From Care Assistant to Lead Supervisor Sarah Johnson shares her experience working for Bluebird Care Norwich & North Norfolk over the last 10+ years
How long have you been at Bluebird Care Norwich & North Norfolk?
I joined Bluebird Care Norwich & North Norfolk over ten and a half years ago as one of the first five care team members!
In October 2010 I was a full-time mum and looking for flexible hours to work around my children, I saw an advert in the local paper for a new business just opening offering home care services in Norwich. It was not an industry I had worked in previously, however I had transferable skills from my role as a Dental Nurse and from working in hospitality.
I always enjoyed working with people and felt that I could make a difference, so I applied. I was interviewed by Don and Carole (the Directors) and the then Registered Manager and found them to be warm and supportive and when I was offered the role as care assistant, I was thrilled that they felt I had what it took to take on the role.
What do you love about working in care?
I’ve had people say to me, “I don’t know how you can do that job wiping people’s bottoms” and I tell them personal care is a small part of my job and that it’s a privilege to be welcomed into someone’s home. Spending time with individual customers is so rewarding and listening to their life stories is incredibly captivating.
I love each day when you get to make someone smile and often it’s the little things that make a difference, such as knowing how someone likes their hair styled or that they enjoy a certain genre of music.
We have a customer who loves singing Abba and Queen hits with her carers, it’s the simple things that brighten people’s day and often we are the only people some customers see.
What has been your most cherished memory of being a carer over the last few years?
I have had many happy experiences over my ten years with Bluebird Care, I’ve formed lasting friendships and great memories, including a hot coal walk with my colleagues to raise money for our local charities!
One of my favourite (yet eventful!) memories was arriving at a customer care call in the pouring rain to find her home empty with the doors left ajar. Panic stricken and worried for my customers wellbeing I called my support team, and without thought of donning a coat I started running around the village to look for her. 15 minutes later I found her leaning on a fence overlooking the village green watching them erect a marquee for the Queens Diamond Jubilee.
When she spotted me she simply looked me up and down and said “you’re a bit wet, do you think you need a towel?”. She was having such a great time watching the events preparations that I went back, got her a coat and an umbrella and stood watching them with her until she ready to come back home.
What advice would you give to people considering a career in care?
It is important to remember everyone is different and will respond to different approaches. Adaptability is a key part of working within the care sector and what works for one may not work for another.
We have customers from different cultures and backgrounds and remembering this and helping them maintain their individuality is very important part of the person-centred care we provide.
I enjoy working in domiciliary care, knowing I am helping individuals to remain safe living in their own homes and promoting their independence as much as possible.
Being caring, compassionate and reliable is a must and are all attributes that will be beneficial in any role within the care sector. I can find the humour in almost all situations, and often this is what gets me through stressful periods, along with the support from my colleagues and manager.
To learn more about how you can begin your Bluebird Care career journey apply today!