How to become a professional caregiver

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Posted on: 22 July 2016 by Sophia Beirne

If you have been thinking about becoming a professional caregiver but don’t know where to start or how to get the necessary qualifications, take a look at the following steps which will help you to gain some insight into the world of professional caregiving.

Becoming a professional caregiver is a very noble occupation. Not only do you help senior citizens with their day-to-day life, but you also offer an invaluable service; the eradication of loneliness which is one of the most rewarding aspects of entering the field.

If you have been thinking about becoming a professional caregiver but don’t know where to start or how to get the necessary qualifications, take a look at the following steps which will help you to gain some insight into the world of professional caregiving.

Talk to a professional caregiver

Before becoming an aged care worker doing the right amount of research is essential. And one of the first things that you should do is sit down with an experienced aged care worker and ask them all of the questions on your mind. Getting first-hand accounts from people who are in the field is the best way to find out whether or not you are cut out for this job.

Make sure whomever you talk to spares no detail. Enter the meeting with a prepared list, so you don't forget anything. It is also a good idea to talk to more than one person, so you get various accounts of what it is like to be a caregiver. 

Read up and research

As I mentioned above research is essential to not only finding out if you can do the job but also becoming well versed with the ins and outs before you go on a course and begin training. Just as you should take the time to talk to various experienced caregivers, you should also take the time to read up on what being an aged care worker entails.

Do your very best to read all of the material that is available to you, so you have a well-rounded understanding of the job.

Sign up for training/courses

When you have done the sufficient research, you then need to sign up for training and courses to get the necessary qualifications. Before you sign up for a course first look at what agency/group you would like to join and enquire what specific skills you need for that particular job, so you know what course best suits your needs.

To get the best prices and a good standard of teaching look for courses on reputable websites such as Career FAQs.

Take a competency exam

After you undergo training, the majority of agencies will want you to take a competency exam which will ensure you are capable of doing basic home care duties. Some agencies only require certificates from a completed course, but it is in your best interest to take one anyway as the certificate gained from a competency exam will help you find work elsewhere in the same field.

Volunteer

This step may only work in some cases, but it is worth investigating as the benefits gained from volunteering are phenomenal. After you have received your certificate and are putting in applications with agencies and groups, look for some volunteer work. Doing so will give you some of the best training available, and being able to put that on your CV shows dedication, passion and experience, which will help you get work a lot quicker.

Join an agency and begin work

The only thing left to do is get yourself out there and start working. Join social network groups to get contacts and leads, look into agencies in your area and ask some of the people that you spoke to for recommendations. After all of the above steps, you are now a professional caregiver.

After following the above steps you will have all of the necessary requirements to become a professional caregiver, and you will be able to help a lot of people. 

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