Working together, improving lives
Bee's Blog: Remembering Our Roots
A large proportion of our consultants have a history of working in health and social care, and I am no exception.
Although the majority of my employment has been in special education, at the age of 18 and with very little real-world understanding, I was taken on as a Care Assistant in an incredible home for profoundly disabled young people.
I think it is fair to say that this role taught me more about life and about work than anything else I have ever done.
I remember my induction, hours spent in a little office reading binder after binder of policy and procedure, signing forms, filling out my medical history and being given a (very comfy) uniform and tour of the building. I remember meeting the staff and wondering how they were all so very cheery and friendly, and I remember meeting the residents for the first time. I will be perfectly honest. I was terrified. The idea that I would be in charge of making sure these very vulnerable people, with their complex health needs were safe, fulfilled and cared for, whilst I struggled to even remember to bring lunches with me, was terrifying!
I read care plans and had the benefit of a nurse explaining things to me and eventually the first week of shadowing was upon me. I followed an extremely knowledgeable carer who had been working with the home for 15+ years as she and the nurse showed me the correct procedures for bathing, toileting, clothing, dental hygiene, communication, using slings, standing frames, different types of wheelchair, how to organise the finances of the residents, how to plan and follow through on local outings, the secure points in the mini buses, how to help with physio, how to peg feed, how to administer insulin, diazepam, suspension medications, how to fill in the daily record sheets, and manage a seizure. I underwent training session after training session and at the end of the month, realised that I had actually only learned to care for one person in the home.
There were 14 more, all with their own versions of care plans and personal choices.
Eventually bit by bit, I got to know the residents, and worked one on one, following the seniors and leader’s directions. I hope I did a good job, it was certainly a learning curve. I still feel privileged to have been allowed to be part of the resident’s lives, and to have been able to provide support and care so that their days were accessible and enjoyable. I learned how to put others before myself, how to organise, how to prioritise and what care really means. I learned about dignity, communication, empathy and resilience.
Every time I speak to a client, or take on a new care assistant, I fondly remember my time working within that care home. I remember what is actually important when providing our service, what huge reserves of commitment and hard work go into caring and how vital it is to be consistent, educated, reliable and communicative, and just how vital the service we provide is to each and every resident and service user.
Having spoken to other consultants in our teams, the stories behind how we came to work for Dean Healthcare show that although we come from diverse backgrounds, we all have a history of caring, and we are all so committed to making sure the clients and our staff have everything they need to provide the absolute best for the residents and service users we are all ultimately here for.
Having this experience and knowledge allows us to know innately what our clients most need, support our wonderful staff with their questions and concerns and provide the best service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.