Not everyone is suited to being a care worker. Working in care requires special skills and qualities, some that can be taught and others that are part of the individual carer's personality.
Whether you are a care worker or you're looking to recruit care workers, it's important to understand what skills are needed to provide the high-quality care that your patients need.
In this article, we explore the most common and desirable interpersonal skills of a care worker.
A positive mindset can help both carers and their patients deal with day-to-day issues.
Interpersonal skills, or soft skills, are the attributes you use to engage with people and can help influence how you communicate and relate to family, friends, colleagues and, most importantly, patients.
By developing your personal skills you can positively impact your professional development and enhance the quality of care you provide.
The Care Certificate Training Course
These skills are an important aspect of professional life. They improve your career prospects, help increase productivity in your role and are useful for other lifestyle activities.
Employers are increasingly looking for these 'soft skills' in addition to qualifications. In health and social care, these personal skills can be more important than certain technical skills.
What interpersonal skills do health care professionals need?
In healthcare and social care environments, you have to be able to empathise and sympathise with the difficult situations faced by others. You need to be sincere when dealing with people's health and emotions.
Remember, when it comes to care, it's not just the patient that you must consider, but their family and friends too, as well as your colleagues.
Showing an understanding for a patient's feelings is one way to demonstrate empathy as a care worker.
Communication is key when dealing with patients, their family and colleagues. Your tone, what you say and how you use body language are all important when dealing with difficult situations involving patients.
Part of being a strong communicator is listening. Caring for others is largely about understanding the individual patient's needs, and this requires the ability to listen carefully to their concerns and act accordingly in the appropriate way.
Are you able to cover extra shifts at short notice? Can you work late due to additional patient requirements? Remember, healthcare doesn't tend to fall into the normal 9-5 working day patterns associated with a day job.
Did you know...
Our online mandatory training for care workers is flexible to your needs. Complete courses at your own pace from wherever you are, and download your certificate instantly upon course completion so you get back to caring for your patients.
Be a team player
The ability to co-operate with others is an advantage when working in care homes or as a domiciliary care worker. You may have to work alone for large periods, but you will need to consult and work alongside other healthcare workers to complete certain tasks, especially if you work for a care worker agency.
External bodies may need to be informed of changes in living arrangements or a change to a patient's care plan, and this requires good interpersonal skills.
Dealing with pressure
Handling pressure in your role is a must if you are to remain healthy yourself. What you do outside of work can be as important as what you do during it in terms of your stress levels and general wellbeing. The ability to find a good work-life balance is one of the most underrated qualities of a care worker.
Our Stress Awareness training course can help you manage the pressures associated with working in care and teach you to thrive in high-pressure situations.
Strong work ethic
Healthcare workers often need to call on their own resolve to ensure their patients are looked after when emergencies arise. A job in care is not an easy one, you need to be prepared to go above and beyond in the care and service of others.
The responsibilities of a care worker in a residential home and other arrangements often require extended working hours and other commitments that may be considered as going above and beyond the call of duty.
Maintaining a strong work ethic will help you stay professional and ensure patients get the care they need at all times.
Positive mental attitude
A positive mental attitude is vital in careers where there is suffering and distress. Mental health is something a carer needs to take seriously, especially their own.
By being aware of your own mental health and wellbeing, you will be more attentive to the mental wellbeing of those in your care too.
Other people's lives may depend on your careful and accurate time management skills. If you say you are going to do something at a set time, you need to make sure this is the case.
Projecting self-confidence is at the centre of any trust relationship with your patient. No matter how experienced you are, if you are confident that you can handle any situation, your patient will have faith in your ability.
Dealing with criticism
The nature of healthcare and legislation is constantly changing. You don’t know everything, and you will make mistakes. You have to be able to accept criticism and use it as a tool for self-improvement.
What courses help develop care worker interpersonal skills?
At Flexebee, we offer a wide range of health and social care worker training courses that help you develop the interpersonal skills required for care workers to deliver quality, compassionate care for the elderly or vulnerable. These include:
- Care Certificate Training - the holy grail of care worker training courses, outlining the role of a care worker in health and social care.
- Complaints Handling Training - learn how to address complaints professionally.
- Conflict Management Training - conflict occurs, discover techniques and procedures to ensure it is dealt with in an appropriate and safe manner.
- Stress Awareness Training - working in care can be stressful, knowing how to manage your stress is crucial to your wellbeing.
Further courses include:
- Challenging Behaviour Awareness Training
- Disability Awareness Training
- Lone Working Awareness Training
- Mental Health Awareness Training
- Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults (Levels 1-3)
Do you know someone working in health and social care? Share this article with them to help guide them in their career as a care worker.