As we have covered previously, care home work is extremely varied and the best care workers should understand how to tackle a number of problems simultaneously with the level of care they offer to residents. Vulnerable people with complex needs have to be cared for in a timely, appropriate fashion, which requires a great deal of knowledge, skills and experience. That’s why recruitment for care home staff is such an integral part of the whole process of providing care.
Staff members being recruited for care home work have to go through multiple stages of checks and tests in the vast majority of cases, and in the UK especially there are numerous hoops people must jump through in order to be considered for a job in care. While some of this may be seen as overkill (and bureaucracy is often criticised within the sector), most of the necessary checks are indeed essential. The potential costs of employing people without appropriate skills to work in care could be extremely damaging to confidence in care providers.
Experience is considered essential for the vast majority of care home work, as it is the best way to ensure someone will probably be able to cope with the pressure of their new role. Someone joining a care home team will most likely be diving into the role head first, and they will usually be under some pressure to provide an appropriate service almost immediately. This is why previous experience tends to be absolutely necessary to equip someone with the skills they need to take on the challenges of caring for residents in a home.
On the other hand, experience is not everything and at a certain point qualifications will become equally important. Medical knowledge is particularly crucial and without at least a basic level of knowledge it would be hard to justify putting someone in a position of responsibility in a care home. Unfortunately this is an area that come private firms and other authorities have struggled with in the past, as past qualifications can only tell you so much about a person’s current knowledge and experience is considered the most important factor.
Despite this, ensuring people are properly qualified before putting them in care homes really should be of vital importance. In the case that demand is greater than supply when it comes to recruitment, it should be considered a priority to improve access to education and training programmes so care home workers are able to develop their skills and get their qualifications up to date.