What do we mean when we say “be a professional caregiver?” The answer seems obvious and it ought to be for the most part, but being a professional caregiver doesn’t simply mean showing up for work and going through the motions, it means a whole lot more.
Being a professional caregiver starts well before you ever step foot in the care home. When you are preparing for your shift you should make a mental checklist of what you will be doing on your shift. That is, prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
Mentally review general policies and procedures and consider what steps you would need to take in the event of an emergency. The idea here is to avoid complacency by having awareness about yourself that everyday you go to work you need to be on point, and that means being in the proper state of mind to do your job effectively.
As you dawn your scrubs, visually scan them to make sure they are clean and wrinkle-free. Also check your uniform for stains, especially after a shift. If your uniform looks like it needs to be replaced get a new one, or checkout your local second hand store if you are looking to save a few dollars. Be careful not to buy a uniform that is frayed or stained.
Next, make sure your hair and nails are properly groomed, and maintain them on a daily basis. Dirty finger nails and unkempt hair tell those around you that you do not care much about personal hygiene or appearance. Maintaining your image as a professional caregiver means doing all the thing you need to do not only for your own benefit, but those you care for, the organization, and the families of the loved ones who place their trust in you.
In the end, being a professional caregiver means not only looking and dressing the the part, but putting yourself in the proper state of mind so that when you enter the facility for your shift you are focused, prepared and ready to take on the day’s challenges as a professional caregiver.