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How to Start a Career in Aged Care
Are you looking to start a rewarding career in aged care? The aged care industry is seeing consistent growth, with the Australian population continuing to age. This means there are ample job opportunities for aged care workers with a big heart and an appropriate professional background.
So how can you start your dream career as an aged care worker, and what exactly does the role entail?
What does a career in aged care look like?
Aged care workers provide older people with the support necessary for their daily activities. Some duties you can expect to undertake as an aged care worker include:
- Feeding, showering, dressing and administering medications to the client
- Preparing meals
- Tidying and cleaning, including helping with personal care and hygiene
- Engaging with family members
- Assisting with mobility, transport and light exercises
- Providing social and emotional support
- Following health and safety guidelines
As an aged care provider, you’ll likely work from the client’s own home, in a residential aged care facility or a nursing home.
Aside from the actual title of “aged care worker”, there are also other positions available in the aged care field. These include:
Residential Support Worker
Residential support workers work in care facilities like group homes, residential care facilities or aged care homes. They assist with everyday activities like cooking, cleaning and responding to any other needs the residents may have.
Community Support Worker
Community care support workers also assist people with disabilities, in addition to working with older people. The aim is to encourage them to participate in community programs around rehabilitation and development.
Assistant in Nursing (AIN)
An assistant in nursing aids other health professionals in medical environments like assisted living facilities and hospitals. Essential duties include administering medicine and reporting on patient health.
In addition to working in hospitals or medical clinics, registered nurses may also work in aged care centres. Additional education is needed to become a Registered Nurse. Find out how to become an Aged Care Nurse.
The case for starting your career in aged care is strong, with the job outlook and predicted career opportunities being robust. The role is expected to grow by 25.4% in the next five years (Seek), with the Australian government predicting this will be equivalent to about 179,000 job openings.
The aged care sector is already huge, and due to Australia’s growing need for aged care services, those who enter it now will be able to enjoy a stable, rewarding career for years to come.
job openings over the next 5 years
predicted sector growth
over the next 5 years
What certification and training do you need for an aged care career?
A relevant qualification or traineeship is required to start your career in aged care. Make sure that your chosen aged care course is at a nationally recognised TAFE or college, even if it is an online course.
Courses can be taken on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on your current workload.
These courses will give you a good overview of the aged care industry, as well as equip you with knowledge around safety, legal and ethical considerations when working with the elderly.
Another pathway to enter the aged care industry is to complete a traineeship at an aged care facility. This allows you to gain practical experience in the industry, learning from senior staff members and working directly with clients.
For the best of both worlds, look for a course that provides both a certification and a work placement. This ensures you will have a firm grasp of theoretical concepts around ethics, medical conditions and more, as well as real-life experience in challenging scenarios.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to complete a first-aid certificate to round out your skills. When dealing with the elderly or those who need medical assistance, it’s essential to be prepared for a medical emergency.
What skills do you need for a successful career in aged care?
Some of the skills and personality traits that will take you a long way in the aged care industry include:
- Willingness to learn
- Attention to detail
- Strong communication skills
A career in aged care is guaranteed to be incredibly rewarding, as well as a smart choice in terms of job security. To start your career in aged care, browse some relevant courses below.
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