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  • 17 November 2020
  • 12 min read

The Different Roles In Care Explained

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  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
  • 0
  • 8546
Play video: "Have a look at the roles, have a look at the job descriptions of where you want to apply for, have a look at the place, and make a decision on that."

Former Care Assistant, Claire Carmichael, delves back into the world of Social Care and gives an overview of the different care roles available, with insights and advice for starting a career in Care.

Topics covered in this article

0.07 Introduction

0.18 Carer Or Care Assistant

2.28 Senior Care Assistant

4.28 Live-In Carer

5.50 Support Worker

8.31 Make Sure You Look At The Job Description

9.02 Volunteering Can Give You Insights And Experience

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0.07 Introduction

Hi everyone and welcome back to the vlog.

My name is Claire Carmichael.

I'm a newly qualified General Practice Nurse, but today I'm talking to you all about the different roles in the care or social work sector.

0.18 Carer Or Care Assistant

The first one is Carer or Care Assistant.

These are similar titles and a similar job.

There's no real difference between them.

Sometimes you'll see Care Assistant, sometimes you'll see Carer, but they're pretty much the same thing.

This is actually where I started, so I started off going into healthcare profession as a Nurse, as a Carer.

I was a Carer in an elderly care home.

The first one I worked in was just a residential home.

We didn't have Nurses, so we would have to call the district nurses out to the care home with a Doctor out to the care home if we needed them.

There's different types of Carers that you can get, so you can work in a residential home like I did.

I also worked in a nursing home where you did have your own Nurses that did all things like catheters and bloods and giving medications, and all those sorts of things, anything nurse-related they did.

There's also care homes that are specific to things like learning disabilities or mental health, rehabilitation.

You've got things like dementia.

Actually a nursing home I worked at had different specialties, so we'd be Nursing, but they'd also have a floor... There was a first floor, second floor, third floor, and up the top floor was specialised for dementia patients.

Anyone with dementia would go up there and they would live up there and they'd have their own set of specialist Nurses with specialist training and everything.

But in that role, actually in all of my roles in Care Assistant, it would always involve going around helping with personal care, helping at meal times, doing some cleaning as well, cleaning the bedrooms.

Sometimes you'll have what they call housekeeping that do that or a cleaner that comes in and just all that.

But actually, in my roles that I did, we did all of that.

We would go around, get people ready.

We would make the bed, we'd empty the bins, have a quick whip around, and that was it.

In the very first care home I worked and we would hoover and everything.

It was very hands-on.

You did everything in that home.

But homes vary between place to place and from job description to dock description, so you will never get the same sort of role in every single place.

It does vary quite a bit, so it's really important that if you're looking for this sort of role to look at the job description, what's going to be expected of you.

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2.28 Senior Care Assistant

The next role you could have is a Senior Care Assistant.

I've actually been very, very fortunate to have this role, although it wasn't really called a Senior Care Assistant.

It was called a team leader.

And other times you might get the term Senior Care Assistant and you are that person that runs the shift.

You're doing the delegating; you will organize your day; you'll look at what staff you've got and where to put staff.

"Okay, you're going to be in charge of these patients. You're going to be in charge of these patients. I'll be doing this."

As a Senior Care Assistant and... well actually has a Care Assistant as well, I was trained to do medications, so I was trained how to read a prescription chart. Back then, it was the old Boots MAR's charts: medication administration record.

I've remembered!

It's been years, but I remembered!

Sorry, guys. That was a yay!

Yeah, the MAR chart is what we called it and it had your list of medications and you'd sign and then you'd sign at the right time, right day, right patient, all of that jazz.

Nine times out of 10, we had blister packs, so we would just pop out the medications.

We'd make sure that the list corresponds to what we had on the MAR chart.

We'd pop it out and that was it for each patient.

But there were other times where you would have your drugs trolley and you would have all of the medications in there for your patient, or they would be in the patient's room, locked in a cabinet.

But yes, as a Senior Care Assistant, I would delegate to my team and sort out my day.

I was also in charge of sorting out activities and I was in charge of driving the seven-seater.

I'd take people out and we'd have day trips, and it was really, really nice, and that sort of thing.

I would also be in charge of doing the banking, so I would cash up the money for residents; I would make sure the safe was all correct and doing the audits on the safe, and the monies, and things that was kept in the safe like personal belongings that were expensive.

Little things like that I would be in charge of doing.

It was a really good role.

I felt like it was a lot of responsibility, but actually I really enjoyed doing that type of role.

4.28 Live-In Carer

Also, you can have a Live-In Carer.

This is a Carer that lives in.

For example, I have done this before.

I didn't live in, but I would stay overnight.

That's what you do.

You just stay overnight, but some people do have you live in permanently as well.

