Support Worker Life Skills – What kind of life skills do you learn?

When we consider the diverse individuals that make up Support Workers, we also consider what skills they bring to the role. But what life skills does a Support Worker learn during their time caring for individuals?

Support Workers provide care in a range of environments, both in residential and in-home care and may work with clients with different needs; disabilities; post-surgery assistance; personal care and other daily activities. To be in this field, a carer or support giver need to be equipped with hard and soft skills to be effective in their role and successful in their careers.

So, what are some of the life skills that Support Workers learn on the job?

  1. Active listening – being able to communicate to another person is a great skill, but honing your interpersonal skills and really getting to know a client in their home is such a valuable skill to learn. By actively listening to your clients, you go past being a stranger when you first meed, and really get to know and understand their needs to deliver more relevant service to improve their wellbeing.
  • Resilience – you might find days challenging and you will meet different people with different personalities, that might not gel with you. Despite the challenges of difficult situations, your interpersonal skills can allow you to build a rapport, evaluate your client’s needs and gain patience and resilience to overcome challenges.
  • Having good habits – part of caring for an individual may include assisting with daily tasks including grocery shopping, meal preparation and maintaining a healthy diet. Food contamination may occur in fresh produce, salads, fruits, vegetables, shellfish. Practicing good hygiene before food preparation and before eating, especially after toilet time is healthy habit to share.
  • Decision-making – critical thinking skills to problem solve complex tasks are learned and developed by using your soft skills and taking the time to understand an individual to evaluate their needs. Some individuals have chronic or complex diseases or conditions and require more support such as the elderly and those with weakened immune system who are more likely to have severe symptoms.

Individual needs are case by case and it’s important to develop these life skills to make good decisions as a Support Worker to meet your client’s needs. What other life skills do you value in a Support Worker?

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