How to Become a Carer
Caring is quite simply one of the most rewarding careers that a person can participate in, but it doesn’t come without it’s fair share of hard work. First and foremost, caring is a role that holds a huge amount of personal responsibility. You act on behalf of someone to make sure they can perform everyday tasks and in some instances you must meet their most basic needs.
You're the person they might need to make a phone call, negotiate a payment scheme, or even to accompany them to an important appointment that they couldn't make by themselves. You're also the person who supports them to take the medication they're prescribed; who helps them use the toilet, and take a bath. You're there for everything they need, and your job is to enable their independence; not do everything for them. Enable their ability to do the things they can do and help with the things they can't.
No two people have exactly the same needs, but caring is a job that helps the people who need assistance by delivering what they need, when they need it.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU NEED TO BECOME A CARER?
Currently there aren't many care settings where it is a legal requirement to have a qualification in caring. However, that is likely to change, and you'll have a better chance of employment with a Health and Social Care employer if you have a recognised qualification in the area.
The Distance Learning Centre offers two courses that are suitable for anyone, even if you haven't worked in the industry before:
- Care - Level 2 Diploma, which introduces you to the concepts behind caring and trains you in the basic skills
- Adult Care - Level 3 Diploma, which helps you understand the concepts at a deeper level, and gives you a thorough grounding in the skills you need to be a great care worker
Level 2 introduces you to the ideas, and Level 3 builds on your experience and knowledge and underpins the concepts learned in Level 2.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN ON A HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE COURSE?
Taking an accredited course in Health and Social Care will provide you with basic training for the essential parts of the job, including infection control, waste management, moving and handling people, health and safety, and personal care.
You'll have greater confidence doing the job, because you'll understand the role better, and your understanding won't just be linked to the people you have experience of, but to the ideas and concepts behind why carers work the way they do.
For example, you'll learn what the exact role of the care worker is, why your assistance is more limited sometimes, and the values that are behind this type of working.
You'll be introduced to concepts around communication; practical and theoretical ideas around the way you and your people communicate with each other. If you can overcome barriers in communication, you'll improve the lives of people who find it challenging, so these courses aim to furnish you with better communication skills, including the all-essential listening.
You'll also be introduced to the ideas behind person-centred care, and why diversity isn't just important, but is crucial to understanding people. Vulnerable people have to be protected from abuse and exploitation, but that doesn't mean they can't take risks under a carer’s supervision. Levels 2 and 3 in Health and Social Care will introduce you to risk assessment, and will teach you how to identify and mitigate risks, as well as handle situations that are possibly abusive.
These are wide-ranging courses for a very broad role, and ultimately they'll make you more informed, better trained, and a successful care worker.
For more courses in Health and Social Care, please visit our Health & Social Care Courses Pages.