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Care assistant in care home etc

Discussion in 'Personal' started by AntonBruckner, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Has anyone got any experience of working as a care assistant in a care home, or similar? Redundances loom on the horizon and I wonder whether I might be one of the ones to go, if so I doubt very much I'd get another full-time permanent teaching post, so I was looking around for alternative jobs. Luckily I've paid off the mortgage and got no debts at all, so I am in a position to take a pay cut, although I would be sorely grieved to no longer be in a public sector pension, and hold some faint hopes of maybe finding a job that will allow me to transfer from the TPS to the LGP pension scheme. Anyone know how easy/difficult it is to get a job as a care assistant in a cere home?
  2. I have worked as a care assistant. It is casual, low paid work. It has it's advantages of course, I met some lovely and facinating elderly people, and some holy terrors, who certainly taught me a lot about human nature. Alsp night shifts left me free to attend college during the day. Work at that level will not provide a relaible income though, I suggest if you are interested in care homes you look more at managerial positions.
  3. There are lots of care home jobs available in my area.
    Most are agency or private contractors, pay **** wages and expect miracles with massive understaffing.
    Local authirity postions are as rare as hens teeth and have often gone before they are even advertised. Interviews are a legal requirement that waste peoples time and get there hopes up when the job has gone to a friend of a friend etc.
  4. That is a pity, because that was the kind of opening I was hoping for.
  5. Thank you for your helpful comments. I wonder what qualifications are required for managerial posts?
  6. My mum has worked as a care assistant for years in several different care homes. There's loads of jobs for it about at the moment, but I would seriously think twice about going into it. Lots of care homes are now operated by large companies and are operated in a very factory-like manner. They're severely understaffed in a lot of places and will cut corners at any opportunity, usually to the detriment of staff and residents.
    But that's her experience! It depends on the care home, obviously. Depending on the newness of the equipment there as well, it is a lot of manual labour and is quite tiring.
    Hope that helps? x
  7. None if my DD is to be believed (which I do sometimes doubt) apparently the cook from the care home she works in moved to another home within the group to be their manager!!! However we are talking about the infamous Southern Cross here
  8. I've come across totally "unqualified" managers too, but qualified in other areas, and "transferring their skills" as they say, ie intelligent, reliable, caring, know something of human nature, social care and people management. One used to run a building company. Another had been an events organiser. Several ex nurses, which is a bit more closely related.
  9. There is a plethora of care homes where I live. I worked in a job centre for 10 years before teaching and I can honestly say if you applied for one of their vacancies and were breathing and ideally drive you were practically guaranteed the job.

    Not such great inside info when I was looking for care home for elderly relative ...
  10. I am a support worker in a residential home attached to a special school so I work with teenagers with severe learning disabilities and just about every complex condition you've ever heard of (mainly autism and epilepsy that doesn't respond to medication but I have worked with a variety of other conditions as well, including Prader Willi Syndrome) rather than with the elderly. It is low paid work and it is very understaffed as a sector but I adore the people I work with and it certainly makes life interesting! Regarding the suggestion about going straight into management, most care homes will only take on a manager who has an NVQ 3 qualification or is willing to obtain one during their service there but all of the adverts in my local area state that they need to have the NVQ already. My NVQ 3 is in Working with Children and Young People but there are various different ones you can get. Your nearest FE college should be able to advise you further on this.
  11. Thanks for this. I wasn't really thinking of attempting to get a management post, just any type of (hopefully permanent and full time job), even if its on the minimum wage, as I would rather do this than be unemployed. I've got outstanding academic qualifications, but no NVQs. Would I be able to get a job without the NVQs so long as you're willing to do them while you do the the job?
  12. PM me if you like. I know a bit about working in care.
  13. Be careful! Many NVQ courses area totally worthless. I worked on one with one company for 18 months. The college was a subsidery to a well established, well regarded college, however was run entirely for profit by people who had little idea what they were doing. After teaching, you are likely to be very shocked at the standard of "lessons" in many of these places. But you have been a teacher, so assess the place yourself first, ignore clever marketing etc. Ofsted closed our college, and our portfolios were fit for nothing but the recycling bin. This is the second time in my life this has happened to me.
    Also bare in mind that as a teacher, what you have to cover for NVQ is far easier than what you have done before, so any course you choose to join you should find to be straightforward,with a transparent route through. You should be very clear about what you are doing, who is assessing you, etc. As a teacher you can judge for yourself that what you are being asked to do will meet the assessment criteria, and query it straight away if it does not.
    Many courses you can in fact only complete if you are working, so you would need a job before you do the course.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on.
  14. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    I did this sort of work when I finished my degree for a couple of years to earn money. In local authority homes it was hard,physical labour and you had little time for the residents. I worked shifts,40 hours a week and the pay was low but we did get paid more at weekends.
    I used to have to change 50 beds in the morning, and all the commodes down the sluice. Then there was dressing residents,taking them to the toilet,lifting them and bathing them.
    I loved working with old people though - absolutely loved it.
    I moved round a few care homes and the least busy was in a private home where I had to cook meals which consisted of frozen and tinned stuff - it was quite posh too.
    The best job I had was for a year working as a nursing assistant in a psychiatric ward for the over 60s in a large hospital. That was far less physical, although there was still bed making and lifting but I had loads of time to chat to the people and learnt so much about mental illness. It was fascinating. We had patient who were bipolar, who were psychotic and those who were being assessed because of dementia- it was short stay. I went on home visits,did some art therapy. At night I used to do the old ladies hair using setting lotion and curlers. I really loved that job,although the pay was rubbish and I wasn't keen on weekend working and shift. Getting to know the people, especially the dementia sufferers was fascinating.
    I cried when I left that job to train as a teacher. Everyone was so nice there. I nearly trained as a psychiatric nurse but in the end went for teaching .
    I think it probably depends on the area but down here even those jobs are hard to get - although I am only going by my friend who was made redundant from her lecturing job and is finding it hard to get another job because of her age - she is in her 50s.
  15. Thanks. I would only do the NVQ as on job training if I was already in a job. What I was hoping was you could get the job and then do whatever training was required once you had the job.
  16. Thanks moonpenny, that was very informative.
  17. Anton,

    Yes most workplaces will let you (in fact want you to) do the NVQ once you are working with them. My workplace pays for its employees to do the NVQ 3 on the condition that they stay working there for 12 months afterwards so that the organisation gain from their expertise. You can leave before 12 months but it is not recommended-however I know people that have done it. As someone (can't remember who-sorry!) mentioned earlier in the thread, the NVQ was very easy to complete. I found it a lot easier than my degree course or A Levels I took but that might just be me as I do know some people at my workplace who are struggling with it.

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