Health and Social Care – A Recession Proof Career!

Whatever your current situation, whether you are seeking promotion, looking to change career, about to start a new job, taking your first steps into teaching or management, the Health and Social Care sector has something to offer you.

If you have been looking for a job, full time or part time to raise income for your family or build a career around your children, there is room for you in health and social care, the job loss within this sector is very low.

What exactly do I need to do?

The starting point is you need to discover your interest and be willing to develop yourself. There are many aspects within the health and social care sector therefore you will need to decide what client group you would prefer to work with – children, young adults, elderly, individuals with disabilities (physical, cognitive and learning disabilities), specialized care ( stroke, mental disorders, dementia etc)

You will also need to decide the kind of environment – hospitals, care homes, individual homes or education and training.

Once you have made your decision, consider where you are now and what you need to do to get to where you want to be. In most cases your experience and training will count and you need to get both but for some it is how to package their existing experience and training to get the job they desire – You need to improve on areas such as CV writing and interview skills.

Here is a breakdown of courses that you can do to move to the next level.

NVQ Health and Social Care Level 1- This is usually a two weeks training that introduces you to the principles of Health and Social Care. You do not need to be in employment to do this training as it is meant to give you a fundamental understanding of the role of a care worker or support worker. This is the first building block if you are new to Health and Social Care. This course comprises of a one week workshop experience and the second week is a practical experience within a health and social care environment. Afterwards you receive a certificate of attendance. Some of the topics usually covered are:

Basic nursing procedures
Communication
Health and Safety at Work
Moving and handling procedures
Incontinence care
First Aid
Infection Control
Basic food hygiene
Safeguarding and protecting individuals
Confidentiality
Report writing

Most employers will require you present certificates of attendance for some mandatory training in healthcare such as Manual Handling Training, First Aid Training & Basic Food Hygiene. By Law, when you get a job your employer would organize an induction which would provide you with information specific to your role.

Pay rates for this level range from £5 – £8 per hour depending on the employer

NVQ Level 2 – This is the ideal level for you if you are working in Health and Social Care, providing support to professionals, carrying out clinical care, health or personal care to individuals in a hospital or community- based health care setting. It really doesn’t matter if you are new to the job you can enroll on this course. These days if you have been working without an NVQ or other qualification you will be advised by your employer to consider enrolling on NVQ 2 as you may not be allowed to keep your job from the year 2010. Many other employers would only offer jobs to care workers with a minimum of NVQ 2.

This course comprises of 4 mandatory units and 2 optional units based on a skill scan. The mandatory units are:

HSC21- Communication and record keeping

HSC22- Health and Safety at Work

HSC23 – Develop your practice

HSC24 – Protection of Individuals

You will be allowed to choose your 2 optional units from a list based on your skills and job role. This is a very interesting course and you will find it easy if you have been working according to your organizational policies and procedures. Having NVQ 2 Adults would qualify you to work with all groups of adults although you may need to attend trainings in specialized areas coupled with your existing experience, for example if you currently work with the elderly and wish to work with individuals with learning disability, your NVQ 2 adults is relevant except that you will need some additional training which are short courses.

Pay rates for this level range from £6.50 – £10 depending on the employer

NVQ Level 3- At Level 3, the Health and Social Care NVQ has two pathways: “Adults” and “Children and Young People”. This qualification is designed for workers delivering care and support often without direct supervision or probably working on their own in an individual’s own home.

If you are undertaking some supervisory or developmental responsibilities for other care workers or you are involved in other specialist tasks with some degree of responsibility or independence e.g. administration of medicines, NVQ 3 in health and social care is relevant to you.

Common job roles that would qualify you to do the NVQ 3 are senior care workers, team leaders, domiciliary care workers, home care organizers and community support workers.

You will be required to complete 4 mandatory units and 4 optional units based on a skills scan. The mandatory units are:

HSC31 – Promoting Communication

HSC32 – Promoting Health and Safety

HSC33 – Reflect on and develop your Practice

HSC34/ HSC35 – Protecting children (HSC34) or Adults (HSC35)

You will be allowed to choose your 4 optional units from a list based on your skills and job role. This is also a very interesting course and you will find it easy if you have been practicing within health and social care.

There is also a possible progression unto management and teaching roles which requires you achieve qualifications at Level 3 or Level 4. Do you want to know what the A1 Award is about? Or you have heard about PTTLS 7303 and you are wondering what these courses are all about, visit our website today for more information.

Communication Skills in Health and Social Care Settings.

The act of effective interaction between individuals can be obtained by spoken words or by other means. For communication to occur there has to be at least two people involved. The ability to communicate effectively and efficiently is one of the most important skills that can be gained by a healthcare professional.

What is Communication?

In a simple definition, communication is the process of sending or receiving messages between two or more individuals.

Effective communication is more than just talking, and is essential for the well-being of the individuals you care for.It includes body language, gestures, facial expressions, positioning and appearance.It is important to be aware of non-verbal communication when interacting with your individuals at work.

It is impossible to do without communication in health and social care, we have many reasons to communicate and it is essential communication is done effectively without misunderstanding others or being misunderstood. We communicate with:

Patients, residents, clients
Health care professionals
Managers and supervisors
Family and friends.

The individuals you work with may have barriers to communicating effectively such as:

Speech difficulties due to disabilities’ or illness e.g. Dementia, stroke
Deafness
Poor Sight
Noisy Environment
Poor Cognitive Skills e.g. learning disabilities
Difference in Language spoken

Therefore good communication skills are required to carry out your responsibilities as a healthcare professional. If you are working with an individual who has dementia, there can be many difficulties especially when the disease progresses, but there are ways to communicate effectively. Some skills to develop are:

Listening skills
Questioning skills
Explaining skills

You would have to ensure that:

The language used is kept simple because unfamiliar words will be difficult to understand coupled with unfamiliar accents as well.
Your speech should be at the correct pace, slow if required and the individual given enough time to respond.
Where possible sentences should be kept short, making just one point at a time. If the person has a short memory its important sentences are short and repeated more than once so that the individual can remember the point being made.
Communication is much difficult with background noise therefore it should be removed as this causes distraction.
If the communication barrier is strong, words alone will not be effective therefore you will need the use of gestures, body language, facial expression, touch etc.

There are many other ways to support individuals at work with effective communication such as the use of:

Human aids- translators, interpreters,

Technical aids- hearing aids, computers

Symbolic aids- Makaton, Sign Language, pictorial aids.

The Units HSC21, HSC31 & HSC41 within the NVQ focus on Communication and record keeping and they are mandatory units. Get more information on effective communication skills from our related resources.