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Career Advice

Kickstarting your Career as a Support Worker

Written by

Eric Smith

Date posted

6 March, 2023

Have you ever had to look after an unwell or vulnerable person, either independently or as part of a team?

6.5 million people provide unpaid care in the UK (Census 2011) but Carers UK estimate that this number has risen to 10.6 million (Carers UK, Carers Week 2022 research report). Regardless of whether you have prior experience or not, you could earn a living as a Support Worker and make a real difference to your surrounding community.

The team at Coyle Care specialise in placing caring Support Workers into part-time and full-time positions and to help you begin your journey, we’ve put together some useful information on the role.


What to expect from the role

The role of a Support Worker is a hands-on one and requires you to be a hard-working individual who is eager to help others. It is, however, extremely rewarding and no matter which area of healthcare you’re working in, you’ll be truly valued by your fellow colleagues.

On a day-to-day level, you will be expected to complete the following duties:

  • Ensure those you are caring for are comfortable.
  • Monitor and perform basic health checks.
  • Wash and dress those who require help.
  • Help with meal preparation and household chores.
  • Assist vulnerable individuals with daily excursions.
  • Be a shoulder to lean on and listen carefully to any needs/wants.
  • Communicate effectively depending on the circumstances required.
  • Analyse and make notes of any deteriorating conditions.

The responsibilities of a Support Worker can in some cases be limitless and this means individuals must be adaptable and always remain calm.


What skills or qualifications are required

In most cases, there are no set entry requirements to becoming a Support Worker but it’s often useful to possess adequate literacy and numeracy skills as well as being fluent and confident speaking in English. Sometimes a BTEC or NVQ equivalent healthcare qualification may be required depending on the specialist area you’re working in.

The focus is instead on your personality attributes and how equipped you are mentally and physically for what is a demanding role. Being a willing individual who is kind, supportive and caring will stand you in great stead to succeed as a Support Worker. Having the people skills to work in a team environment are often widely desired.


Progressing your career as a Support Worker

A lot of people begin working as a Support Worker because of the career development opportunities available. With Coyle Care, you’ll benefit from access to a vastly experienced team and the chance to build your CV through both work experience and gaining relevant qualifications.

We help our existing nurses to obtain a qualification equivalent to the National Care Certificate as well as work towards completing a further nursing or healthcare support qualification. As you work as a Support Worker, you’ll also gain plenty of experience and knowhow from those around you. We also like to keep a constant communication line open between our team and those who work for us.


The locations you can expect to work in

Support Workers are required in a variety of different settings ranging from community hospitals to people’s homes. Around ¾ of Support Workers are employed by independent agencies such as Coyle Care and are then allocated to a specific healthcare setting depending on their skillset and preference.

The typical environments that Support Workers are allocated to are:

  • Residential and Nursing Homes
  • Local GP surgeries and their surrounding communities
  • Mental Health Clinics
  • Acute Hospital Care
  • Maternity Wards
  • Children’s Hospitals and Care Services
  • Learning Disability Centres

To find out more about the locations in which you could work near to you, get in touch with the Coyle Care team.


The benefits of becoming a Support Worker

As well as leading a fulfilling career, you will have a genuine impact upon the lives of others, creating a positive difference in the community. The role will provide you with a feeling of purpose instead of being stuck in an office job completing tasks that feel repetitive. With Coyle Care you are also in charge of the shifts you work meaning the role is super flexible and will fit around your family life.

Regarding the pay, a typical support Worker’s salary ranges between £17,000 - £22,000 but most rates depend upon the location you’re based in and experience you possess. All rates will be, at a minimum, in line with the National Minimum Wage meaning those aged over 25 will earn at least £7.38 per hour.


Where to begin

If becoming a Support Worker sounds like something you’d be interested in doing, the best place to begin is by exploring our ‘jobs’ page on the Coyle Care website. In the case that there’s nothing that appeals to you, then simply get in touch with the Coyle Care team and one of our experienced team members can provide more information.

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