At times Stressful and Unglamorous but Caring Matters!
This week I saw the final touches of our latest Halcyon staff recruitment video.
Katie and Tracy who produced the material say they are looking to attract people that want to make a difference to the lives of elderly people in Maidenhead. Their belief is that there are people out there with a great capacity to care, but are worried that it’s going to be too much regulation or formal nursing. They’re hoping this video explains that Halcyon will provide and cover all the things a carer needs. This means our carers are able focus on meeting the needs of the customer they are visiting.
They chose for the video to follow Katie as she described a typical care visit and how we approach organising this care. This was to show the working environment at Halcyon, which allows for carers to interact with customers in an individual manner whilst having also having a full support team at the office if things get difficult. We want a carer to do things properly but with her own personality.
The key to being a good carer is undoubtedly expressing interest and empathy towards each of our customers as an individual person with a life-time of experiences and stories. It is that empathy and interest that lead the people we recruit as carers to respect and value each customer. It is why each of the Care Plans that Tracy produces for a customer are defined by the unique components of that individuals personal needs, home environment and other available support from friends and family.
At interview we don’t ask applicants to describe how to shower an elderly person in a bathroom of limited size, prepare a breakfast or whether they’ve changed a continence pad. We know we can train almost everyone to do those tasks. Instead we question if you would be happy spending time with our customers just exchanging ordinary pleasantries and chatting about life, the world or the weather! In reality, we can’t teach someone to care if they aren’t interested in or do not value the elderly in our community. While the practical skills are necessary, it is about building a relationship with the customer by being friendly and a good listener.
A caring job may be at times stressful, unglamorous or messy but it matters! It really matters! Almost all our customers would agree that what our carers do for them matters in their lives. Ultimately, what job could be more rewarding?