What is a care assistant?

Care assistants work on the frontline of care delivery, helping individuals to overcome the everyday difficulties they face. As a Care Assistant, you will work with vulnerable individuals to help them live their lives to the full. It is the ultimate ‘people job’.

Clients for care assistants can include the disabled, elderly, long-term ill and individuals with learning difficulties, so roles can be extremely varied and every day is different.

How to become a care assistant

You could take a college course, which may help when you look for work. Courses include

  • Level 1 Certificate in Health and Social Care
  • Level 2 Diploma in Care
  • T level for Healthcare Support Workers

You could do voluntary work with an organisation that supports vulnerable people, for example a care home, charity, hospital, hospice. In order to get this job, you’ll need to pass enhanced background checks. A driving licence may be helpful if you’re going to be working on shifts outside of public transport hours. It will help to be physically fit, as you may need to help lift or move people.

Care assistant duties

Care assistant duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Ensure timely administering of medication
  • Support clients with physical difficulties 
  • Help clients in everyday activities (dress, bathe, eat etc.)
  • Provide assistance to clients in physical therapy exercises
  • Plan and prepare nutritious meals
  • Help customers with their shopping
  • Do necessary housekeeping to maintain a clean environment
  • Provide emotional support
  • Inform physicians or supervisors about uncommon events
  • Act quickly and responsibly in cases of emergency

Care assistant skills

To be an effective care assistant, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Natural passion for helping others
  • Great communication skills
  • Willingness to listen
  • Ability to keep a cool head and be patient
  • Well-organized and reliable
  • Committed to health & safety
  • CPR certified
  • Able to do housework and cooking

How to find a care assistant job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the care assistant jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for care assistant jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Care Assistant Job Titles

When you search for care assistant jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for care assistant jobs include;

  • Healthcare assistant
  • Healthcare worker
  • Personal care aide
  • Support worker
  • Nursing home assistant
  • Care Worker
  • Carer

What does a care assistant do?

The day-to-day tasks of a care assistant include;

  • Get to know their interests and needs
  • Do household jobs, like washing clothes and shopping
  • Monitor their weight and record any concerns they have
  • Check they’re taking their prescribed medications
  • Support their physical and mental wellbeing through activities
  • Support families who have new caring responsibilities
  • Give emotional and practical support to children and young people
  • Work with other health and social care professionals