Reading about caregiver duties is definitely not the same as performing them. It is one of the most stressful jobs out there, but it is also one of the most rewarding. Although it isn't for everybody, it is something you should really consider doing, or keep doing, if you enjoy helping others.
First of all, caregivers have to be a caring companion for their patients. You have to be compassionate and kind to them no matter what the circumstances are. Even if they are getting angry or frustrated, you have to keep calm and not blow up right back at them. This may be an emotional time for them.
If you do, not only will your patient get even more harsh with you, you may be in danger of losing your job and rightfully so. Your supervisors should not have to tolerate multiple bad attitudes. You have to be the strong one and be kind to everybody regardless of how they treat you. If you are a confident caregiver, this will not be a problem.
Taking care of patients requires patience. It's not a coincidence that those two terms sound exactly alike. They go hand in hand. For many caregivers, this is the hardest quality to have. I have been in a room for over an hour caring for one patient while knowing I had many more tasks to do afterwards.
I would be lying if I said being patient is always easy, but with the right mindset, you will surprise yourself of how patient you can be. If this is something you struggle with, it needs to be your priority to overcome your impatience. It is a necessity in this field. Controlling your caregiver stress can make this much easier.
There are many common physical caregiver duties you must perform as well. Just be sure you perform these opening steps before you begin, and these closing steps when you are done. Of course some patients require more assistance than others but you should help them be as independent as possible. The more you assist your patient with something they can do themselves, the more they will lose their independence.
At the hospital where I am employed, I used to work as a certified nursing assistant but currently work as a registered nurse. There are many common physical duties that I assist with while wearing caregiver scrubs and shoes. Some of them are as follows:
These are just a few of the basic tasks I perform. There are too many to list but this website covers a lot of them.
Your caregiver duties may be different depending on who you are taking care of, where you are caring for them, and what their condition is. You never have the same experience with a patient twice. Every encounter is a unique one. Therefore, you should strive to give an accurate and thorough shift report.
I have taken care of thousands of patients and I can honestly say no experience has been exactly the same. Even if I am taking care of a returning patient I have had in the past, their condition as well as their needs and even personality often change especially if they have dementia.
Should you be a caregiver? This is a very difficult question for anybody to answer no matter how well they know you. It is a job like no other and like any other job, it isn't for everybody. You do not want to be a sufferer of caregiver depression. Nobody can tell you for certain if you should be a caregiver except yourself. Many people who can't afford to put their loved one in a long-term care facility such as a senior living home don't have a choice.
The best way to find out if being a caregiver is the right path for you to take is to actually perform these caregiver duties first hand. The best way to test it out is to assist a family member or close friend that needs this type of care or to receive your certified nursing assistant license. Then you can have a job or volunteer as a professional caregiver.
Your caregiver duties may vary depending on your patient and their condition but with every single one, you are working towards one goal, to care for them.
That goal may sound silly to even mention but believe it or not, a lot of caregivers forget that goal. If you ask them, of course that will be their answer but is that where their heart is? Are they there for a paycheck or for the patient?