Do You Have the Qualities to Thrive as a Caregiver?

Not all caregivers are made equal. Other caregivers who get really good at the job and want to take it a step further even search for health care franchise opportunities. It allows them to share their passion for caregiving and help even more people in need in their community.

Good ones show up and get the job done. Great ones go the extra mile to make their patients’ lives easier and happier. These qualities make all the difference.

Patience for Residents and Themselves

People lose their cool from time to time, and that’s okay. To let off steam, they walk out or lash out when situations get extremely frustrating. If you’re a caregiver, however, you have to train yourself to become more patient.

Things can easily go out of hand while you’re looking after an elderly or someone with a disability. At times, the person you’re caring for will refuse to take a bath, perform a simple task, or even finish a meal. They won’t always meet you halfway. When you find yourself in this situation, leaving or blurting out harsh words aren’t an option.

You have to stay calm under pressure and amidst stressful times, even though you’ve reached your breaking point. Remember, it’s easier to control your response than to change the behavior of a patient who might be suffering physically and emotionally. Meet them at their place.

It’s important to keep in mind as well that patience goes both ways. Don’t feel guilty when negative emotions, such as anger and frustration, come up at one point or another. That’s normal. Instead, acknowledge them and express them productively and proactively. Burying negative feelings only leads to explosive emotional buildup, which won’t benefit you and the person you care for.

Openness for Professional Development

caregiver and senior woman walking together

As in any career path, continuous learning is crucial in caregiving. Training and certification courses help keep your skills sharp and prepare you for circumstances on the job.  At the very least, a caregiver should know a thing or two in First Aid and Home Safety.

These equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to respond to medical emergencies and physical injuries. If you’ll be caring for someone with a memory disorder, dementia training is also required. This covers the patient’s behavioral tendencies, the disease progressions, and safety measures.

However, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to caregiving. Your initial training won’t be able to tell you what’s going to happen at work and how to respond when you hit a caregiving hiccup.  For this reason, you have to seek avenues for professional development.

Attentiveness to Everything

Patients can’t always communicate their needs and wants. That’s why it’s the caregiver’s job to pay attention to the changes that are taking place. Sudden changes in the physical, emotional, and mental state of the person you’re caring for can be indications of a more significant well-being issue.

Since patients usually only have their checkups on a weekly and monthly basis, you have to monitor everything related to their health closely. Do they have a hard time sleeping? Do they hesitate to take their meds? How often do their moods change?

All of these factors, among many others, can affect the person’s overall well-being and, thus, must be recorded for their doctor’s reference.

Patience, attentiveness, and the thirst for learning are just among the many great qualities that make a caregiver standout. If you feel you come short of any of these, worry not. With self-awareness, training, and practice, you can still be the best caregiver you can be.

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