As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, inpatient and outpatient care is facing continued restrictions. Many more people are relying on home care services during these challenging times. To meet this increased need, Martlets Care is looking to recruit care staff with a range of experience and from a variety of backgrounds. We hear from three carers who say changing careers to do care work was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made.
Steve, care assistant
“Knowing you have made a difference to someone’s day is always rewarding. Changing career to become a carer is one of the best decisions I’ve made and I have never looked back.”
I had been working in an office job in London for 16 years but finding the work unfulfilling. I had been wanting to work in health and social care for a while. Fortunately, I was offered voluntary redundancy and saw it as an opportunity to try something completely different.
I undertook a free training course and the trainer recommended Martlets Care to me as a great employer. Martlets Care provided me with further training so that I could develop my skills and knowledge. After a year they funded me to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care to further my professional development.
Now, instead of travelling to and from London every day to my office job, I work in the local community. I travel around Brighton, Hove and the surrounding areas providing care, enabling people to live independently in their own homes. I administer medication and offer full support with daily routines such as washing, dressing and eating. Providing companionship and a cup of tea is also important and sometimes offering a shoulder to cry on.
Being a carer is great opportunity to meet new people and make a difference to their lives. No two days are the same and the needs of the clients are quite diverse. I love the variety of this job.
Jo, care assistant
“I feel privileged to be able to care for clients and their families at such a significant moment in their lives. I offer a smile and a friendly face. I take time to get to know my clients as people. They tell me the stories of their lives; their travels, families and the fun they’ve had. Even though times are tough, we laugh together.”
I used to be a teacher and now I’m a carer. Some people I know couldn’t understand the appeal of my second chosen career. I feel lucky though to have found another job that is so enjoyable, challenging and rewarding.
In becoming a carer with Martlets, I have learnt many new skills. But the most important things I’ve learned are that the best carers have compassion and empathy; a positive outlook and a desire to do the best they can for the people they care for. A busy rota and a wide variety of clients offers new challenges every day. The initial stress of locating the next client and worrying about getting there on time has given way to something wonderful. I’m now revelling in finding new routes; I appreciate being out and about in our city by the sea and enjoy watching the seasons change.
Much of my day is spent in physical tasks such as washing, dressing and continence care, and administering medications and preparing meals. But, alongside this, I am also observing and talking to clients and their families to monitor their wellbeing. I’ll note any changes in their physical condition, emotions, medications or environment — it’s all about attention to detail. Sometimes my job requires careful manual handling and personal care or liaising with the Palliative Care Team. But at other times it is simply about holding a hand and offering reassurance.
For many people, their first encounter with end of life is the death of a parent. When my dad died, I really appreciated and admired the carers that came into our home. They looked after him and us at this really challenging time. Now, as a Martlets’ carer, I head home each day feeling tired. But, with a strong sense of satisfaction that my work has made a difference. How many jobs give you that feeling?
Beverley, care assistant
“COVID-19 has led to an influx of new clients requiring palliative care in their homes, so I’ve been busy. Martlets Care has been excellent in ensuring the safety of both the client and the carer during these difficult times. Proper training, PPE and regular COVID testing for carers has been a priority. It means I’ve been able to work safely with my clients which has been incredibly reassuring.”
I had been working as a teaching assistant at a school for children with special needs for 18 years. I started work for Martlets Care alongside my teaching assistant job on a part-time basis. I was working one day a week and some weekend work from time-to-time. Initially I was apprehensive about going from working with small children to working with adults. It was a big step for me, changing to working with adults that have personal care needs. That apprehension subsided after my first day working with Martlets though. And it wasn’t long after I started that I knew that I wanted to work with Martlets Care full-time. I made that decision 18 months ago and I haven’t looked back since.
There are so many aspects to my work with Martlets Care that I take great satisfaction and enjoyment in. I enjoy meeting new clients and their families. It’s incredibly rewarding to feel appreciated for the work and support I provide. Knowing that I can relieve some of the pressure that those people face during a difficult period in their lives is something I take pride in. I get to meet so many amazing people — the colleagues I work with and the clients themselves.
For me, my work is not just about the personal care, it’s about providing company for my clients. That might be through doing puzzles with them, looking through old photos together, or listening to their life stories. Or singing and dancing together, or just something as simple as holding their hand. These activities can make people’s lives that much more comfortable for them and that is a reward in itself. Every client is different and every day brings its own challenges; I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I often come home tired, but with a smile on my face. I know that I have made a positive difference and my work is something I can be proud of. I can be a shoulder to cry on when times are difficult. And a relief for families going through their own difficulties. It is a privilege to be a positive part of my clients’ lives. Even if for some it is only for a short time. To know that I have already made such a powerful difference is something I will continue to cherish. Not just throughout my time working with Martlets, but for the rest of my life.
Whether you’re an experienced carer, thinking of changing career, or looking for a part-time role, we’d love to hear from you. Working as one of our care assistants is often a first step into a career in care – some go on to train as nurses. For others, it’s a flexible job that can easily fit around any working lifestyle – be that family, student, or other part-time work or commitments. If you’re passionate about helping people, and you’d like to join our award-winning team, get in touch!
Join a team with an outstanding reputation for home care and make a real difference at the heart of your local community. Visit Work With Us to find out more or call us on 01273 829943 for a friendly chat.