Take Your Boss to Work Day

Posted about 5 months ago

Allied Healthcare’s Colchester Branch Manager, Lucy is trying to fully understand and support the care workers out in the community, so she decided to set up a new initiative in her branch.

Lucy arranges Take Your Boss to Work Day, where she shadows Care Workers for the day, so she can understand what drives them out of bed every morning, what causes their frustrations and generally to see what they have to deal with on a day to day basis.

Lucy started her career in the social care sector as a Care Assistant but things change, as do clients, families, illnesses and, of course, we now have to deal with a pandemic and the changes the world has to make as a whole.

Here’s an honest account of Lucy’s Take Your Boss to Work Day in her own words…

Today I am shadowing Rachea. We have arranged for her to collect me as, to be honest, I would still be looking for the houses now…I seriously have the navigation of a blind rat.

When Rachea arrived, she was stressed as she was all set to work with a certain Care Worker, who rang in sick, and she had been worrying who was coming out to support her. Rachea was also panicking as she had to ensure that all calls are done within a certain time frame.

After a little reassurance, we got going. We had 15 calls to get through, which started at 11.15am and ended at 22.50 pm, it was the same run three times covering the client’s lunch, tea and bed visits.

Rachea was keen to get started, as she had an estate agent coming to take photos of her property and was needing to get home after the lunchtime calls. That is something I hear all the time how Care Workers have to arrange their life around their rota or else have to book time off to arrange appointments, which they cannot afford to do.

Traffic is another stressful part of their day and trust me when I say they know every back-street road to cheat and beat the traffic. It hurts when you finally get to a client and they scream at you for being late, when you have spent the last twenty minutes breaking the speed limit trying to do every short cut possible to avoid upsetting them.

We arrive at our first customer’s home; Mr L who suffers with M.S. and is now palliative care. It is so sad to see a young man just lying in his profiling bed, unable to do anything for himself and when I say anything it means nothing. We even have his TV set up to one of our Field Care Supervisor’s phones, so we can change the channel for him during the day.

We introduce ourselves and ask how he is doing. You have to wait a while for him to reply as his speech is very hard to understand.

Mr L has a full pad change and we reposition him, in his bed, to ensure he is as comfortable as possible. Next, we give him his medication which he has in liquid form as he now struggles with his swallowing.

We measure and check each dose of each individual medication and administer to him, along with a yogurt to take away the taste.

Next, we heat and feed him his lunch slow and steady as swallowing is a problem and we don’t want him to choke. We also give him lots of fluids throughout this visit as he is unable to do this himself.

Mr L is a cheeky chap and loves to banter with the staff and is a real pleasure to work with.

We then move onto the next call, this time a lady with schizophrenia.

Her mood swings can be very high and low. Rachea is a little nervous of this lady, as she threatened her the last time she visited her. Today on arrival she was very sleepy a little grumpy but overall ok. We assisted her to use the commode and resettled her back in her chair.

We asked her what she wanted for lunch and made it for her trying to chat to her, but she was not in the mood to discuss anything today.

Rachea was very conscious that her home was chilly and made sure that she had a warm cardigan on. We also upped the heating a little to take the edge off for her. That was all that was needed for this call, so we made sure everywhere was left everything tidy and said goodbye.

The next client we go to is a 92-year-old who lives with his wife. Honestly, he is the sweetest man. His wife lets us in, and we find him in his chair in the lounge.

He almost jumps up to attention; he is so happy to see us. The aim of this visit is to do catheter care, offer the commode and help him with a little exercise. It does not feel like work visiting this man; it is a total pleasure and he has us both laughing.

The last call on the lunch time run is for a new lady, Mrs L. I could see this visit was going to very trying as she suffers with schizophrenia and shouts a lot. She lives with her husband who has dementia. The aim of this visit is to provide them both with food and fluids and to do catheter care for Mrs L. Even though we explained what we were doing and asked permission for everything, she shouted the whole time and then the husband shouted at her because she was shouting at us. This put me totally on edge.

Despite this, we smiled and stayed professional all the way through. It felt like the longest half an hour of our lives, but we managed to get a cheery goodbye as we left.

We high fived and laughed all the way to the car.

That was only the first part of the day. Poor Rachea had already completed the morning round and we still had two more shifts to get through; it is totally going to be the longest day EVER.

This is just a very brief account of the day in the life of a Care Assistant. Although the role is very rewarding it can also be very challenging.

As part of Professional Care Workers Week, we want to celebrate our amazing Care Workers. THANK YOU for your compassion, dedication, and commitment.


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