Our social care workers are invaluable, and provide an amazing service in caring for us when we need it most! (Well we are clapping you every week)
For social care worker safety during Covid-19, here are a few things to think about to make sure you stay safe during the pandemic.
Complications of Workplace Safety in Social Care
Social care is a diverse area of the UK jobs world. With so many different settings and innumerable types of work included within social care jobs, there isn’t an easy way to produce a set of guidelines that will work everywhere!
One of the biggest challenges is that many social care jobs involve working alone. That could include, for example:
- Supported living houses, where one project worker can support a few residents
- Home care workers providing one to one care in someone’s home
- Overnight workers keeping a careful watch over their residents to keep them safe at night
- Homeless support workers providing essential concierge services to shelters and refuses
Skills for Care spoke to our healthcare workers to understand what lone working is like. They report back that 80% of respondents feel a high level of job satisfaction, and that 76% feel that having the responsibility of working alone provides a positive impact on their decision-making skills.
As you can see, social care jobs cover such a broad range of skills and services that a one size fits all solution just isn’t going to work for such a broad range of posts!
Why is Social Care a High-Risk Areas?
As well as having lots of social care jobs where staff work alone, the key reason that healthcare is considered high risk is that it is impossible to do an amazing job without being in contact with people.
Every social care worker is a helper. You care for people who need assistance with their daily lives, help the elderly or immobile to get around every day, and provide care for the sick, the disabled and the vulnerable.
Social care is one of the most meaningful and rewarding careers since you make a huge difference every day!
What this does mean is direct contact is essential to the job. During the Covid-19 pandemic more than ever, every care worker is vital. Where would we be without you?
So that in mind, let’s look at what you, and your employer, can do to make sure that you are kept safe and well, whilst providing these most crucial of services.
Maintaining Social Care Workers Safety during Covid-19
The first step is to consider the basics; which we know every healthcare professional working social care shifts already knows!
- Make sure to wear PPE wherever appropriate, and swap out your gloves and face masks after every use
- If you are short on supplies, report it immediately to your employer or manager where you at working; don’t put yourself at risk!
- We know that constant hand washing is a pain, but keep it up, and wash your hands thoroughly after each contact
- Change out of your work clothes before travelling home
- Observe social distancing where you can; we know that this sometimes just isn’t possible, but when you can try to keep your 2m distances
- If you feel unwell or have any symptoms, make sure to stay at home and self-isolate
- Should you need to cough or blow your nose, make sure to use a tissue and throw it away immediately, or cough into your elbow if you have to – but if you aren’t well, make sure to stay at home and look after yourself!
Help for Social Care Workers during the Pandemic
If your job changes in any way, you’ll need a risk assessment. Whilst it might sound like a lot of paperwork, this is there as a tool to help you.
Don’t forget that if you are looking for a new job, or perhaps to try something new whilst demand for skilled care workers is so high, to check out the job app for opportunities across London!
Chat with your employer if you’re unsure of their specific policy, but they will either help you create a risk assessment or write one with you. This means working out any problems you might face, where you might be exposed to risk, and what they can do to make sure you’re kept safe and well.
It’s also a great time to think about your mental health. Whilst everybody is under more stress than usual, being on the front line of healthcare means going out much more than non-essential workers, so take a moment to check in with yourself!
If you’re experiencing any problems or anxieties, make sure to speak up and see what you can do to ease the strain. Key workers are essential all the time and will be just as important after the pandemic. Skills for Care publishes a guide that explains all about the responsibilities and duties of employers and employees, so if you are in any doubt take the time to have a read!
We hope these guidelines help as a recap. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup, so try to take as great care of yourself as you do for your clients!
Registering with OUTT provides experienced social care candidates the opportunity to build an employer review base and take full control of where and when they work. It’s your life, live it! Register with us now!