Different types of Care Manager Jobs in the UK
We look at the different career paths available to you in care management. You don't have to be a qualified nurse to become a care manager, but you will need care manager's award. Words by Sarah Gill
20th June 2011
Care managers work in every sector of the healthcare industry in a variety of different settings leading teams of nurses, care assistants, allied health professionals and support workers to provide the best possible care. In this article we are going to look at care managers working in a residential and nursing home environment.
There are several different types of care home in the UK, each catering for people with varying needs and levels of independence so there are plenty of care manager jobs available in all specialisms. Care managers are qualified individuals who may or may not also be qualified nurses or social workers, but who have achieved a qualification in care management. Until recently the industry standard award was the RMA Registered Manager’s Award but this has now been replaced by the NVQ Level 4 in Leadership and Management for Care Services. This qualification is the industry standard for care managers, and anyone wishing to become a care manager will need to achieve this.
A care manager is responsible for every aspect of running the home from ensuring care standards are maintained to recruiting for staff members when required. In some cases the care manager may also be involved in one to one care and clinically leading the team of care home nurses, but that very much depends on the services provided by the care home and whether or not you are also a qualified nurse as well as a care manager.
Care Manager Jobs in Learning Disability Homes
Working as a care manager in a home that caters for people with learning disabilities is very different from working in a care home for the elderly for example. You will be responsible for managing a programme of activity that encourages independent living and wellbeing. Many of the residents will be assigned a designated support worker that will assist them with daily tasks in accordance with their level of independence, but may include cooking, washing and dressing as well as supporting them in their daily activity. This could be anything from going out for walks, shopping or volunteering with a local activity group - anything that helps to enhance the wellbeing of the individual and gives them a chance to achieve things for themselves.
As a care manager you will be responsible for ensuring each support worker is working within their capabilities and following care guidelines as closely as possible. You will be required to liaise with many different people, both healthcare professionals and relatives regarding the care of the individual as well as managing the professional development of all the staff employed in the home. This will include arranging one off training courses and offering support for NVQ students and work based learning.
Person-centered care is an essential approach for people with learning disabilities, and by educating all members of staff in this approach you can improve the standard of care throughout the home.
Care Manager Jobs in Elderly and Dementia Care Homes
This group of care homes is sometimes referred to as EMI, which stands for elderly and the mental infirm. EMI homes provide residential, nursing and specialist dementia care according to the needs of the individual. As the care manager you will be responsible for the care pathway for each individual and ensuring this is implemented to the highest standards by all members of the care staff. It’s likely that an EMI home will employ RMN nurses as well as RGN nurses, both of whom will have experience in caring for people with dementia and the elderly.
EMI homes have a responsibility to promote quality of life as much as any other care facility but elderly patients with dementia can benefit from activity as much as treatment to improve their quality of life. Memory clinics have become a very popular way of stimulating long term memories for dementia patients, and this can promote a feeling of wellbeing and control. As care manager you will have overall responsibility for the schedule of activities and the care plans for each individual, as well as the practical aspects of running the home such as recruitment, maintenance and purchasing.
Care Manager Jobs in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes can provide a range of care solutions for individuals wanting to maintain their independence and quality of life in a supported environment. This can be on a permanent or short term arrangement as nursing homes can also offer respite care for individuals who would normally be cared for in the community by relatives or friends.
A care manager’s role will always include the logistical tasks that keep the home running, but in some cases, especially in a nursing home, the care manager may also be the clinical lead nurse responsible for directly managing the team of care home nurses in the delivery of nursing care. This opportunity may suit an RGN, RMN or RNLD nurse with leadership experience who wants to become a care manager while still maintaining their expertise in providing care first hand. It’s common for nursing recruiters to expect a qualification in leadership prior to appointing a candidate, and this can be the RMA award or the newly created NVQ4.
What recruiters expect to see on your care manager’s CV
Any recruiter looking over your CV won’t have more than about 30 seconds to decide if you are experienced, qualified and suitable for the position so you have to make sure all your details are laid out in a clear, simple way. You should always have your name at the very top of the CV, but underneath you can put a sentence describing what you do. For example:
Registered Care Manager with RMA award and NMC Registered RMN Nurse
This immediately tells the recruiter who you are professionally, and that if they continue to read your CV they will get all the evidence of your achievements as a care manager and mental health nurse. You should adjust this sentence on every CV you send off to match the requirements of the job you are applying for. That doesn’t mean you should falsify information on your CV, just draw the recruiter’s eye to two key facts that make you ideal for the position.
The next key area, after your personal details and contact phone numbers you should detail your employment history with your most recent job first. Give a description of your responsibilities, duties and how long you have worked in each job. After this section give details of your professional development qualifications and industry registrations such as NMC or CQC.
Don’t be afraid to use a small amount of text formatting to make headings stand out, such as bold or a slightly larger font size, but make sure that any layout changes make it clearer and quicker to read and do not have the opposite effect.