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Is Health and Social Care The Right Career For You?

Flagship Training

Is Health and Social Care The Right Career For You?

By 17 December 2020No Comments

Working in the health and social care industry can be an extremely rewarding career, both in job satisfaction as well as progression opportunities. Each and every day, you will make a positive impact on somebody’s life, and you can live with the knowledge that you are bringing a whole lot of goodness into the world.

That being said, a career in health and social care is not for everybody, and at Flagship Partners, we are passionate about making sure people are set up to succeed. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of what you need to know if you are in the early stages of considering a career in health and social care, outlining the qualities you will need, the pros and cons of the role, as well as what you should expect from a role in the industry.

What Is Health and Social Care?

It’s quite difficult to define health and social care. Instead, consider it as the organisations, services, and systems that support families and individuals in need. While healthcare is fairly straightforward, i.e the care of sick individuals, social care spans a much wider field. It could be anywhere from providing additional support to young offenders to end of life care.

Let’s break each one down in a little more detail.

Health Care

The health care system in the UK is primarily run by the NHS, but there are also private healthcare systems. These two main bodies are publicly and privately funded respectively. Throughout these systems, people have access to GPs, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, although some services, particularly if they are cosmetic, often need to be paid for by the patient, rather than the NHS.

There are also services available from volunteers and charities. 

Social Care

While the healthcare system operates fairly straightforwardly, the same cannot be said for social care. As mentioned previously, social care spans a truly enormous range of support services, that help people of every age and background.

Social care can be defined as practical and pragmatic support for those individuals in need of extra support or care. For adults, social care might be needed for those with disabilities or difficulties, people suffering with addiction or in the process of recovery, victims of domestic abuse, and so on. 

Social care for children might include adoption / fostering support, working with young offenders, or helping young people deal with trauma. 

These examples are by no means exhaustive, but they give some sort of indication of the kind of roles in social care. We recommend carrying out additional research into roles in both health and social care, as there truly are limitless possibilities.

What Qualities Do I Need to Work in Care? 

Working in health and social care comes with a lot of responsibility – you will have a lot of impact on somebodies’ wellbeing and in some cases it could quite possibly be a matter of life or death. On a day-to-day basis, though, you will be responsible for somebody’s happiness and quality of life, and that truly is an important role to play.

With than in mind, here are some of the personal qualities an individual looking to work in care should possess:

  • Empathy  – To work in care, you will need to understand and sympathise with the problems and difficulties the people under your care will have. This applies to their families too, who will likely be going through a lot of their own problems, too. If you can truly relate to a person and their problems, you’ll be able to care for them in the best possible way.
  • Friendliness – As a carer, you’ll meet a lot of different people. It’s important that you are kind and approachable to them all, even if some are more difficult than others. Remember, some of these individuals might have behavioural issues as a result of neglect or disability, and for others, you might be the only person they say all day. 
  • Flexibility – In the health and social care industry, no day is ever the same. Each and every hour is unpredictable, and you might need to handle something you’ve never been trained on, or never even thought could be a possibility. The flexibility to handle different situations and roles as they are handed to you is key for success.
  • Reliability – As a care worker, people rely on you to make their lives better. They put their faith in you as you might be the only person available to put faith in. It’s vital, therefore, that you turn up on time, and follow through on your promises to the best of your ability.
  • Caring – Sure, this one is obvious, but you need to be caring by nature to succeed and be happy in the care industry. You will give a lot of yourself to this role, and if your heart is not 100% in it, you’ll do both yourself and those in need of care a huge disservice. That being said, if you have a genuine want to help those less fortunate, you’ll do extremely well in the profession.

What are the positives of working in care?

Care Workers Are In Demand 

The UK care industry is growing rapidly. The UK is an aging population, which essentially means there are far more older people than younger people. There are around 12million people over the age of 65 in the UK, which means there are a great number of people in need of care.

Similarly, more and more young people are being diagnosed with learning and behavioural difficulties such as autism, ADHD, and dyspraxia. These kinds of children may be entitled to additional support.

The industry is only expected to grow. The larger the population gets, the higher need for care there is. Similarly, as we diagnose more and more conditions, there must be people there to support those in need of extra help.

For this reason, working in health or social care is one of the most secure industries to work in, as employers will always be looking for people with your skills and talents. 

Incredible Job Satisfaction

While the work you will perform in care will make a huge difference to other people’s lives, the effect it can have on the carers’ wellbeing and outlook can also be profound. You will be able to rest easy knowing that you’re quite literally changing somebody’s life, and with that comes an incredible sense of satisfaction and enrichment.

The appreciation you’ll receive from not only the people who are supporting but their families as well can also result in an incredible feeling of satisfaction. You will be cherished and valued in your selflessness, and care gives you a sense of purpose that few other jobs can provide.

Clear And Accessible Progression

Due to the scope of the car industry, there are always opportunities to branch out and progress both horizontally and vertically. By that we mean there are plenty of ways to increase both your skillset and your income. 

Whether you want to look into courses and qualifications for specific types of people or service, wish to take on a more managerial role, or even want to work in the logistics side of care, there are tonnes of opportunities for you to take advantage of.

It’s in the best interest of all parties involved in care to invest in you, the carer, and all you will need to do is reach out and take them.

Tedium Will Rarely Kick In

While the unpredictability of working in health and social care certainly comes with its own challenges, it does mean that you’ll rarely have a slow day or be at a loss of things to do. There’s also a true sense of variety to the role, especially if you are working with people of varying backgrounds.

Whether it’s helping somebody with their shopping, taking them on a trip to the zoo, or heading to see a show, the variation involved in much of the industry is definitely a big plus.

What are the negatives of working in care?

We want to make sure that we are offering readers impartial advice, so it’s only fair that we cover some of the potential cons to working in health and social care. While these might not be a big issue for you personally, they might raise some red flags for some.

Long Hours

Working long shifts might not be much of a concern if you love what you’re doing, but you will often be performing tasks that are both physically and emotionally demanding. This could lead to you feeling run down and tired, so it’s important to be prepared.

Similarly, you will likely be working some nights and weekends, which can have an effect on your personal and social life. Some roles might need you to work several days at a time without a break, so again, make sure you are prepared for this.

Challenging Patients 

Caring for people is tough at the best of times, but this can be worsened if the patient is difficult. Whether the difficulty is related to a condition or not, it’s still your responsibility to be friendly, kind, and caring, which can be doubly tough especially if you are tired or strained. 

Always remember that even though a patient or their family might not appreciate what you’re doing (on some occasions), you are still helping, and that’s likely why you got into care in the first place.

Emotionally Tough

All of what we have covered so far can lead to a fair bit of emotional exhaustion. If you’ve had a bad day, are feeling under appreciated or even made a mistake, it can take an emotional toll on some people. 

Furthermore, things might happen to the people you are caring for. You’ll naturally form an attachment to these people – it’s human nature. While this is one of the reasons why working in care is so great, it can also be a double edged sword. An elderly person might pass away, for example, or somebody you’ve been helping through substance addiction might relapse. 

Flagship Partners offer training and support

At Flagship Partners, we have the greatest respect for people pursuing a career and health and social care, as well as those already on the front lines. That’s why we have collated some of the finest online courses for you to put your best foot forward in a new career, brush up on some existing knowledge, or learn something new entirely.

If you would like to learn more about what we offer, including information on our courses any of our other services, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 03300 553643.