As the CEO of a leading home health care company in Nigeria, and someone who enjoys sharing his knowledge from over two decades of experience – as a caregiver, nurse and administrator – from Nigeria and overseas, I encounter a lot of Nigerians seeking quick Certificate of Caregiver training, just to enable them leave the country.
Most of the time, they are calling to enquire about our ‘Essential of Caregivers’ training class (A 6 day training Course in Caregiving, designed for those who want to start/advance their career in caregiving). Usually, I do not query them for their decisions, but I do my best to explain to them that getting a caregiver job in Nigeria or overseas is one thing, while knowing what it takes to succeed in that profession is totally another kettle of fish.
Caregiving is a rewarding job, no doubt, but it is not always easy. It is complex and a daunting task. Often times, caregivers find themselves up against many challenges. They quickly become overwhelmed, and can crumble under the pressure of work, if they do not take precautions and proactive measures. It becomes imperative that Caregivers understand what is required of them as good caregivers. They need to learn these qualities as m uch as they need the employment or travel papers.
Some Of The Essential Qualities Successful Caregivers Possess:
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It is important for caregivers to understand the clients’ feelings, opinions and experiences in order to assess their real needs and act accordingly, offering tailor-made services. When that happens, the clients feel more secure and trust the caregiver’s abilities.
An empathetic relationship between caregivers and the clients also reinforces their cooperation, builds trust and increases the client’s chances for a better health outcome. It is has been proven that caregivers with high levels of empathy are more efficient in.
Active listening is an essential part of the effective communication skill sets necessary for successful caregiving. Active listening is not just refraining from talking but actively trying to understand the patient’s total message. It requires the suspension of the caregivers’ other thoughts and a shift in focus to the content of the patients’ message
To listen actively, caregivers must pay close attention to what the clients are saying, as well as the feelings conveyed by the patients. By listening carefully and attentively to the patients, caregivers gain the trust of their patients, and are able to go beneath the surface to learn their concerns and fears. Caregivers with ineffective listening skills will always miss important verbal clues from patients or family members.
Of all the important characteristics for successful caregiving, patience ranks above most of them. Caregivers must exhibit patience as part of their standard operating procedure at all times. As caregivers, they take on a great deal of responsibility, and have a duty to their patients, who look to them for expert care when they are at their most vulnerable.
Staying cool, calm, and collected at all times is good for patients, but it is also good for the caregiver. Caregivers must do their best to provide quality care, and remember to keep a level head in even the most daunting situations. They should be open-minded and avoid getting frustrated when things do not go as planned, especially when working with adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s or other diagnoses of dementia.
The quality of being trustworthy and dependable. Reliability and dependability are vital traits in a caregiver. Patients and families come to rely on and depend upon their caregivers and often feel a sense of personal attachment. Caregivers must continually be on time, particularly if administering food or medical care is part of the position’s responsibility.
Caregivers are often in a position that will allow them to have access to the belongings of the person they are caring for. It is crucial that the caregiver be someone who is trustworthy and will not breach that trust by taking advantage of the person he or she is taking care of. With the health and lives of patients on the line, it is also very important that the caregiver demonstrate responsible behaviors at all times.
The quality of being able to adjust to new conditions. Adaptability and resilience are two critical attributes that equip caregivers by enabling them to manage challenges and be flexible in the face of changing and unpredictable circumstances. Adaptable caregivers are not scared of changes, as they will first make necessary plans to handle it.
Most times, the caregiver in the course of his or her duty would meet and cater to the needs of different patients. Knowing no two patients are the same, the caregiver must be able to adjust to each patient’s personality and the dynamics of each family. Problems can arise that may be unique to each situation, so the caregiver must be excellent at handling these challenges as they present.
Being a caregiver is one of life’s most difficult jobs. And while some are called to the path, others are surprised to end up in the role. Regardless of how you came to be an the one responsible for the care of another, these five qualities will serve you well in terms of navigating the challenges and finding personal and professional fulfillment.