We saw this posted on Facebook:
How do I become the Greatest Support Worker the world has ever known?
So, here’s our answer.
David Seabury said “Enthusiasm is the best protection in any situation. Wholeheartedness is contagious. Give yourself, if you wish to get others.”
Just asking the question is your biggest step forward. Well done you! Your wholeheartedness is sure to be contagious.
The job is unlike any other. It’s the difference between sitting back and watching, or getting involved in something that makes a difference to someone’s life.
We can certainly list the qualities needed. These would be a good start if you want to be a good disability support worker:
- Active listening skills
- Attention to detail
- Life Skills
The real question is, is it something you can commit to as a career? It’s usually a dedicated person that sticks with this job. The ability to be kind, empathetic and patient are not inexhaustible qualities – they need to be reinforced if you are to use them every day without flagging.
Clients are all different. It’s one of the biggest factors in an industry where training sometimes encourages you to think they are all the same. Flexibility and adaptability is key – you’ll never know when or how a client will need you, so being able to cope with uncertainty is a valuable skill.
And can you anticipate what might be required next? The best support workers can make a reasonable guess as to what might be on the horizon and be prepared – and then have the flexibility to change course if needs be.
These are some of the qualities that make a great disability support worker.
However, a vital bit of information here is that you have to be fit for purpose. If you are offered a $99 tyre for your car, and then you’re told that you can have a $3500 tractor tyre for the same price, you are not going to be grabbing that super-duper upgrade because your car isn’t going to run well if one of the tyres is nine times bigger than it should be.
So, it’s hard to say what would make you the greatest support worker the world has ever known, but it’s not hard to say what would make you the greatest support worker a particular client has ever known. It’s understanding. People want support workers that “get them”.
From there, you just need more clients. If you’ve got a full roster of one, two, twelve, whatever suits your circumstance, and every single client thinks you are the greatest support worker the world has ever known, then that’s enough.
In fact, it’s more than enough.