For a care worker dealing with pressure is often a daily occurrence which brings up fresh challenges and ways of working. Care Staff are respected nationwide for the hours of service they dedicate, the kindness they show and the positive impact they have on people’s lives - yet despite all that positivity the role often takes place in high pressured environments.

Coping with pressure in the care home

The typical day to day responsibilities of a care worker often revolve around giving emotional support to care receivers, assisting with household duties and providing health based care to improve the condition of those they work with. Whilst the training of care staff is vastly improving it can still be a pressured job whether you are new to the role or have been doing it for 20 years. With care support no two days are the same and there are a number of changing circumstances which naturally make the role of the care worker stressful:

-  Particularly in Care Home environments care staff do create strong bonds with the people they look after, and it can be stressful seeing them go through testing circumstances

-  Unforeseen problems happen on a regular basis and there is no such thing as a regular workload. This increases the pressure of the role; as care staff may have a plan they are working to - but it can easily be overturned by emergency situations

-  Lots of daily tasks which happen in Care Homes have to be completed for the wellbeing of the care receiver and to keep them comfortable. Therefore, the nature of the role is one which means there are significant time pressures on what needs to be completed each day

As you can see coping with pressure is a daily requirement for care workers and it’s one which employees need help with from their professional support networks and training programmes. To help out we have listed our top 4 tips on how care staff can better deal with the demands and pressures of the Care Home & Domiciliary Care environments:

Tip #1 – Closely Observe More Experienced Staff

As with any job, you typically become more comfortable and knowledgeable the longer you work in a company. The same can be said for coping with pressure as a care worker, the more you experience in the role the better placed you are to handle re-occurring situations. Our advice is to regularly speak with the more senior members of the team and watch closely how they manage stress and challenging situations.

Tip #2 – Prioritise Daily Responsibilities

Prioritising tasks can help create a firmer sense of control and take some of the pressure off as a care worker. This can either be a mental process you adopt at quieter times in the day or you could start the day by listing all the important items you have to complete that day.  Creating a priority list helps re-affirm what the most important tasks are, but it also empowers you to make decisions on what can wait until tomorrow and what can’t wait. Of course, in the care industry there are always responsibilities which can’t wait however if there are items which can be done later on in the week don’t expense energy working on them if you still have untouched tasks from your priority list.

Tip #3 – Remember Why You're here

Helping people in need and making their lives better is one of the key motivations behind choosing a career in care. At times the job can be challenging when you feel you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve, or things aren’t going to plan. Coping with pressure in a care home environment becomes all the more difficult if you aren’t feeling motivated.  In these situations, it’s helpful to take a step back, take a deep breath and remember why you're there. If you are having a bad day and are feeling particularly stressed, you can use your own internal compass to calm yourself down. You yourself know that the work you carry out is rewarding and makes a huge difference to the people around you, keeping that at the forefront of you mind is a fantastic antidote to tackling the days were the pressure begins to creep up.

Tip #4 – Training To Cope With Pressure

A career as a care worker is a constant learning curve and it’s a role which comes with a lot of on-the-job learning opportunities. This is great for staff development however most Care Home & Domiciliary Care Organisations also prefer to train the staff in more controlled environments, with specific focus areas as part of their training. Managing and coping with pressure should be an area which is regularly explored as part of your training programme and if you feel this is an area which would greatly benefit your performance then simply asking your management for a training session should be met with an accommodating response.

BVS offer over 90 different video-based training courses for staff in the care sector. Why not take a look at our updated Care Home Training Brochure, to see the kind of course content we offer?