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APR 25/2013

A guide to being a good care worker

There is no prerequisite of what makes an outstanding care worker, but there are a number of characteristics the best in the field will display. The first on the list is possessing compassion - that is, the ability to shown genuine understanding of your patient's needs. While they may be suffering from a range of complications, like dementia, it is important to remember they are human beings that deserve empathy and kindness.

To ensure you remain compassionate to the individual you are helping, try to imagine someone of a similar age who is dear to you, like a grandparent or elderly neighbour. This should help you relate to your patient better so you can see how much they need your service. Do not be discouraged if they don't seem to appreciate the effort you're making, this may or may not come with time, but the important issue is that they are given the best treatment you are able to deliver.

Showing a patient respect and helping to maintain their dignity as much as possible is paramount to a carer's role. Think about how you would feel if you were in their situation and how you would like a carer to treat you in the same position. Constantly making the patient's needs more personal to you will help with ensuring excellent patient care remains a top priority. And even if the patient does not openly appreciate your work, be encouraged by the fact someone who cares for them would value your efforts.

Be confident in your abilities as a carer. Knowing the best way to ensure a patient is comfortable comes with experience, but once you have got to grips with this aspect of the job, be sure to employ it at all times. Of course, each patient will have their individual preferences but a good care worker will be able to pick up on these things very quickly, whether it is by observing what a patient is reading or watching on TV, or if they have flowers in their room. All these details give you a hint of what the person is like, which in turn gives you insight into the kind of practice that might help to keep them happy. Becoming an excellent carer takes time, but with the right attitude, everyone can start off on a good note.

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