Care Assistant

Jessica shares the story of her journey from apprentice to senior care assistant and trainer. She loves making a positive impact on her patients and says it’s wonderful to hear about the amazing, exciting things they have done over their lives.

Name: Jessica Hodgkiss

Company: Brighterkind

Industry: Social Care

What is your job? Senior care assistant & trainer

How long have you been doing this job? 5 years in total, 14 months as a senior care assistant

Education

NVQ level 2 in hospitality & catering

NVQ level 2 in business administration

NVQ level 2 & 3 in health & social care

1. What was your very first job?

I left school in 2012 and a week later I started my training at Broadway Halls Care Home. This was to start my apprenticeship.

2. What did you want to do when you were at school?

Whilst at school I had always wanted to be a manager of some kind and I also had an interest in physiotherapy but I never liked the idea of going to college or university.

3. How did you find out about the industry?

I applied for several apprenticeships as I liked the idea of learning hands on and not sitting in a classroom. I had studied Health & Social Care at school so when I was fortunate enough to be accepted at Broadway Halls this was when my interest in care grew.

4. How did you get there?

I applied to my apprenticeship through a website which was advertised online.  I followed a one-year apprenticeship where I worked through each department such as the kitchen, reception, housekeeping and care.

This gave me an insight to the roles and responsibilities to each job role.  At the end of the first year I got to choose a department which I enjoyed most and would then do for the upcoming year, I chose care as I felt this suited me and I felt as if I could progress in this department.

I then continued to do my level 3 with Qube Learning and medication training in house and soon became a senior carer. Following this I got offered to go on a Train the Trainer course, where I progressed to become a home trainer.

5. What is a typical day like?

A typical day as a senior may include delegating staff members and assigning them to certain jobs, assisting with personal care, administering medication to the residents, dealing with doctors and other professions.  Also, dealing with requests from relatives. It is the senior’s role to complete relevant documentation and update care plans where required.

6. What’s the best thing about your job?

My job is very rewarding and knowing that we make positive impacts on our residents’ lives makes me happy. This job has also allowed me to meet some very inspirational people. I don’t just look after old people, they are people who have done amazing, exciting things in their lives and if you take the time to listen you can learn a lot.

7. What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The most challenging part of my job is when a resident’s health deteriorates, this can be quite upsetting. We do become one big family.

8. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?

It may help doing your work experience in a health and social care setting as this will benefit you in your interview, as it shows your interest in this area and you have some experience in a care setting.

To work in this environment it is important to have personal qualities such as being patient, caring and understanding as you may face difficult situations throughout the job role, and some residents can become distressed and confused which is where they need you to be a supportive person to help them. Working in care is a very rewarding job and you always have opportunities to improve and expand in your career.

9. What things do you wish you’d known before starting your career?

How interesting and worthwhile it can be. You can doubt your choices at such a young age but I have thrived within this industry. It’s not just a job it has turned out to be a career where I can progress and who knows where I will be in the future!

10. Where would you like to be in 5 years?

In five years’ time, I would love to be a home manager or I may even retrain and become a physiotherapist. I believe it’s a good idea to plan your future, with motivation and the willingness to learn I do believe you can accomplish anything!