How To Get Into Care Home Work With No Experience

If you’re considering a career in the care sector, but lack experience you’re in the right place. It’s a wonderfully rewarding career path, fuelled by strong personal relationships and instant gratification. Perfect for someone who considers themself outgoing, compasionate and responsible, and who isn’t afraid of long hours, physical work and, potentially, a lot of paperwork. 

Do I need qualifications to work in a care home?

The short answer is no. Qualifications may enable you to join a care home in a more responsible position, but many roles don’t require any qualifications. Whether in a care home, hospital, or community setting there are a range of roles available without qualifications. There is often on-the-job training and opportunities to upskill once you start work.

What care roles can I do without any qualifications?

There are a range of roles, which include (but are not limited to):

  • Caregiver – providing individuals with personalised care and supporting with daily tasks
  • Receptionist – in a care home, hospital, dental practice, etc
  • Phlebotomist – collecting blood samples
  • Health Care Assistant – supporting medical professionals giving care
  • Activities co-ordinator – designing programmes of games, entertainment, outings and guest visitors 
  • Cleaning and Catering – essential support roles

What skills do I need to work in a care home?

This is the important part. Working in a care home is, by its very nature, a caring role. You need to be a people person, who stops to take the time to listen to someone’s concerns even when the timing’s inconvenient. You need to see the value in those moments that will lift a resident's day and make them feel seen. 

Being able to adapt and show that kind of kindness is a ‘soft skill’ and these are what you’ll want to showcase to a potential employer.

The top 5 soft skills to have examples of before an interview:

  1. Tenacity – Being tenacious is about not giving up at the first hurdle. There are a lot of moving parts in the running of a care home, problems will undoubtedly arise around you. You need to be commited to getting the desired results.
  2. Initiative – Making decisions for yourself is a fundamental skill in a care home. You’ll often be working on tasks alone and you’ll need to make considered decisions and stand by them. 
  3. Positivity – For some residents you may be one of the only people they have an intimate interaction with on any given day. Bringing a smile and a positive outlook can make all the difference to those you’re helping. It needs to go everywhere with you.
  4. Empathy – The best carers (the ones who get the most out of their work), are people who can imagine themselves in someone else's shoes. Appreciating that people’s emotions are complex takes patience and understanding – vital qualities to succeeding in a care position.  
  5. Relationship management  – Building relationships cannot be undervalued. Your relationships and collaborations with others need to be built quickly, yet made to last. Those bonds, based on trust and understanding each other's needs and priorities, can lead to unlocking opportunities. And good listening can support your team/residents/their family members with creative problem solving.

All of this needs to be conducted with compassion and good manners. 

An employer needs to feel they can trust you from their first interaction, so be on time for the interview, dress smartly, and have examples of where you have shown the above skills. 

Qualifications that can boost your chances

Professional qualifications can help getting a job interview; GCSEs and A-Levels are preferred by many employers. Getting an NVQ in Health and Safety is highly recommended. Nursing, social care, and psychology, are all relevant fields to investigate further qualifications too. 

A shorter-term solution can include taking a first-aid course. However, as we’ve discussed there are plenty of possibilities to enter the care industry without qualifications. 

Gaining experience to work in a care home

There are a variety of ways to gain more experience:

  • Work Experience – This could be as little as a week. Ideal for a school leaver or if you’re making a career change.
  • Internship/Apprenticeships – These can lead to a professional qualification. A position where you learn on the job with dedicated training. UCAS has more information. 
  • Part-time role – starting with a part-time position can allow you to get experience, whilst studying or keeping on a separate role.
  • Volunteering – Getting involved in a befriending scheme can expose you to the inner workings of a care home. 

Your personality matters:

Your personality can get you a long way in care homes. A good CV will help you display it, you can get more advice on that from Alina Homecare.

At Social Care People we’re here to support you find your perfect job in care. To learn more about opportunities and roles within care homes, register today. 

 

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