Niva works for ND Care & Support in our Abertillery branch as a Care Coordinator for the areas of Monmouthshire and Torfaen. She has been part of the ND Care & Support family since 2014, taking a short break along the way to try something else, before realising this is where she truly wanted to be. Find out all about what Niva does in her Meet the Team Q&A…
Do you have a background in care work? Can you tell us more about your career journey so far?
All of my roles have been within the care sector since leaving school and the care sector has been a part of my career journey for five years. Each role I have taken has been varied, allowing me to learn and experience different areas of the care sector throughout my career. My personal journey is all down to a personal desire to progress and since my return to ND Care & Support after a short break, I have progressed from being a Carer to a Senior Carer, and I have now been appointed as a Care Coordinator since October 2019.
What does a day in your role look like?
Each day working as a Care Coordinator varies. Depending on emergencies or cover, some days I am out of the office covering the work myself if we are short-staffed or if we have any staff sickness. This does mean that you have to play catch up when you return to the office to ensure everything is still dealt with and actioned. Meanwhile, other days could entail meetings with new clients, reviewing the service we provide to current clients, making sure that if there are improvements to make or if there are any changes required that these are put into place to maintain our high standard of care services. As part of my role, I also meet with local authorities as well as other healthcare professionals to discuss and deal with any issues or concerns brought to my attention and I cover our on-call services, as we are always open 24/7 (not just 9-5) and dealing with any emergencies that arise out of hours.
What key skills are required to do your job?
What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
For me, I enjoy meeting new clients, getting to know them as well as their families and seeing how the care and support we provide them changes their lives. There is no other feeling quite like it!
What day-to-day challenges do you face in your role?
One of the biggest challenges in my job can be covering shifts at short notice, especially at times when we are short-staffed. Sometimes, we have to leave the office and cover the work ourselves to ensure that our service users still receive the care that they need. Often we are their lifeline and because of that, we can’t see them without the care they rely on day to day and we undertake that responsibility ourselves.
What challenges does the wider care sector face? How do you feel you are making a difference to this?
One of the biggest challenges facing the wider care sector is recruitment – it is hard to get good people into Carer roles. We have recently taken steps to increase our pay rates to recognise the hard work that our Carers do every day. To ensure they feel valued, we also support our carers to complete qualifications that will benefit them. As I’ve seen and experienced myself, ND Care & Support encourages progression to make the role of a Carer not just a job, but a career to be proud of.
What is your proudest moment in work or your greatest achievement in your career and why?
Having left school with no qualifications, I am proud to be doing what I’m doing now – coordinating care for individuals in our community. I never thought for a second that I could be doing something like this, but here I am. This is just proof that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it with the right support and you can feel proud of the hard work you put in.
What advice would you give to candidates who want to go into care work?
Go for it and give it your all! Care work can be very rewarding and as part of your role looking after others, look after them as you would expect your own family to be taken care of. This is the best advice I can give, as it is all about being compassionate and kind.
What is your favourite quote and why?
“You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea or you’d be a mug.”
It’s a bit of a comedy quote, but reminds me just to remember that we are there for the service users to provide a service to them. We are going to come across individuals who may not like us along the way, or even individuals who will not be willing to take the help we are offering, but we are there to offer it, be encouraging and help them, even if at times the service user doesn’t always see that.
We hope Niva’s story has inspired you to consider a career in the care sector. Contact us to find out more about registering with ND Care & Support as a Care Worker and tune in soon to meet the next member of the ND Care & Support team…