When researching the topic of how to become a qualified aged carer in Australia, you will find the same limited information over and over again. This article aims to go beyond the usual limitations and reveal more about what it takes to become a professional in this field and what you should expect from the job.
Not everyone is suitable
You may like the prospects but this doesn’t mean you can actually handle the job. It takes a certain psychological profile to become a well coping aged carer. It’s about empathy and the desire to do well, about patience and strength. In the long run, it can wear you out, because you’re facing the problems of more or less disabled people on a daily basis. Their sorrows and inabilities may affect you. You not only have to be strong for yourself, but also for them, in order to offer your adequate support. Therefore, consider this option carefully and be honest in assessing your own personality and power.
There are several valid qualifications
Many talk about Certificate III in Aged Care, yet that does not offer the complete picture of Australian qualifications offered at Skills Certified Australia. Firstly, there is Certificate III in Individual Support, one for the Disability sector and the other for Ageing, Home and Community. Caring for older people is a complex matter; the latter specialisation is the basic one, suitable to starters. When you get into the Disability sector, you’re already dealing with more difficult work that requires additional knowledge. Consider these differences before you enroll for acquiring practical skills. Then, there is Certificate IV in Ageing Support as well as in Disability – superior qualifications for delivering better care to the elderly and enabling people to pursue more varied roles in the industry. If you are more attracted to nursing and would like to find an assistant role or be a nursing support worker, then you may consider getting Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.
You can combine the learning methods
Sometimes it’s hard to choose between online and offline learning, because you’d like the best of both. Besides, both have their shortcomings. You may not be attracted to the impersonal nature of e-learning and need at least some face-to-face, in person classes. At the same time, being present regularly in a classroom might be too demanding. Now you can combine the two methods, if you’re going for an open college.
The importance of communication and flexibility
As an aged carer, you won’t be working alone, only in your client’s company, as many people envision. You may be required to work as part of a team and coordinate your efforts with theirs. Also, efficient communication is required in relation to every client. They often need to make it to appointments, need their schedules organised, demand transport etc. You must be ready for all of that and handle everything in due time. Flexibility is also very important, considering you could be working in shifts or be called to work at unexpected times.
In the end, the job comes with many rewards. With qualifications and experience, salaries grow and there is great satisfaction coming from your role as a carer. You’re enabling people to live in their homes and feel fulfilled. They’re certainly feeling much more independent than in a nursing home.