Aged care workers have been identified as one of the most important careers for the next generation.
Does a career as an aged care worker sound interesting to you?
We recently asked Irene Swyer, Aged Care Co-ordinator at TAFE NSW-South Western Sydney, what type of person is best suited for a career as an aged care worker. Read below for her answer.
1. Kind and caring attitude
You can’t fake it or learn it. If you are the type of person that genuinely likes helping people then a career as an aged care worker may be for you.
2. Want to learn a new skill
As a minimum you need an aged care certificate III. This will take you 3-6 months, depending on where you choose to study. You will learn to provide personal care and support for older people. As part of the qualification you will have to do a work placement. For some students, this placement leads to an ongoing job.
3. Like working with people
Working in aged care, you may meet wonderful clients with interesting life stories. They can be inspiring, humbling and fascinating! The job gives you the opportunity to develop rich and rewarding relationships. You may also find your clients very grateful to have you around
4. Basic English as a minimum (written and spoken)
The people you are caring for may be hard of hearing or have difficulties speaking. You may also need to communicate important information to other individuals including care workers, doctors and family members. It is essential that you can speak, read and write English at a basic level at least. You will need to have these skills to study aged care in Australia. Most institutions, which offer aged care certifications, will offer English courses.
5. Work life balance
Aged care work can be done full-time, part-time or casually. It can be done in shifts, at night and on weekends. It is perfect work to fit around your work, study or family commitments.
6. No age barrier
You can become a wonderful aged carer at any age! There is equipment to help care workers lift people, limiting physical strain. Swyer has seen many people start very fulfilling careers as aged care workers at a much later stage in their lives.
7. You want to go even further in your career
As Australia’s population ages, the aged care industry is growing rapidly, meaning there are many opportunities to gain work in this field. This may be the perfect stepping stone to fulfilling other career dreams. Swyer told us that she sees many students complete the Certificate in aged care, work in aged care and then go onto to study nursing at university. “These students gain a sense of achievement and empowerment and that makes it all worthwhile.
For more information on studying aged care at TAFE NSW please visit their website www.tafensw.edu.au.
TAFE currently has vacancies in its Aged Care Certificate courses. Scholarships are available to eligible students. To register you interest, visit www.tafensw.edu.au/courses and enter Cert III Aged Care 15BKS-109.