breakthrough.
Another way care professionals show patience is by finding new ways to provide comfort and care for their clients that may not be as obvious as other options available to them, especially when nothing seems to be working at first glance. Their curiosity takes them on a journey to explore different options and eventually good care professionals find the approach that works best for their client while remaining compliant and respectful of all aspects of a care plan.
Good care professionals are reliable and can work around their client’s appointments. They are flexible and prepared to make sure they visit their clients at the agreed time, even if they’re unable to stay long periods of time.
Outstanding care professionals always commit to their rota, which is given to them by their employer if they work for an agency, so their clients can depend on them to arrive as planned, which is extremely important to maintain routine, independence, health, wellbeing and dignity.
Multitasking and prioritising
In some scenarios, a care professional needs to be able to think on their feet and prioritise tasks so they can take care of all the clients they’re responsible for in a safe and effective way.
Care professionals often say when they arrive at a client’s home, they are ready to expect to be greeted by almost anything as soon as they enter the home.
This is important because you’ll often have multiple clients to visit in different locations in one day, and it’s not an easy task to manage each visit effectively.
Good care professionals also need to know when to delegate certain tasks in order to free up time later in the day or week or escalate concerns to the office team so they can take appropriate action and provide you with effective support.
Good care professionals understand that clients need to know and trust them. To build that trust, they must be honest, professional, and clear. They also need to develop a positive relationship with the client’s family members as well.
A good care professional will be able to communicate not only with their clients, but also with their family members in a way that provides confidence in their care and support. Good care professionals are not afraid of confrontation and will speak up when necessary.
Work well under pressure
Good care professionals don’t let their emotions get the best of them. They’re able to maintain composure while providing care for their clients during difficult times or tough situations, like when a loved one has passed away, or taking action in an emergency situation.
Good care professionals are motivated by the relationships they create and driven by the difference they make to people’s lives. They always strive for success within the field of home care, whether that’s personal development and training, or encouraging their clients to find confidence and achieve independence.
Qualified and respectful
A good care professional will respect their clients and provide them with the care they need.
Good care agencies and providers will provide on the job training and the opportunity for career progression. This will enable you to gain certified qualifications which will help support both your personal development and develop the quality of care you can provide.
Experience can be gained working with people with differing levels and types of need. For instance, working with people who are extremely ill and have experienced prolonged stays in hospitals will provide you with extensive knowledge about complex care and understanding what it requires, such as working alongside community healthcare teams.
If you are passionate about providing specific types of care, it is possible to choose training courses that focus on developing your skillset to help you provide particular care services.
Punctual and reliable
Good care professionals arrive at their home visits on time, they are productive throughout their shift, and don’t have any time to waste. This can be difficult when the job is demanding and sometimes requires late finishes or early starts.
It’s also important for care professionals to show up on time for meetings with their supervisor, or their client’s families and loved ones.
It is not difficult to imagine the huge impact of having your trusted care professional arrive on time on every visit to help you live well and enjoy your day. Whether that’s help getting out of bed, getting dressed, taking medication, going shopping or supporting to go out to meet friends, being in time can make all the difference.