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What to expect from five healthcare jobs

Within its ‘Fair Care: A workforce strategy for social care’ report, the Institute for Public Policy and Research has warned that a shortfall of almost 400,000 social care staff could be created in England alone by 2028 as a result of low pay in healthcare jobs and the effects of the UK leaving the European Union.  

We’ve teamed up with Acorn Stairlifts, an award-winning stairlift provider, to highlight that despite the uncertainty, there are many opportunities available for focusing your career around the care industry. Here are five healthcare job roles you could consider…

1. Care worker

As a care worker, your responsibility will be to assist vulnerable people so that they can manage their daily activities and be able to live as independently as possible. You will be tasked with supporting people with their social and physical activities, as well as matters related to personal care and mobility.

Entry requirements

healthcare jobs - two workers look at a screen

A job as a care worker can be achieved by completing a college course, an apprenticeship, volunteering opportunities or by applying directly for a role. 

If you take the college route, you should be looking to study a course which is relevant to the care industry — obtaining a Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care, for instance, or a Level 2 Diploma in Care.

Both lead adult care worker advanced apprenticeships and adult care worker intermediate apprenticeships can see you securing a permanent position as a care worker. Voluntary work for an organisation which provides support to vulnerable people is another option.

Should you choose to directly apply for a position as a care worker and carry out training on the job, it will be useful if you’ve already obtained some experience working with people. GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C) in English and Maths, or equivalent qualifications, may also be requested from some employers.

Essential skills

To be successful as a care worker, you’ll need to be able to accept criticism, communicate verbally in an exceptional manner.

and be able to work effectively while under pressure.

Day-to-day duties to expect

• Assisting a client with matters of personal care, including dressing, using the toilet and washing.

• Assisting a client when it comes to how they pay bills, manage their budget and write letters.

• Preparing food and then feeding a client, as well as giving out medication.

• Taking the time to get to know a client, including their needs and interests.

• Undertaking general tasks, such as housework, laundry and shopping.

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for care worker jobs is £16,622.

Healthcare jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘care worker’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 35,226 related jobs.

2. Care home manager

Become a care home manager and both the leadership and day-to-day running of a residential care home will be your responsibility. You will ensure the facility meets industry standards and you should also expect to manage budgets and contracts in place throughout the organisation.

Entry requirements

Going to university, completing an apprenticeship, and progressing into the role by working in the care industry are all routes which could see you becoming a care home manager.

Opt for the university route and you’ll want to study either a foundation degree, a higher national diploma or a degree in an associated subject such as health and social care management to begin with. Once you’ve completed your selected university course, you’ll want to apply for a place on a graduate trainee scheme.

Higher apprenticeships for children, young people and family managers are available too, if you would rather take this route. You can also start on an apprenticeship for care leadership and management, though take note that additional on-the-job training will be required once you’ve obtained this qualification.

If you already have a job in the care industry, there is the option to apply for training towards a role such as a deputy manager. You should be looking to begin studying for the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services, where you’ll get six pathways to select from:

1. Management of Adult Services

2. Management of Adult Residential Services

3. Practice in Adult Services

4. Management of Children and Young People’s Services

5. Management of Children and Young People’s Residential Services

6. Practice in Children and Young People’s Services

Essential skills

You’ll need to be able to understand a person’s reactions, have knowledge about the subject of psychology and carry out counselling, such as active listening and how to take a non-judgmental approach.

Day-to-day duties to expect

• Agreeing to contracts, budgeting and fundraising opportunities.

• Assisting care home residents so that they can access local services.

• Carrying out tasks to ensure a facility meets all legal requirement, such as those related to aspects of health and safety.

• Delivering advice, information and support to care home residents, their families and other staff members at the facility.

• Encouraging care home residents to participate in activities.

• Monitoring the quality of care and business performance of a care home.

• Promoting the rights and duties of care home residents.

• Recruiting staff members, as well as training and supervising them.

• Setting out practices and policies.

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for care home manager jobs is £37,500.

Healthcare jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘care home manager’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 18,789 related jobs.

3. Residential support worker

The role of a residential support worker is to look after both the mental and physical wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults who are in care.

Entry requirements

Your route to becoming a residential support worker could see you attending college, completing an apprenticeship, working towards the role within the care industry or applying for the position directly.

Choose to go to college and the appropriate courses which you want to look out for include the Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, the Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Youth Work Practice, the Level 2 Diploma in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care, or the Level 2 GCSE in Health and Social Care.

