New Logo

 

OUR MISSION

"The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives."

 

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED TO BE A CAREGIVER?

Care Giver Skills

Caregivers play an important role in the lives of both their patients and the patients’ loved ones. People who really shine as caregivers have specific qualities and skills that make them the perfect fit for this job.

If you want to be a professional caregiver, such as a CDPAP aide, continue reading to learn more about the caregiver skills and responsibilities that are absolutely essential for anyone who wants to be successful at it.

There are certain skills that are particularly important for caregivers to have in order to get good results from patients. Some of these skills come naturally to certain caregivers while others can be learned

Most professional caregivers are strong at certain skills and a little weaker in regard to others. Caregivers who have a passion for their work will come up with a balance of the necessary skills that makes it possible for them to shine at their work.

But, an individual who isn’t a people-person and who lacks empathy and compassion, isn’t likely to be successful as a caregiver! It’s vital that professional caregivers enjoy their work and the challenges they face as a result of it in order to really be successful and well-loved by their patients, the rest of the caregiving team, and family members.

Empathy

Empathy is all about tuning in and really understanding your patients. The ability to empathize is really at the core of caregiving because if you can’t understand, through empathy, what your patients are going through, it will be hard for you to provide them with proper care.

Though, as an individual, the caregiver may not have ever experienced what their patients are going through, empathy allows the caregiver to use their imagination to know their patients’ problems and challenges in order to provide better care.

Empathy is all about imagining yourself walking a mile in the patient’s shoes. If you can empathize with your patients and imagine how they feel in various situations they face, chances are you’ll provide high-quality care to them.

Patience

Everyone struggles to some extent with patience, but the very best caregivers tend to have a stronger handle on this skill than other people.

Patience means that you have the ability to slow down and that you’re willing to work hard at communication even when the person you’re communicating with is frustrated. Staying calm and staying present for the person you’re caring for is a big part of patience.

Being willing to let go of your ego to allow patients to accomplish their day-to-day goals or to communicate about an important topic is also vital. People who have a high-threshold of patience tend to make excellent caregivers because often, patients struggle with issues that cause them to feel angry, confused, and frustrated. These emotions often spur impatience!

When these emotions come out, a caregiver with patience is able to work with the patient to get through them rather than going to battle against them.

Communication

Excellent communication skills are a must for caregivers. In fact, communication is necessary not only between the caregiver and his or her patients, but also between the caregiver and the patient’s loved ones.

Indeed, caregivers often must chart the patient’s progress in terms of different health-goals for other members of the caregiving team. So excellent written as well as oral communication skills are extremely important!

Caregivers are on the front lines with patients so that means that they see and hear and experience different aspects of the patient’s lives and health status that other members of the caregiving team may miss.

By communicating clearly with the appropriate members of the team as well as the patient’s loved ones, caregivers can enhance patient care and actively promote general well-being in terms of the family system as well as the patient’s physical health.

Problem Solving

Caregiving as a profession is never boring because there are always new challenges to overcome. The ability to solve problems for yourself and for patients is a big part of the caregiver’s work.

Over the course of a typical day, caregivers will often have to change their plans, create nutritious meals, or help there patients with transportation to medical appointments.

The ability to bounce back is vital to the caregiving relationship. Though patients may get frustrated, caregivers should be able to solve problems and stay upbeat about things. The ability to do problem-solving by rescheduling and re-routing the day is a valuable skill for all caregivers.

Compassion

The ability to show compassion hinges somewhat on the caregiver’s ability to empathize with patients. Empathy and compassion definitely go together! But compassion is active. It’s a way of behaving toward patients and it tends to happen when caregivers feel empathy.

When a patient is hurting and the caregiver experiences empathy and recognizes their pain, they can then show compassion even if the patient or the patient’s loved ones are extremely angry or upset.

Compassion is all about doing unto others what you would have them do to you in the same situation. Learning how to take a patient’s blood pressure may not be the same kind of skill as showing compassion, but in many ways the ability to show compassion may be even more important than certain learned skills like taking vital signs.

Positivity

A positive attitude lends itself toward positive outcomes. The most successful caregivers tend to be very positive people for a reason.

When caregivers are positive, it makes the lives of everyone around them more pleasant and easier. A positive attitude can lift the spirits of the caregiver’s patients and spread to everyone on the caregiving team as well as family members.

If you feel positive about the work ahead of you, the quality of care that you provide will be significantly enhanced. Your patients will feel your positivity and most will respond to it in a positive way.

Though it’s important to be positive with patients, caregivers who have a positive attitude toward their work in a general way are likely to find their time at work flies by. Positivity attracts positivity so the entire staff benefits from one caregiver’s positive attitude.

Good Observation

A keen eye can save patients, loved ones, and other caregiving team members a lot of trouble! The ability to observe the finer details as well as changes in the patient’s daily patterns can be extremely beneficial to the patient.

Sometimes patients will try to hide pieces of information from caregivers if they fear their health is deteriorating, but caregivers who have an eye for detail will tend to notice the changes in their patient’s behaviors, health status, and other clues that will tip them off in regard to change.

The caregiver can then probe for information or communicate about the changes with the medical team. Noting what you observe both in writing and by talking directly to other members of the caregiving staff is also important. Caregivers who observe what may not be obvious to other people and then communicate effectively about what they’ve seen can not only save lives but also make their patient’s lives more comfortable by demonstrating that they really care.

Physical Strength and Stamina

Not everyone wants to sit behind a desk. Caregiving is an active job and caregivers are called upon to perform numerous tasks throughout the day from assisting patients with eating and bathing and Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) to carrying groceries and lifting patients.

It’s not uncommon for professional caregivers to spend many hours on their feet, so anyone who does this job should have good physical strength and stamina. Caregivers tend to enjoy being active and moving around a lot because it passes the time quickly and keeps their work interesting.

Interpersonal Skills

Caregivers are “people-people”. They like to socialize and they tend to be very likable which is important because they interact with a lot of people: the patients, the patients’ loved ones, and various members of the medical team every day.

Good social skills are essential in this line of work because caregivers need to develop rapport or a sense of trust from their patients and everyone involved in the patient’s life. A caregiver’s interpersonal skills will help ward off the patient’s sense of isolation and feelings of loneliness. These interpersonal skills help the patient stay connected to whatever they need.

Initiative

Caregivers tend to take initiative. They don’t need to be micromanaged! That’s because most caregivers are stationed either alone with the patient in their home or in settings where they have a lot of opportunities to take their own initiative to do whatever needs to be done.

Typically, caregivers will be given certain instructions from nurses or doctors to follow in regard to the patient’s wound care or medications, but the non-medical aspects of care are left to the caregiver’s own initiative. Of course, a caregiver who doesn’t like to take their own initiative won’t last very long in this profession, but those who do will be well-loved by everyone involved!

People who are always looking for ways to help out by doing whatever it is that needs to be done for friends or family will make excellent caregivers.

Article is from FreedomCare on January 6, 2020