9 things to expect when working in a care home

If you’re thinking about working in a care home as a nurse, we’ve looked at what you can expect from the role.

Working in a care home involves a wide range of tasks and responsibilities. You’ll work alongside other staff, healthcare professionals, residents, and their families and friends. As a nurse with clinical skills, you may also be able to take on a leadership role. You’ll often work shifts, making the role a flexible option too.

Many care home nurses enjoy the job satisfaction of supporting residents over long periods. And you’ll be there for their families as well, providing advice, information, and support as needed.

The role involves listening, problem solving, and learning new clinical skills, and there’s a wide range of job opportunities available as well as good rates of pay for well-qualified staff.

Below we have listed the top 9 things to expect if you’re considering a career in care home nursing.

1. Every day will be different

One moment, you might be chatting to a resident and helping them with personal care; the next, you’ll be listening to a relative who has concerns about a loved one’s dementia.

When working in a care home, each shift will be different. You get to work with many different residents, collaborate with numerous staff members, and take part in various tasks and activities.

Residents’ care needs can change, both quickly and daily. You also need to be able to identify and manage anything new or different quickly, ensuring residents get the right care and support.

2. You’ll get to meet interesting people

Everyone has a history and a story to tell. Within a care home, you really get to know the residents and their friends and family well. Taking the time to get to know them and hear more about their stories, interests, and lives can be one of the most rewarding aspects of care home nursing.

3. Strong bonds and connections

Working in a care home allows you to get to know your team, the residents, and their families very well. Over time, you’ll develop strong bonds and connections with residents, and they may begin to feel like your extended family. In some cases, they may turn to you more for emotional support, especially in moments when they are worried, stressed, or confused.

4. You’ll get to take on a variety of tasks

Working as part of a care home team means there are many different activities to get involved in. You’ll be helping residents with a broad range of clinical and care-related tasks depending on their needs, as well as supporting their wellbeing and other aspects of life, including excursions and special events.

5. Opportunity to develop your clinical skills

You’ll likely need to care for people with a wide variety of health issues, including diabetes, cancer, dementia, and heart disease. You’ll be part of a team guided by each resident’s care plan, helping to maintain their health and manage chronic conditions, which may be complex.

Along with routine clinical skills such as wound dressing and taking pulse or blood pressure readings, you’ll likely also be responsible for assessing such things as hydration levels and mental capacity.

You can also expect to be involved in palliative and end-of-life care.

6. Flexibility

Shift work means you can fit your working hours around your family and other commitments. If you’re working evenings or nights, you’ll have less traffic on your commute to work than at other times. Nights tend to be quieter, so you’ll often also have more time to focus on each patient.

7. Good communication and documenting skills are essential

Working in a care home is all about communication. Not just with residents and their families, but with the rest of the team and other healthcare practitioners. You’ll need to keep notes that can be shared with others, especially at handover, and become familiar with systems that document each resident’s healthcare needs.

8. It will be tough at times

Like many jobs, there will be good days and bad days. Working in a care home, supporting older people, inevitably means that many of the residents are reaching the end of their lives and, in many cases, will be receiving palliative care. Dealing with death and bereavement and supporting residents and their families during these tough moments is often the most challenging part of this role.

9. It’s a rewarding career

Many nurses find working in a care home to be incredibly rewarding. There’s a wide range of workplaces to choose from, including those specialising in dementia or respite care. And, with many vacancies in the adult social care sector, there’s great job security. Above all, residents need you. This brings a sense of fulfilment for many people.

Care home nursing opportunities with Thornbury Nursing

At Thornbury Nursing, we are always looking for care home nurses to fill temporary, last-minute placements in care homes across England and Wales.

Register with us and find out more and discover our unrivalled pay rates for agency nurses.

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3 months ago

I tried to register but after 17 years in nhs predominately specialist wound clinic (plastic surgery)latter 10 years that you wouldn’t be able to help me…… ?

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