How to become a support worker in aged care
Australia has a large ageing population, which means more and more jobs are expected in this growth sector in the next decade.
Fifty thousand jobs, in fact. The scope for work in aged care has never been greater, and this presents many opportunities for people already in the industry or looking to become an aged care worker.
One of the most common jobs in aged care is the Support Worker. In this article, we look at this role in detail and provide information useful to anyone considering how to become a support worker.
What does an aged care Support Worker do?
Caring for older people can be an enriching career path. Anyone who naturally loves to help others will certainly find it so, as you support a collective of society’s most needy.
The ageing process leaves many older people needing regular home care, although most will require what’s considered a basic level of care. The Support Worker’s responsibility is to provide this care, ensuring their patient can go about their day safely and comfortably.
Benefits of becoming a Support Worker in aged care
In addition to your financial reward (that’s an average salary of $63k per year, according to Seek), you will enjoy the following benefits of being an aged care Support Worker in Australia:
- Optimum job satisfaction from a highly fulfilling role helping people in need
- Great career pathway with more job opportunities and responsibilities as you develop
- Maximum job stability in this rapidly growing commercial sector
Key responsibilities of a Support Worker in aged care
A support worker role is classed as client care. You are involved in the provision of practical, physical, emotional and social support to your client, and it’s a role that encompasses many helpful tasks.
Your key Support Worker responsibilities include:
– personal care
– preparing meals
– administering medication
– doing the shopping
– managing finances and paying bills
– completing household chores
– taking the client to the doctors
– accompanying the client on other excursions
What are the main Support Worker requirements?
Being a Support Worker requires a formal qualification, although several personal attributes are also considered helpful to the role.
To begin with, good social and communication skills are paramount in this industry, as you spend most of your time in direct contact with your patient.
You’ll also need to have a naturally compassionate persona. Older people are often keen to share life stories and experiences with their carer – including rather delicate subject matters – so you’ll need plenty of empathy and patience.
Honesty and integrity are also important traits as a Support Worker, as you’ll be privy to lots of highly personal information about your patient, which you will need to keep private.
Support worker qualifications
In addition to the many valuable personal traits discussed, there are two formal support worker requirements, which are:
– A Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)*
– National Police Certificate
Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
This qualification is essential to anyone who wants to become a Support Worker.
The course consists of 13 units of competency (seven core and six electives), delivered in a classroom. Students must also undertake a minimum of 120 practical working hours logged with an Approved Service provider. A trainer or assessor will visit the student to assess their skills in practice.
As a pathway qualification, students who pass the qualification successfully can progress to Certificate IV in Ageing Support.
Life beyond your Support Worker role
While you might be just beginning your career as a Support Worker in aged care, it is always beneficial to appreciate the longer-term opportunities open to you.
With experience and further study, you can continue into a senior role in the aged care industry – such as a personal care giver, care supervisor or team leader.
Most mid to senior-aged-care positions require Certificate IV in Ageing Support as a pre-requisite. You can read more about this formal qualification here.
Kick off your career as a Support Worker in aged care with Insight Training!
Experts in providing courses for students in search of nationally recognised, fully accredited qualifications, Insight Training is here to help you become job-ready!
Is it time to start your career in aged care? Contact our team today and ask about the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing).
Or, if you are ready to sign up and study immediately, visit our website!
Posted in: Aged Care
How to become a support worker in aged care