Best Compassionate Care in Campbelltown

Disability Support Worker – Ultimate Guide to Follow

Do you truly enjoy caring for people in different ways and take pride in forming deep human connections? Do you want to make a genuine difference to the community, and contribute whatever you can to make it a better place? If yes, then being a disability support worker could be the ideal career path for you. It is a meaningful and multifaceted career, allowing disability workers to bring real change in the daily lives of their clients, and help them live an independent life. Every single day in the life of a disability support worker is different – and yet, each day presents occasions to display empathy, forge bonds, and go through heartfelt interactions. If you, like many others who have chosen this path, believe that physical limitations are no barrier to forging empathetic associations, you can thrive and excel as a disability support worker.

Disability support workers are fast thinkers and proficient at solving problems; they get to feel the bliss that comes from helping the needy. Regardless of whether you are looking for a change in careers or have freshly graduated high school or college, and are ready to tackle challenges head-on – we strongly recommend the path of a disability support worker.

At Legacy Care Solutions, we believe in providing support to our communities and making a positive influence on others’ lives with our services. Our team of skilled and compassionate professional disability support workers are dedicated and strive to provide the best possible care to our participants and their families. We welcome new caregivers to join our team so that we can provide impeccable care and support services. Here in this article, we will talk about what you will be expected to do, and the skills and qualifications you need to become a disability support worker.

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What Does A Disability Support Worker Do?

Simply put, a disability support worker provides support and cares for people with disabilities and special needs. They may have to work in hospitals, special-care facilities, or in the homes of the participants – the people they take care of. Tasks like shopping for groceries and medicines, doing chores like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, running errands, helping people eat, bathe, dress, and groom themselves – a disability support worker may need to do any or all of these tasks, depending on the individual needs of the person under their care. They can also choose how they want to work: self-employed, independent workers, or employed at an agency as full-time staff. Both part-time and full-time jobs are available in the industry.

Working as a disability support worker can be very satisfying and be its own reward, and it’s also a career where you get to learn a great deal. You meet people from all kinds of backgrounds, and you have the opportunity to give back to your community, get a rich insight into human nature, and more. However, you should bear in mind that it is also a very challenging job – it’s not all a bed of roses. You will need to think on your feet, stay calm and composed even when you feel flustered or frustrated, and be resilient. You will need to have loads of patience, and have a genuine eagerness to help people.

Skills a Disability Support Worker is Expected to Have

After speaking to our long term carers and employees, we put together a list of qualities that a disability support worker should have. The following are the most important traits you need to have to be a good, reliable, and successful disability support worker.

Trustworthiness and Honesty

It is extremely important for a disability support worker to be trustworthy and honest, as you will be working with people who have special needs, and will be visiting them in their homes. Both your employer, and the participant’s family will be placing their faith and trust in you, and you must do everything to keep that trust intact.

Compassion and Empathy

As you will be supporting and caring for some of the most vulnerable people in your community, it is essential for you to be compassionate and empathetic towards the people you care for. A support worker with these qualities will naturally evoke trust in the participant and their families’ minds, and also allow them to build strong, empathetic bonds with them.

Patience and Passion

The simplest and most routine tasks can take a very long time when you are working with a person with disabilities; sometimes they may act stubborn and refuse to do something that they have to do, like take their medication, eat their meals, go to the toilet, bathe, or anything similar. You need to have a fountain of patience to deal with all such situations. You also must be truly interested and passionate about this job, so that even after having a very tough day, you go back the next day and keep helping people who are vulnerable and need your help.

Flexibility and Adaptability

As you are likely to face new challenges every day and have to change plans on the go, you need to be of a flexible bent and adapt to changing situations quickly. You have to be able to think on your feet without losing your patience or your cool and handle whatever situation arises efficiently and smoothly.

Excellent Communication

Not only will you need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively with your participant, but you’ll also need to communicate with family members, other carers, and medical professionals. Having clear and professional communication will ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page and that the participant is receiving consistent care. While you’ll spend most days working one on one with a participant, you’re still part of a much bigger team, so communication is key.

Willingness to Learn and Grow

In this field of work, you will need to keep learning new things, acquire new skills, and keep up-to-date with regulations and compliance requirements. If you are sincere about providing the best service to the participants, you must be willing and able to learn, unlearn, and relearn things, and grow as a human being – to be ready to continually improve and develop yourself professionally.

Here at Legacy Care Solutions, we strive to offer flexible terms of employment to make it easy for our teams and their families. We also take pride in offering training sessions to our carers so that they can develop their skills and become more proficient in their work.

