Why I love working in a Care Home

 Cheryl Henderson 11 Jun 2018

At the start of Care Homes week, find out why just how rewarding a career nurses can have working in a care home. Cheryl Henderson recounts her experience.

I am fortunate enough to do a job I love. I work as an Education and Dementia co-ordinator for Elder Homes Ltd. This is a small, private, Edinburgh based company with two care homes, employing 185 staff and supporting just over 90 residents.

As I am based within the two care homes, I am able to directly support residents and relatives as well as staff and also get to participate in direct care giving. This support is particularly important when someone is admitted with a diagnosis of dementia. This may be their relatives and friends but could also be other residents. To help with this, I recently graduated as one of Scotland’s dementia champions.

One aspect of my job which I particularly enjoy is training new talent — the workforce of tomorrow. Training staff in all aspects of care giving is really important. Without clear knowledge and understanding, staff may not fully realise why they are doing something. The joy of my job is the ‘light bulb moment’ when something really clicks for a student or trainee nurse. For example, when someone says: ‘I get it now. That’s what it might feel like to be blind.’ It is at these times that I feel a real sense of satisfaction that not only will the residents receive more insightful care, but that those caring for them are also being cared for and being developed. By continuing to input into training, I feel I am also developing our future workforce — for when I might need them!

I have worked as a nurse in Care Homes for more than 20 years. What I love most about working in a care home is the satisfaction of helping people who have lived full and interesting lives. I enjoy giving back to the people who we owe so much to. I have been really privileged to work with people who have literally changed the world, one way or another. It is incredibly humbling and it is the least we can do to show our appreciation. I feel really valued when a resident or a relative goes out of their way to say thank you. I met the wife of a gentleman I had nursed 7 years after he had died. She not only remembered me but kept telling others that I had looked after her husband and had attended his funeral. I had no idea the impact of my actions could be this far-reaching. It really highlighted to me why I do my job.

Nursing in a care home is a distinct specialty in its own right, and is definitely not an easy option. It is physically and mentally demanding but also one of the most satisfying things you will ever do.

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Cheryl Henderson

Cheryl Henderson

Education and Dementia Co-ordinator, Elder Homes Ltd

Cheryl Henderson has worked for Elder Homes Ltd for nine years where she is Education and Dementia Co-ordinator.

Page last updated - 05/09/2018