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Occupation Details

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Care Worker

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€24k > 36
Care Assistant
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€24 - 36
Related Information:

Data Source(s):
HSE.ie

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Employment is growing in this occupation as a result of the aging population in Ireland. Many are employed in part-time roles; the recent job hire analysis and the high number of job ready jobseekers previously employed in this occupation indicate that churn is a significant factor in this occupation.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

5%
Occupational Category

Care Workers

Also included in this category:

Houseparents and residential wardens; care workers and home carers; senior care workers; care escorts.

Number Employed:

61,700

Part time workers: 38%
Aged over 55: 21%
Male / Female: 17 / 83%
Non-Nationals: 12%
With Third Level: 32%
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At a Glance... header image

Assists adults with daily living activities at the person's home or in a daytime non-residential facility.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:2


Lydia Peppard
Care Assistant

Lydia works as a Health Care Assistant for the HSE and is based in St. Joseph's Hospital in Co. Meath. Lydia has worked in patient care throughout her career, and has completed an Honours Degree in Industrial Relations/HR in recent years. She would now like to move more into the Human Resources area and work on bringing about change that benefits all.

Go to Interview


Deirdre Lavelle
Care Assistant
Deirdre Lavelle works as a Care Assistant in St Michael's House. Having worked for a number of years as a Special Needs Assistant she applied for a job in St Michael's House. She has completed a foundation course on Skills in Counselling from NUI Maynooth. She is currently studying for a B.A. in Social Studies (Disability) with the Open Training College.
Go to Interview


Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Health Care Assistant - from: icould [UK] Video


The Work header image

The exact type of care that assistants provide depends on the age, ability, health and level of self-sufficiency of the people they work with. They help those who need help and support with everyday tasks. A care worker is there to help these people to get on with life by doing the chores for them and basic day-to-day tasks.  
 
For example, in day centres, the main part of a care assistant's role may be to plan and supervise social activities. In residential homes for the elderly, some residents can be very frail, ill or confused. Here, basic care could mean enabling someone to wash or have a bath, dress, eat, take medication, go the toilet and get around generally. Care assistants may be responsible for routine medical tasks like applying cream or changing dressings under the supervision of a qualified nurse  
 
Wherever they work, care assistants try to help people to keep as much independence and quality of life as they can. As far as possible, this means they enable people to do personal and social tasks, rather than doing the tasks for them. Care assistants therefore help many people to keep their self-sufficiency and sense of dignity.  
 
Social care is very important, and it is essential that care assistants develop friendly, caring and trusting relationships with the people they work with. They talk to people, listen to their memories, and reassure them if they are anxious or confused. They may help people to make friends or keep in touch with their families. Planning and supervising social and recreational activities and trips is an important part of some assistants' work.  
 
Care assistants must be aware of any changes in an individual's physical or mental health, such as pain, loss of mobility, depression or anxiety. They must see illness as something that needs investigation, rather than a natural consequence of old age. In a residential home or day centre, care assistants report their observations to a care officer, warden or duty officer in charge.  
 
In hospitals, homes and day centres, care assistants are responsible for the health and safety of staff and residents. They look out for, prevent or report hazards including slippery floors, poor lighting, loose carpets and handrails, and unsafe electrical appliances.  
 
A care assistant may work alongside professionals such as doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists. They can be found in nursing homes, day care centres and hospitals and may do house visits.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Administer bedside or personal care, such as ambulation or personal hygiene assistance.

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Prepare and maintain records of client progress and services performed, reporting changes in client condition to manager or supervisor.

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Perform housekeeping duties, such as cooking, cleaning, washing clothes or dishes, or running errands.

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Care for individuals or families during periods of incapacitation, family disruption, or convalescence, providing companionship, personal care, or help in adjusting to new lifestyles.

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Perform healthcare-related tasks, such as monitoring vital signs and medication, under the direction of registered nurses or physiotherapists.

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Plan, shop for, or prepare nutritious meals or assist families in planning, shopping for, or preparing nutritious meals.

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Transport clients to locations outside the home, such as to physicians' offices or on outings, using a motor vehicle.

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Instruct or advise clients on issues such as household cleanliness, utilities, hygiene, nutrition, or infant care.

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Participate in case reviews, consulting with the team caring for the client, to evaluate the client's needs and plan for continuing services.

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Train family members to provide bedside care.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Assisting and Caring for Others: Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Public Safety and Security: Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Transportation: Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You must have an understanding of the needs of the people you are working with (e.g. the ederly, or people with physical or intellectual disabilities), including their social and emotional needs. Patience, compassion, tact and a sense of humour are vital qualities, especially if you work with people who do not like to admit that they need your help.  
 
You will need strong communication and interpersonal skills to develop caring, trusting relationships. You must be able to respect each individual's right to keep as much independence and privacy as they can.  
 
Care assistants must be prepared to learn and develop new knowledge. Government legislation on the care of people may change to increase their protection from neglect or abuse, so assistants may need training to keep up-to-date. It demands a lot of stamina as shifts can be long working both at night and over weekends. Hours can also be flexible.  
 
The ability to work as part of a team is very important. You are likely to work with professionals such as doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Care Home Advocate - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Emergency Care Assistant - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Health Service Executive (HSE)
Address: Dr Steevens' Hospital, Steevens Lane, Dublin, 8
Tel: 01 635 2000
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Psychology & Social Care

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