Call of Duty

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Vanessa, senior carer at Figham House in Beverley is just what you need to see in a care home.

She exudes enthusiasm.

After more than twenty years in retail, including 12 years at Blockbuster, it was time for a career change.

Just before Christmas seven years ago, the demise of the video giant forced Vanessa to look at other options. Having never been out of work and with Christmas days away she started to worry that there might not be a job role she would be interested in.
She had already decided to do something different, and her sister-in-law Lindsey suggested joining her at Figham House.

Vanessa has been a volunteer at a church youth group, but up until being made redundant had never considered working with the elderly.

She attended her interview and got the job. Eventually, her DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) came through, and her first day began.

She says ‘It was the most, worst nightmarish day.
‘I had a few incidents; I was just inexperienced.
‘Our residents can’t help it. They are living with dementia’.

‘From the beginning, I’ve been in one form of training or another. I’ve had guidance and help from everyone on the care team, and I’ve learnt so much. From first aid and fire training to dysphagia and person-centred and end of life care’.

Just listening to Vanessa talk about the everyday moments in Figham House, you know she feels honoured to look after people and loves the variety that working in social care offers.

When asked what she doesn’t like about her job, the immediate response was paperwork and weighing residents who are confused and often resistant to being handled, no matter how carefully.
‘We have to do this quite often, to make sure residents are eating, gaining weight and meet the health requirements set. It is still a task, but I know why we have to do it’.

When you ask her what she loves about her job, her face lights up.
‘The team camaraderie, people look after each other. We look after our residents, and that has its stresses, but we are here for each other.’
‘Just recently my husband has been unable to drive me to work which meant 4 hours on public transport and a lot of walking. My colleagues went out of their way to help and get me to work. I’m very grateful to them, for that’.

Vanessa completes her NVQ 3 this week and is looking towards becoming a team leader.

The final words come from Vanessa and sum up working in a care home with older people living with memory issues.
‘Working in care can be very, very frustrating and tiring, but it is the most rewarding job I have ever done. I go home, and I think I made a difference today.’

Right now, social care needs an army of care staff, is this the job for you?

If you would like to discuss working for Burlington Care, please contact them via their website.

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