For example, when I was a team leader, I would go in and I would stay overnight and that's just because they need someone to sleep overnight to make sure that there's someone there 24/7.

But you weren't expected to stay awake, so they didn't have night staff.

You were just asleep and you were there and you would just, if something happened in the night, whatever, you would get up and you would sort it out.

But the other type of Live-In Carers are people... Sometimes if people or residents or patients or service users, whatever you want to call them, if they're at home in their own house, sometimes they have a live-in carer with them, so they need someone 24/7.

So they can help them during the day and then they'll go to sleep in the house.

They've normally got a designated bedroom, sometimes they have a little annex off the house, and they just help that way.

You'll get some time off as well.

You get your days off and things like that, but there are different types of Live-In Carers, like I said.

There could be a residential home where you stay overnight and you man it that way: someone's personal home and their space, you're going to live with them.

There's all sorts of different types, but they're just the two that I know of.

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5.50 Support Worker

The next role is Support Worker.

As a Support Worker, this is a little bit like a Carer.

It depends on the place of work and what they've titled you as, whether it's a Carer, a Support Worker, a Care Assistant, but they're pretty similar in a way.

Support Workers, when I think about Support Workers, this is someone that goes out and supports someone to live a quality of life.

For example, my friend used to be a Support Worker and she would work with people with learning disabilities and she would do things like attend appointments with them.

They would go to the pub.

They would go for meals.

They would just lead this lovely quality of life together.

It was really, really nice.

That's what I think when I think of a Support Worker.

I think of someone that's supporting someone to lead a good quality of life in whatever way is possible, and sometimes it might involve personal care.

You might be working and you might have to go to their house really, really early and help them get washed and dressed, then you go home for the day together, or with activities, or things like that.

But generally, I think a support worker is just someone that is... It's not that level of care where you're having to do everything for them.

You're just supporting them to live a better life, if that makes sense.

Another area a Support Worker might work is somewhere like mental health rehabilitation, somewhere like that where someone has maybe been admitted or sectioned for their own safety; they've got that poor mental health state at that time, but actually now, they're ready to come out or go back home and live at home.

You will be going into this rehabilitation place where it's slowly easing them back into the community and make sure that they're safe and make sure that they're okay with doing that, if that makes sense.

I haven't worked in this sort of place, but this is just I'm going off what I've heard and what I've read, so if you find anything different, please tell me and comment below.

But yes, it's supporting that person, again, just to live a good quality of life, help them along and help them to get back into the normal routine for them and what they're comfortable with.

So you would be that person to support that, to put things in place to enable them to meet their goals.

It's all about goal planning or care planning, normally, with support workers as well.

You're saying to someone, "Okay, what is your goal for today? Let's help you achieve that."

I think that's the best way I can try and explain a support worker's role and I hope I've got it right, so fingers crossed, guys, I'm not going off on a waffle here.

It's really interesting to hear other people's experiences and what they do out there is amazing.

8.31 Make Sure You Look At The Job Description

I you are undecided what to do, if you want to become a Carer, Support Worker, Team Leader, whatever, and you don't know where to start, again, have a look at the roles, have a look at the job descriptions of where you want to apply for. Have a look at the place, and make a decision on that: what sort of role and job description are you going to be happy with doing and you're going to love doing.

Because at the end of the day, we work most of our lives, we have to be 100% happy in the role that we do because it's going to become your family and your life.

So yeah, do what makes you happy.

9.02 Volunteering Can Give You Insights And Experience

But another way of doing it as well, again, I've said this before in previous videos, but just get some volunteering experience.

Go in for a day; see if you can have a look around and see what they do in that place.

Have a look at a care home; have a look at learning disabilities; have a look at mental health rehabilitation.

They've got all these different areas because there's so much variety out there.

It's a minefield.

It really, really is.

And it can be really hard to actually narrow it down to what you're going to enjoy and what you're going to love.

When you don't know, because you've never worked in it, it can be really hard.

Just ringing up, having a look around.

I don't know what it's going to be like again during COVID and stuff, but I think just trying to get some experience in different places and find your feet, and see where you're happy, and what you love, and what you're passionate about will absolutely make a massive difference.

But I hope that's given you some insight into the different roles in the social care and care sector and it's given you a bit more information, a bit of food for thought to see what sort of roles are out there that you can go into and you can do.

And yeah, let me know what you decide.

Let me know if you've experienced any of these, and let me know if I've inspired you to go and do it.

But that's it from me for now.

As always, I shall see you next time, and thank you so much for tuning in.


Let me know in the comments your thoughts on the different care roles or starting your career in social care - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

I am a qualified Adult Nurse, working as a General Practice Nurse. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing. Advice

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  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

I am a qualified Adult Nurse, working as a General Practice Nurse. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
  • 0
  • 8546

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