June.

There’s a defrosting ready meal in my backpack and I’ve just choked on plastic tasting water. It’s a Tuesday lunch time and (although I won’t have my lunch until around 17:30 when I’ve got a gap) I set about making dozens of others.

On this round I have to walk through a park to my next call, which would be nice if I didn’t have black tight work trousers on and an already sweaty bright coloured tunic on. Number 29 wishes me a good afternoon and I head out, beginning the half an hour walk I have a ten minute slot for. I’m convinced I smell of boiled egg after making her lunch and drown myself in the perfume I got for Christmas that has taken the name of ‘at work smell’.

As I limp on towards the main road I go over who I’ll be seeing when I get on site, I’m here until 8 tonight so I’m going to nearly everyone we do care for in the village. I feel slightly glad I failed my driving test again today as I watch the traffic build up, I won’t be sat in that for a while yet. I make it into the village 15 minutes late and am welcomed by the familiar smells of the restaurant. I’m greeted by all the usual faces and we chat about our day so far, some laughing that they can’t remember what they’ve just had to eat but assured me that they liked it. I catch the eye of my next customer and she folds up her paper, ready to head home and have a coffee.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of a day in June, I think back on days like this quite often and naturally write in my head in a story-like way so this was easy for my to tap into my phone as I walked around.

Thank you
x

 

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How I came to be a Personal Care Assistant.

The original plan was to go to university and study mental health nursing or a subject similar. However as my grades struggled due to my mental health and stubbornness I was pulled aside and told that I would have to think again about my plans for the future. I continued to study at college and passed Health and Social care with a Merit and Psychology A level with a D overall.

After leaving college I looked into what I could do with my new 24hr/7 day a week freedom, and with most of my friends packing up for uni I needed something to do with myself that I’d be able to go out and adult with.

At this point I had a part time job that I’d started in March of 2016 as a cleaner in an infant school. Not glamorous but it was close to college, was easy enough for 2 hours a day and I enjoyed walking with a few mates from college to work every day.

oshitgetcleen
An example of where I spend most of my afternoons, bucket and spray in hand.

I won’t lie; I did enjoy my cleaning job. It was the same routine everyday which had taught me time efficiency for each task (e.g. hovering though the classrooms, cleaning the classrooms etc… within my two hour time limit) and had given me a small but regular income. However after the summer holidays I knew that I would have to find something that took up more of my time and that would give me an income that would allow me more freedom.

This is when I started looking at what I’d actually be able to do with the qualifications, experience and knowledge I had.

I had briefly lived with my grandparents, knew about care plans and medication, and had studied changes in older people so it pointed me in one direction: Elderly Care. (It also helped that my mum was currently working as a housekeeper and kept throwing vacancy fliers at me.)

I knew I wouldn’t be able to work in a care home. I’d hate the enclosed space of it and lack of privacy I imagined residents would face.

So what other options are there?

Community care.

This is when carers and housekeepers go to customer’s house. This means that instead of older people moving into a home they are looked after in their own homes. (An ideal place for me to work.) I’d even been to the village nearest me before for a summer fete a few years back. So I filled in the forms and submitted them. I had my ‘over the phone’ part of the interview process in the upstairs of a café Nero. I struggled to hear and due to the suddenness of the phone call I felt very unprepared and uneasy. Nevertheless, I managed to get my way through the call and after some confusion about me driving or working “on site”.

I went for my interview and despite having no work related experience that wasn’t a week’s placement I was offered the job.

pocket
The contents of my pockets on work days

I began my training a week later and before I knew it I was a personal care assistant working on my own to assist people in carrying out everyday tasks such as showering, making meals, giving medication and providing company and friendship to those who need it.

I never imagined myself in this job; but I love it. I love the people I work with and the people I work for.

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Thank you x

A first for everything.

Is now the time to admit that I’ve never really read blogs?

Obviously I’ve read the odd one or two but I’ve not really done much reading since I left college and finished my training for work.

As I briefly mentioned on my about me page I decided to write this mess so that

  1.  I can keep track of myself
  2. because I’m a personal care assistant and I feel it may be helpful for some to have some insight into the day-to-day in my job.

I definitely already see some cons of writing this; mainly that I have no skill in writing reflectively at all. This is already a mess and it’s the first thing I’ve written but if you’re able to stick around and follow my progression I’d appreciate it.

A little bit of background would be useful I think.

My name is Rebecca (or Becca) and I’m 18. I currently live with my mum and two younger siblings on a road where talking to your neighbours seems to be a sin. I’ve been with my partner for over three years now but I think I’ll have to wait until he finds this to ask if he wants to be included in it at all.

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You know in GCSE English when you read back the first paragraph and sit there wondering if you ever learnt english in the first place? I’ve just had that with this.

I shall continue with my getting into work story in my next post.
Thank you x