What you Need to Know about Working as a Disability Support Worker

Let us encapsulate and break down some of the things we talked about above:

  • You may be required to work in shifts, work weekends, early mornings, nights, and so on.
  • Every patient is going to be different, and you need to not just adapt to them but build a rapport with each of them
  • Bear in mind that it is likely that there will be some patients you are just not able to get through and build a meaningful connection with – no matter how long or hard you try
  • You may be required to perform tasks that are very personal and intimate in nature – like bathing the patient or helping them in the toilet
  • Sometimes, you may need to work alone with the participants – no family members, or other carers
  • Parting ways with a participant you cared for, for a long time, can be very difficult
  • No two days are the same, and you always have to keep learning
  • You will be helping to improve your community and performing a noble job

What Certifications Do You Need To Become A Disability Support Worker?

Australian law does not mandate any certification or even a college degree or high school graduation to work as a disability support worker. Surveys show that 11% of carers have finished only Year 10 or less of school. But there are several certifications that can be very valuable, and help you to get a job of your choice, plus help you when you actually start working. Certifications that will tag you as a better-suited person for the role of a disability support worker are:

Certificate III in Individual Support

This certificate will equip you with the skills so that you are capable of offering personalized, patient-centric support to participants with disabilities. A Certificate III in Individual support includes both theory and practical training, and you will be capable of providing care in a support facility or in the patient’s home. The training you receive in this course will arm you with the knowledge and skills you need to play a supporting role in predictable surroundings with a great degree of autonomy. These are highly sought-after skills for disability support workers in a home environment.

While the course usually lasts anywhere from 6 to 12 months, you may be able to complete the training and get your certificate as quickly as just over 3 months, or in 14 weeks. The principal curriculum covers the following:

  • Support care principles
  • Identification of healthy bodily systems
  • Safe practices for the direct care of patients.

There are several electives to choose from for disability care, like:

  • Augmented tools of communication
  • Strength-based approach
  • Person-centric and personalized care

You will be required to complete a minimum of 120 work hours in a community or home setting, along with 13 units. Once you complete the training and receive your certificate, you will be an attractive candidate for residential care worker, personal care worker, and disability support worker jobs.

On average, you may need to pay $2900 for a Certificate III in Individual Support, but several provinces offer tuition help like subsidies and so on. In Queensland for example, the Certificate III Guarantee is offered to residents; people interested in obtaining this certificate are offered support by the authorities.

Certificate IV in Disability

After completing your Certificate III in Individual Support, if you want to acquire even more skills as a disability support worker, you can enrol for a course that will result in you getting a Certificate IV in Disability. This training is more specialized, and equip you to work with greater autonomy, a higher competence level in providing support for the disabled, and enables you to work in a specialized or supervisory role.

This certificate is usually obtained by individuals who have already been working as disability support workers with an agency or as self-employed workers, and want to improve their career prospects. Completing a course that results in Certificate IV in Disability makes you eligible to hold supervisory or specialized positions like senior personal care assistant or disability officer, and similar.

You are required to complete a minimum of 14 units for this certificate, and the program includes most of the topics you have already learnt for your Certificate III. However, you will learn these topics in much greater detail here, and be qualified to use these skills in a wider variety of situations. Let me illustrate this with a simple example: With Certificate III, you know about working ethically and legally; a comparable unit in Certificate IV training teaches you how you can manage ethical and legal compliance, thus getting you ready for a supervisory role.

This program duration is 12 months, and it costs $ 4000 on average; subsidies are provided by some provinces for persons who qualify for it.

What Is the Job Outlook for Disability Support Workers?

When you complete your training and get your certification, you will find it quite easy to find a job as a disability support worker anywhere in Australia. 18% of Australians, roughly 4.4 million people, are living with long-term disabilities, 1.4 million out of them have severe or profound disabilities that necessitate continuous support in order for them to be able to live independently. There are also several aged people – and senior citizens also need support and care to be able to live a life of dignity and independence. The need for support workers will keep increasing as the population continues to age. The job outlook in Australia for disability support workers is pretty good; in fact, it is expected that between 2019 and 2024, the need for support workers will grow by 25%.

Disability Support Worker Salary

Disability support workers can expect to make about $ 1265 per week on average, which is slightly less than the average weekly salary of $ 1460 across all sectors.

Are you looking for a job as a disability support worker? If you are interested in joining Legacy Care Solutions as a full-time employee, do contact us with your resume, and tell us about you and why you want this job. We will be happy to hear from you!

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