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How to Become a Support Worker

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Improving and maintaining good quality health and social care across the country is a national priority for the government. This has led to a boost in opportunities for support workers in a variety of healthcare settings. For many people, entering this profession is motivated by the possibility of improving the lives of others.

Have you considered a career in health and social care? Do you feel you have excellent communication skills, the ability to thrive in a team and a commitment to providing the highest level of care?

Then a career in health and social care may be for you…

Further reading: Top 5 Qualities Employers Look for in Support Workers

Recent graduate? Check out our post on Graduate Career Opportunities in Health and Social Care

How Do You Become a Support Worker?

The path to becoming a Support Worker can take several different routes. Many companies will offer initial training through a recognised educational qualification like an NVQ. Employers are also increasing the number of opportunities for Support Workers to apply for apprenticeships. In some roles, it is possible to gain a role without previous experience.

You will need to complete a health clearance and police clearance (UK DBS). There may be some administrative costs to complete these.

After a successful interview, you would be supervised by an experienced health care worker and given support and guidance, as well as learning and development relevant to your work.

Most support worker jobs require at least 6 months of experience and evidence of a period of relevant study. However, everyone’s got to start somewhere, right? We recommend getting in touch with a recruitment advisor if you are looking for your first support worker role.

Who Would I Be Supporting in this Role?

There are a wide variety of different types of support worker roles. Take some time to consider which you’d be most suited to:

  • Family Support Worker
  • Children’s Support Worker
  • Children’s Support Mentor
  • Behavioural Support Worker
  • Adult Support Mentor
  • Elderly Care Support Worker

A Day in the Life of a Support Worker

So, what can you expect the day to day experience of a support worker to be like? Everything support workers do is driven by the people in need of support. As mentioned above this can range from young children to families to the elderly.

In all cases, you are tasked with ensuring the people being supported are able to live with as much independence and choice as possible. Typical daily tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Getting the supported person up and ready in the morning, supporting with personal care and hygiene
  • Preparing food and enjoying a shared mealtime
  • Getting out in the fresh air and taking part in hobbies and interests
  • Following individual support plans for the person in care
  • Achieving goals identified on the support plan (For example, learning to use public transport, gaining work experience)
  • Supporting with medication and hospital appointment attendance
  • Carrying out necessary chores around the person’s home
  • Enabling the person to socialise with friends, or visit family
  • All leading to enabling the supported person to live a happier more independent life

What are the Potential Career Pathways for Health and Social Care Workers?

Once you have gained experience as a support worker, there are several career pathways that you can take. There are increasing opportunities for Support Workers to apply for apprenticeships through their employers. This can lead to support workers becoming a Registered Nurse or a Nursing Associate.

We recommend speaking with your consultant about your options. At Prospero, we are passionate about supporting people at every step of their career.

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