Believe in yourself and set achievable goals — that's the advice of care sector manager Kellie. She shares her career journey.
Name: Kellie Smith
Company: Springfield Healthcare
Job role: General manager
Family and Community Care course from Hull College
1. What was your very first job?
My first job was a care assistant in a residential home. During this time I helped residents with their personal care, toileting, and assisted them during meal times. I would also accompany them to hospital appointments and visits.
I learned a lot in that job; one of the main things was empathy. I gained a greater understanding of people needs, how to talk to the older generation but most importantly how to listen and learn from other people’s experiences.
2. What did you want to do when you were at school?
I had a strong interest in working with children. I think at the time this was based on the fact that I didn't really know what I wanted to do, but just knew I liked children.
3. How did you find out about the industry?
When I left school I attended Hull College and enrolled on a Family and Community Care course, which looked at all aspects of care services. During a placement in a residential home, I discovered my love of elderly care.
4. How did you get to where you are today?
I started work as a care worker, and found this very rewarding. I then moved into a care coordinator role. After that, my passion for developing my skills saw me progress into a branch trainer. I was then promoted to service manager of the branch, before becoming the general manager there.
5. What is a typical day like?
No day is the same as the one before; I might be attending meetings with the local authority to discuss different issues and concerns. I work closely with the safeguarding team, reporting my concerns regarding concerns of abuse, neglect; this allows me to keep people safe.
I meet with customers, and look at their needs, what things they need to be able to remain at home. Together we write a care plan for them, which lets the staff know what they need to do.
I complete observation on staff to check that they are working to company policy, wearing the correct uniform.
6. What’s the best thing about your job?
Knowing that I am helping customers to remain at home, rather than going into residential care.
7. What is the most challenging thing about your job?
The fast pace. Everything changes so quickly but this makes it exciting too. You might be looking at staff sickness and discussing these with them, and then very quickly you may need to complete a safeguarding alert form, as a member of staff has raised concerns about the safety of a customer.
9. What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?
Believe in yourself and set achievable goals. Look at expanding your knowledge through an apprenticeship, like I have under the mentorship of national training provider, Qube Learning who provide training programmes across several industries. Increase your knowledge, visit residential homes, gain a better understanding and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
10. What things do you wish you’d known before starting your career?
Not sure really, as everything that I have learnt along the way has helped me get to my current role.
11. Where would you like to be in 5 years?
Continuing in my current job role and getting our branch to be the 1st domiciliary branch in Hull to have an ‘outstanding’ rating.
Main image via Pexels