If you’re considering a career as a support worker, there’s a good chance that you care deeply about the well-being of others.
Maybe you love to help others, or want to make a positive difference in your community. Perhaps you’ve been a caregiver for a loved one, and want to make sure that others get much-deserved attention as well.
Whatever reason you have for becoming interested in support work, your compassion will be an important key to your success throughout your career. In this blog we share some important qualities we think you will need as a support worker as well as providing an overview of the role and whats involved.
What does a disability support worker do?
The day-to-day tasks of a disability support worker will vary depending on the individual needs of the person you’re assisting. But, a typical shift may involve a few light domestic chores, assisting with medication, and helping with personal grooming and hygiene before an activity or community outing. There’s also a significant element of providing emotional support, and communicating with the resident’s family and friends. Helping people live their best lives means finding ways that they can join the community in ways that are meaningful to them.
What qualities we look for in a disability support worker
You’ll need excellent communication and listening skills. We highly value interpersonal, written and verbal skills, which help to develop good working relationships with residents, families and medical providers. Patience and understanding are paramount. Demonstrated experience in complex problem solving, and the ability to think creatively and on your feet will also be helpful. The following traits are also important if you are considering a career as a disability support worker:
Compassion Being compassionate is one of the trait a personal support worker should have. This quality goes a long way in helping to connect well with people and being able to attend to individual needs with tenderness and warmth.
Trust and Honesty Trust is a vital component in any profession but more so in the disability sector. We are often working with vulnerable people and to have the trust of the person you are supporting and their family is crucial in building a long-lasting relationship. Honesty is also crucial and its role in building trust cannot be underestimated. It shows that the support worker is professional, has integrity and takes personal responsibility for their actions.
Professional and Motivating A support worker should be able to build rapport with people quickly and easily and always act and behave in a professional manner at all times. Support workers should also be encouraging and motivating, always trying to build client’ self-esteem and self-confidence, and should always be there to encourage people to participate as much as possible.
Flexibility and Adaptability It is essential for support workers to be flexible and adaptable because on any given day you will encounter a wide range if situations and scenarios that are beyond your control. The nature of being a support worker is such that each day can have new challenges and difficulties which both the client and the caregiver must work together to overcome.
Attention to Detail Once you are working as a support worker, you’ll soon learn that attention to detail is an important part of the role. That’s because each client is a unique individual with their own personality and medical history. Experienced support workers know to pay attention to key details and personalise the care each client receives. Your ability to notice small but important details about the clients you support will help your long-term relationship and career aspirations.
Strength Strength can come in many different shapes and sizes. It could be the physical strength to assist a client get in and out of bed safely. It can also be having emotional strength to help clients and their families as they go through a very difficult time.
Team Player, Communication Skills In addition to these significant qualities, support workers should also be able to work as part of a team and possess the ability to communicate information, ideas and plans to a wide range of audiences. All of these qualities should be able to practice on a daily basis. They help to develop professional work ethics and rapport, not only among co-workers but also with clients.
Quality Health Care has the highest standards when selecting candidates to join the team. It’s especially important to the people we support, and their loved ones, that we’re only bringing staff with the right skills, qualities and experience onto the team. We are always on the lookout for new staff and if you can demonstrate an awareness of person-centred approaches, have a good grasp of the rights, needs and requirements of people with a disability and have the ability to build rapport, trust and confidence in people, then we would like to hear from you.
If you think you fit the bill to become a disability support worker check out available positions on our Careers Page.