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Our Training

Welcome to our latest blog, which is part of our Happy Care Days blog series. In this blog, Kate Ball will tell you all about our training.

Training now takes place in Salisbury in the Training Rooms at Head Office. When I started, training took place in our offices at Bradford-on-Avon. Our numbers were 6, if memory serves. Today just two of us from that intake remain. People leave for different reasons –  family commitments, moving on to other things and for some people it just doesn’t suit them. One thing is for certain, the experience will remain with you forever. We learned a variety of things from the legal side to documentation; giving personal care to skin conditions; we learned about medications and creams; using equipment and keeping ourselves and our clients safe from injury; Health and safety nutrition and hydration; Diseases and illnesses. We learned about caring for people who are approaching the end of their life. 

We had work books, we watched slides and films, we talked and listened. At the end of classroom training we then went out shadowing with a qualified carer, which was our first insight into working with our clients out in the community. The role was reversed and the qualified carer shadowed and watched us doing the work, being hands on with the clients. These days trainees are given a passport with tasks to complete, but always under the supervision of the qualified carer and shadows as we have always done. 

I remember not sleeping for the first week I was out in the community working alone. Oh my goodness the nerves! At no point though did I feel unprepared. My training had given me the tools, and my manager was only a phone call away to offer reassurance and advice. I made a lot of calls ‘home’ during those first couple of weeks! One thing I learned very early on was when meeting a client for the first time to do a quick scan of the room they are in. Pick out a photo or picture…it gives you something to talk about after introducing yourself. That way you avoid an awkward silence, and allows you time to look at the care plan and risk assessment. 

I am a firm believer in continuity care, meaning you are a regular carer for an individual client. It’s important because you can build a relationship and get to know the person both physically and mentally. That way you will notice changes and hopefully be able to prevent problems before they occur. It is a working practice Abicare tries to maintain in Bradford on Avon. Sometimes this can be interrupted by carer sickness or annual leave though. 

Our training never stops. We are regularly doing refresher training. Sometimes we are handed work books, sometimes it’s practical training – medication for example. These are mostly done at Bradford-on-Avon. For moving and handling refresher training we go to Salisbury. It’s human nature to forget details. In Care you cannot afford to make mistakes. We are responsible for the health and wellbeing of our clients. It is important to embrace refresher training and not think of it as a drag! We need to do everything by the book to cover ourselves and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our clients. 

I often look at a new training book and say I have already done one recently! Then I am told a year has passed or six months have passed. Where does the time go!! Trainees and carers alike are appraised and updated regularly on the government guidelines for Covid. Abicare have their own strict rules about PPE and testing, which carers are expected to follow for their own safety and that of their clients. One thing you can be assured of is when working for Abicare although it is mostly a solitary job as it is just you and your client, you are surrounded by support from managers and colleagues by way of our Google Chat App or by phone. You are never really alone. Occasionally you may work in pairs. That is always a nice change.

So we are off! Out into the community we go!!