What You Should Know Before Becoming a Care Aide
Working as a Health Care Assistant or Care Aide is an incredibly rewarding career. Finding work in hospitals, facilities or home care, Care Aides make big differences in the lives of their clients by providing quality of care with day-to-day tasks in addition to companionship and building relationships.
As a Care Aide, you take care of individuals who are unable to manage daily living on their own. While the majority of your clients will be seniors who need assistance due to aging, there are also instances where you will work with other individuals who may have experienced a serious physical accident, been diagnosed with a chronic disease, or have been born with a disability. In order to excel as a Care Aide, you need to be dependable, patient, and flexible. You should also have a passion for helping others, be able to work with the client as a whole person, and work with your heart to ultimately give you personal job satisfaction.
As a Care Aide, you meet the client’s physical needs by assisting with personal care and nutrition. However, social needs are equally important. These are met by encouraging clients to participate in social activities such as those coordinated by Therapeutic Recreation professionals. Providing a calm and comforting environment for your clients, while also encouraging them in their daily lives goes a long way with clients’ contentment.
Before considering a career as a Care Aide, you must consider the traits of a successful Care Aide professional. While it is a rewarding career, it has its challenges as well. It is a demanding—and sometimes stressful—profession; it is a fast-paced work environment that requires strong communication skills and a deep level of compassion. In addition, since your clients are unable to perform daily living activities, they can be vulnerable and act differently due to isolation or a feeling of lost independence. When working closely with them, you should make them feel valuable and that they have a meaningful life. Care Aides always ensure that their clients feel safe and that they can trust the people around them. Considering all of this, Care Aides need to know how to manage stress in order to provide exceptional service to their clients. The profession requires a person with patience, empathy, strength, and a positive attitude to persevere and provide the best care for their clients. Excellent Care Aides never forget to provide care to their clients with dignity, compassion, privacy, and safety in every circumstance. You would be an advocate for your client; as a result, you need to be trustworthy to make them feel comfortable and provide them with comfort and overall fulfillment.
Knowing whether you are a fitting candidate for a career as a Care Aide is important. To get a feel for the career, you can attend information sessions, job shadow or volunteer, or ask about the profession from current Care Aides. When looking for programs or schools be sure to inquire about practicums, where you can get hands-on experience in the field before you graduate, which improves your skill-set and your employability. Most graduates are even hired straight on from their practicum site due to demonstrating exceptional work ethic and practicing the skills they acquired through their post-secondary education.
Read more about Stenberg’s Health Care Assistant and Care Aide program.