Top 15 Caregiver Skills to be best on the Job
If you aspire to become a caregiver or you are one already and want to be best on your job, you will need to possess certain skills and qualities that will help you attain the peak of your career.
This post highlights the skills you can work on developing if you do not already have them and apply in your work as a caregiver. They are proven to help in improving your job performance.
But first, let’s learn about this occupation.
Who is a Caregiver?
A caregiver works in the home and helps their clients to carry out daily activities such as feeding, cleaning, taking medication, bathing, washing, and some chores.
Caregivers are either hired by patients’ families or a client, or work directly with a physician or a nurse to help clients with ambulation and mobility around the house or outside, and to take prescribed medication.
Caregivers also help their patients with personal care and hygiene.
Now, let’s look at the skills and qualities you need to have and bring to your work to become a good caregiver:
15 Caregiver Skills to be Effective on the Job
1. Excellent Communication: As a caregiver, you need to have good verbal communication skills to help you talk to patients easily. You will be able to talk your client through any changes to their daily routine. Good communication skills and positive attitude will make you an effective caregiver.
2. Empathy: Empathy helps caregivers to relate well with their patients as much as possible. It will help them to perform their job better if they can put themselves in their patients’ shoes and devote most of their time to the care of their patients. They should understand the person they are caring for, know their problems, challenges, and desires; and help to improve the relationship they have with the patient, and also improve the overall healthcare experience.
3. Patience: Being patient means finding the best way to provide quality home care, stay calm and be present at all times. It also means understanding that there may be changes in plans; things may not go as quickly as planned, and there may be a little hesitation at times on the part of the patient. As your patients are sometimes ill or scared, you should control your reaction to their behavior and maintain a patient demeanor.
4. Reliability: This is an important skill every caregiver should possess. It involves being on time, especially during patient’s feeding and medication time. The person you are giving homecare service to must rely on you and require you to be regular and show up to provide his or her needs. If your patient does not feel a sense of personal attachment, he or she will feel lonely and will not be happy.
5. Attention to Detail: Caregivers must be mindful of specific rules and schedules and must follow them. It is vital that when they provide homecare service, they should be attentive even to the smallest details. If caregivers don’t take note of missing buttons and zippers on the clothes they put on their clients, or remind their clients of a change in diet or time to see the doctor, their job will have flaws because they lack the basic skill set of a caregiver, which is that of being mindful even to the slightest issue.
6. Time Management Skills: This requires that the caregiver keeps time and schedule because they have a lot to contend with throughout the day. You should be there for the client to ensure he or she gets up on time, take medication according to schedule and get to appointments on time. This skill set helps you to follow a regular schedule that lists all the things that need to get done at the end of the day. Use time to your advantage, plan ahead and always set reminders.
7. Positivity & Confidence: You need to approach your care giving profession with positivity and confidence to make your work better and easier, and even make it more enjoyable. When you have a positive attitude, your client and others will notice it easily, because it will affect and spread to everyone you come in contact with. The quality of care you provide when you are happier is significantly better than that of an unhappy and angry caregiver. A positive outlook makes life better and easier all the time.
8. Problem-solving: Problems such as cancellation of appointments and change in plans can occur, requiring the caregiver to pull through by rescheduling or creating a new plan to correct errors and save the day. When there is a problem or crisis, the caregiver should be able to keep calm and find a way to solve it.
9. Trustworthiness: As a caregiver, you will likely get to know about your patient’s belongings and have access to them. If you are not trustworthy, you may breach that trust by taking advantage of your patient. You must be careful not to go astray while on duty. Don’t attempt to steal or hide anything that doesn’t belong to you.
10. Responsibility: This is one of the most essential qualities every caregiver should have. A responsible caregiver knows that the person receiving care depends wholly on the caregiver’s ability to take care of things such as regular medication and keeping appointments. The elderly patient you are taking care of knows that you can be relied upon for quality care.
11. Being Intuitive: Your job as a caregiver requires that you take note of things that need to be done, and use your energy, capacity, and drive to take action. You should always be aware of physical and emotional needs of those in your care. When you notice that something has gone wrong, you don’t give up until you figure out how to address the issue. Elderly patients need caregivers with this special trait as they courageously provide the best of care for them.
12. Flexibility: The ability to be flexible is important as a situation can change quickly when caring for someone. Your schedule may change if the person receiving care suddenly falls sick. Being flexible in your work will help make your patients feel secure, as they know you will always show up when they need you. You cannot treat various people all in the same way, because different patients have different needs. A flexible approach will establish a good relationship between you and the elderly person you are caring for.
13. Caring Attitude: When you possess the attitude of care and compassion, the person receiving care and his or her family will feel at ease. You need a caring nature to make your patient happy and secure. Elderly people need a great deal of caring that doesn’t involve only words but kind actions. Your caring quality should be used to let your elderly patient know that they are not a burden, but rather that they have value.
14. Multi-tasking: The ability to multitask is one of the needed traits of a good caregiver because you can be overstressed with lots of work to do. Your ability to carry out various tasks and responsibilities at the same time will help you a lot as you can either work alone effectively or as part of small teams. You need to step up to the challenge and deal effectively with more than one task at once. In the process of multitasking, you should as well ensure that the level of care you provide remains high.
15. Life Saving Skills: Getting trained in life saving skills such as first aid and CPR is important in your caregiver career. You should be able to recognize when the patient has a life threatening emergency such as heart attack or choking. You need to also know how to effectively treat wounds such as cuts and burns.
Caregiver Skills for Resume
If you are writing a resume for a Caregiver job, you can create a strong core competence or skills section by applying the caregiver skills presented above.
To be a good caregiver, you need to imbibe certain skills and qualities to your work. By using the ideas shared in this post, you are sure to be able to improve on your work performance in the shortest possible time.