Care Staff: Undervalued, Underpaid and Underappreciated

Empathy, integrity and reliability is the foundation stones of delivering great agency care. We have the opportunity to set a new precedent for agency carers everyday to be part of a successful and caring community and to ensure that their hard work is valued and appreciated.

If you believe, like we do, that agency stigma still exists in many care homes then you will likely have also experienced what it is like to be an agency care worker and to have people be rude and snarky because “you’re paid more” or “you don’t know the residents”.

Who is responsible for that attitude?

Potentially an agency carer that came before you or maybe it is just a tribal instinct because you work for a different company.

Who is responsible for changing their mind?

That’s right, you! When you arrive at a home you have not worked at before, you are already worried about;

  1. learning the care workers names
  2. learning the residents names
  3. Grabbing 5 minutes to read a care plan before delivering care
  4. Striking up an instant rapport with the people you are caring for
  5. To not get lost in the building (again!)

The list is endless! You also have the challenge to convince the people you are working with that you are competent!

Before we ask anyone to value the work we do, we need to value ourselves more.

It takes a lot of courage to be an agency carer, the first day of any job is scary. Agency carers have “first days” every time they go to a new home, which can be weekly.

So how do we change how people view agency care?

By taking ownership of how we are viewed by the industry.

It is our belief that care workers, both full-time and agency, are the most undervalued and unappreciated workers of any industry. This is due to many different factors, from lack of government funding to a negative media image.

There is very little as individuals that we can do about social care funding and maybe even less that we can do to stop media from only reporting on the worst 5% of carers. Making it seem to the wider public that they are in the majority!

What we can do, is to make a good account of ourselves everyday and hold the care we deliver and our colleagues to a higher standard.

Over the next few weeks, we will explore the challenges of being an agency carer, the stigma agency workers’ experience and why those feelings exists.

We will also explore the career opportunities on offer to carers, what the industry can do to increase the value and appreciate it’s care teams and what we can do as a collective to improve the image of the care industry, attracting more people into care.

Stayed tuned, we will post the links here to each area as we dive in!

 

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