From Housekeeper to Deputy Home Manager, ten years in health and social care
Sian shares her thoughts on working in care for Professional Care Worker’s Week (1 - 4 Sept)
'Our staff must have empathy, heart and love, everything else is teachable.'
Sian Howse, Deputy Home Manager at Edwardstow Court, Stow-on-the-Wold joined the OSJCT in March 2009. She initially joined as a housekeeper, but a willing attitude and a thirst for learning and keeping busy saw Sian progress to a care leader, unit leader and now deputy home manager.
Sian worked with many teams in other OSJCT homes: Jubilee Lodge, Windsor Street in Cheltenham, Grevill House and Chestnut Court before joining Edwardstow Court prior to the opening of this new build care home in March 2018.
The home, which has space for 48 residents and employs around 30 trained carers, who are supported and supervised by Sian. Recruiting the right team for a care home is vital when creating successful, safe and happy home with a family ethos.
Sian said: “When I interview potential carers, I bear in mind that our staff must have empathy, heart and love, everything else is teachable.
“Our residents are missing their family members and we are the closest people to them. We do our jobs to make a difference, to put a smile on the faces of our residents and to bring fun, light and laughter into their lives. When I see a resident’s face light up through spending some time with them, it makes my day. It’s why I do my job.”
“As care staff we keep close contact with family members, we are so mindful that current circumstances mean they are trusting us to keep their loved ones safe and at ease. We spend a lot of time arranging skype calls so that they can see each other.
“I say to our care teams, ‘how would you want to be looked after?’ that’s how we provide the best care.”
Creating a new care team from scratch
Many of the carers at Edwardstow Court were new to care when they joined two years ago, and many have stayed.
Sian said: “We had a brand-new home and a new team; we were starting from scratch. I enjoyed the challenge, and it’s very satisfying to see people’s natural abilities for this people centred role shine through.”
Sian champions staff development among her team. Training at OSJCT is plentiful and thorough and Sian often nominates staff for leadership roles. She explained: “Individuals are chuffed to be given accountability and responsibility, they know their skills are being recognised and it can boost their morale and remind them of their sense of purpose.”
Sian has previously been a retail manager and a personal assistant to a director. Sian moved into care for a role that would complement her family life. Sian is working towards a Level 5 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
“I’ve always enjoyed a busy, vibrant role and the opportunity to learn more. Working in care at the OSJCT has been varied and challenging. Knowing that together we are making a positive difference to our residents and supporting their families, makes all the long hours and hard work, worthwhile.”