A support worker is someone who helps people to live their lives as independently as possible. This may include working with service users who have physical disabilities or mental health requirements and involves assisting them in areas of their life where support is needed.
As a support worker, you could be required to work in a number of different settings such as care homes, out in the community, or in individuals’ own homes.
What does a support worker do?
One of the main responsibilities of a support worker is to give those they’re caring for a choice when it comes to making decisions about their own lives. This could be things like enabling them to pick their own clothes, decide how they’d like to style their hair, or choosing where and what to eat.
You’ll also help service users with daily tasks like shopping, socalising, and handling their finances. Essentially, a support worker is there to offer assistance with anything that the individual might find challenging to do by themselves. The role may also include a small amount of help with personal care, but this is not a main part of the job as service users will typically be able to take care of their own hygiene with some prompting.
Support workers will need to be able to recognise any behavioural changes in those that they’re caring for and will work with occupational therapists too. Being able to understand the unique requirements of each individual is integral and confidence in managing challenging events is a must. This is particularly important when working with people who are unable to express themselves or explain how they’re feeling.
What skills does a support worker need?
There are a number of important skills that all support workers should have. Communication is key when it comes to caring for service users, so being able to listen carefully and speak clearly are certainly two traits that anyone following this career path must possess. Using the right tone of voice is also integral, as is the ability to identify triggers.
The ability to understand emotions and behaviours is also important for support workers, and they also need to be empathetic while remaining emotionally resilient. This is imperative as the role requires supporting both services users and their loved ones which may include having difficult conversations.
To find out more about being a support worker, take a look at our support worker career guide, read all about how to become a support worker, or find out what the responsibilities of a support worker are.
If you’re looking for a support worker role, we have vacancies across Britain! Find your next support worker job with Newcross Healthcare today!