As a healthcare professional working with elderly individuals or those with disabilities, your goal is to help them lead fulfilling and independent lives.  

Each day you spend with them is a step forward for them to achieve their goals, no matter what they may be. 

To help you be the best person for this vital role, here are four helpful tips on how to succeed as a support worker and make a positive impact on the lives of those you care for. 

1. Support their independence and freedom of choice. 

It can be tempting to take over and make decisions for your patient. However, this can be counterproductive as it can lead to the person feeling disempowered and frustrated.  

Instead, you should never forget that your role is to help people help themselves. This includes encouraging them to make their own decisions and actions while supporting them in the process. 

2. Be careful not to make assumptions about a patient’s abilities.  

Remember: everyone is unique and each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. It is better practise for you to ask questions and find out how best you can help make things better for them.  

Don’t make assumptions about what the person can or cannot do. Take the time to understand their needs and abilities, and work together to come up with practical solutions. 

3. Learn how to communicate effectively with your patient.

Communication is key in any relationship. This is especially true when working as a disability support worker, personal care worker, or as an assistant in nursing.  

Everyone communicates differently. There is no guarantee that what works for one person will work for another.  

For instance, some people may prefer verbal communication, while others have trouble speaking. So, you should look for other methods of communication. This could include using Australian sign language, pictures or even written notes.  

The goal is to find the best way to communicate without any misunderstanding so that you can create a better working relationship and help them better. 

4. Listen and be there for your patient.

At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do as a support worker is to listen to your patients and be there for them.  

This means being empathetic, patient and understanding. It includes taking the time to listen to their concerns, fears and hopes. It means being there to celebrate their successes and to support them through their struggles. 

Being a successful support worker requires patience, empathy and understanding. It also requires having the most supportive team behind you as you do what you do best. Be a part of H1 Healthcare Australia to help you succeed as a support worker.