An alternative route into obtaining a job as a residential support worker is through an adult care worker intermediate apprenticeship, while another option is to progress into the role after starting work as a support worker within a care home, a children’s home, or a hostel.

Should you opt to directly apply for a residential support worker position instead, take note that either paid or voluntary experience within the social work and care sector will be required.

Essential skills

To be successful as a residential support worker, you’ll need to pay attention to detail, be patient and know how to remain calm even in stressful situations.

Day-to-day duties to expect

• Assisting residents when they have problems.

• Communicating with the families of residents.

• Educating residents about daily living skills, which could include aspects of budgeting, shopping and how to claim benefits.

• Helping residents to become independent.

• Hosting group therapy sessions.

• Keeping an eye on the needs of a resident, as well as their progress.

• Providing a resident with physical care, which might include bathing, dressing, feeding and toileting.

• Providing counselling on a one-to-one basis.

• Setting up creative and leisure activities within a safe and supportive environment.

• Setting up both home and family visits for residents.

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for residential support worker jobs is £19,000.

Healthcare jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘residential support worker’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 6,711 related jobs.

4. Advocacy worker

Advocacy workers within the care industry are there to ensure the opinions and wishes of all residents based in a care home are heard. As well as providing support to vulnerable people, they will also make sure each resident’s best interests have been considered whenever decisions are made about their lives.

Entry requirements

Hoping to become an advocacy worker in a care home? There are opportunities to get into this role by studying a college course, volunteering, applying directly or taking a course which is run by a private training provider.

Relevant courses if you take the college route include studying for a Level 2 Certificate in Health and Social Care or a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care. However, be aware that at least two GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (or A* to D) are often required to access a Level 2 course, while four or five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C) are usually needed to get on a Level 3 course.

Becoming a volunteer advocate is another option. This route proves appealing as it’s a great way to obtain experience in the role, while volunteers receive both support and training so that they can develop their skills too.

If you already work in the care industry, there’s the possibility that you can also apply directly to become a care home advocacy worker. The experience that you’ve already gained from your time doing care work, social work or counselling is bound to allow you to stand out, though it’s important that you showcase an understanding of the needs of older citizens and display a positive attitude to ageing.

If you’d rather sit a course that was set up by a private training provider to become an advocacy worker, you’ll want to select one of their nationally recognised qualifications which includes units on advocacy.

Essential skills

To be successful as an advocacy worker, you’ll need to have the ability to work well with others and showcase customer service skills.

Day-to-day duties to expect

• Assisting residents to explore the options available to them and how to make informed choices about them.

• Assisting residents so that they can speak for themselves, as well as be able to speak on their behalf where necessary.

• Attending meetings with residents to provide moral support, as well as attend meetings on their behalf where necessary.

• Ensuring residents always have access to their care plan.

• Ensuring residents are always being treated in a fair manner and with dignity.

• Negotiating with others who are involved in decisions being made at a care home.

• Researching information regarding the care industry and then explaining the details to relevant parties.

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for advocacy jobs is £29,000.

Healthcare jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘advocacy worker’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 210 related jobs.

5. Nurse

The role of a nurse is to provide care for adults who are injured, have physical disabilities or are sick. Within the care industry, they will perform clinical tasks to assist individuals who are based within a nursing home or within the community.

Entry requirements

Either university or an apprenticeship will be your two options when studying to become a nurse.

Work your way along the university route and you’ll be able to study for a degree in adult nursing that’s been approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Alternatively, there could be the chance to start studying for a nursing degree on the second year of a course if you’ve already obtained a degree in life sciences, psychology, social work or a health-related subject.

Then there is the option of completing a degree apprenticeship in nursing, where you’ll be mixing academic study with on-the-job training at a care facility. It is important to be aware that support from your employer must be provided in order for you to work your way along this route.

Essential skills

Nurses should, as well as being empathetic and natural carers, show precise thinking and reasoning skills.

Day-to-day duties to expect

• Clean and dress wounds.

• Monitor the progress of patients.

• Provide advice to both patients and their relatives.

• Provide residents with drugs prescribed to them.

• Provide residents with necessary injections.

• Set up drips and blood transfusions.

• Take the blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature of a resident.

Expected salary

According to Totaljobs, the average salary for jobs as a nurse is £31,787.

Healthcare jobs available*

Carry out a search for ‘nurse’ on Indeed at the moment and you will be able to browse through 52,106 related jobs.

*Jobs available logged as of March 2019.
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