There are many different ways to progress in your career after working as a care assistant. Your kindness, empathy, communication and organisation skills can be translated to a wide range of other roles in care.
Here, we'll explore five different next-step jobs ideas that are open to you after you've worked as a care assistant.
5 ideas for your next role after care assistant
1. Senior care assistant
If you enjoy working as a care assistant, then the most natural progression for you might be to senior care assistant. You understand your role, and that will help as you step up.
A senior care assistant role requires a blend of leadership skills, effective communication, and a deep understanding of patient care. You’ll lead and mentor fellow care assistants, and you’ll also contribute to the overall well-being of residents and patients.
Other duties and responsibilities may include:
- Managing resident schedules
- Writing care plans
- Working with doctors and other healthcare professionals
- Keeping family members up to date about their loved ones
- Organising activities for residents
If you’ve set your sights on promotion to senior care assistant, you can start by looking for opportunities at work to take on more responsibilities, find ways to show how you can collaborate with other team members, and demonstrate that you’re ready to move up.
Check out our comprehensive guide on how to transition to senior care assistant.
2. Activities coordinator
If you enjoy working in a care environment, but want to try something a little different, an activities coordinator role might be the one for you.
An activity coordinator, or activity worker, is in charge of organising social activities for residents in a home or as part of a community care role. Keeping residents or patients engaged and entertained is a key part of their well-being, and activities like painting, gardening, board games and day trips often mean a lot to them.
Activity coordinator is an important role because without activities residents may get bored, feel more isolated and lose confidence. Keeping residents engaged and interested can really make a difference to their quality of life, and focusing on residents’ well-being will give you a great sense of satisfaction and achievement as well.
There’s usually no specific training required for this role, but you’ll need the following skills:
- Literacy, numeracy and writing skills
- Organisation, communication and time management skills
- The ability to problem solve
- Kindness, patience and a real enjoyment of helping fulfil residents’ needs
You’ll need to really care about your residents, be creative in helping to keep them happy, and be able to work with the local community in arranging suitable activities.
3. Dementia care coordinator
If you’ve been working as a care assistant for a while, you might realise that you enjoy your work more in some areas than others, and it might be time to consider specialising in a particular area. One of the most popular areas of specialisation is moving into dementia care, though others include end of life care or mental health.
A dementia care coordinator takes responsibility for coordinating this aspect of care, training staff, and ensuring everyone can access the care and support they need. You might be involved in developing and putting policies and procedures in place, working with a range of other organisations to coordinate care services, and working on specific projects about dementia.
To do this role well, you’ll need to have or develop:
- Communication and negotiation skills
- Coordination and organisational skills
- The ability to motivate other people
- Knowledge of best practice and latest developments in dementia care
Depending on where you’re working you may need NVQ 3 level or equivalent experience and be able to show that you’re committed to ongoing professional development. There are some key skills here that you’ll already have acquired as a care assistant, and others that you’ll need to gain through education or experience in order to take on this role.
4. Support worker
There is quite a bit of crossover between the roles of care assistant and support worker already, and some tasks overlap. The main difference between the roles is that care assistants work in care homes while support workers support their patients in the wider community and in their own homes.
If you’re already a care assistant, then transitioning to support worker can offer a new perspective and skill set. Look for opportunities at work to gain additional experience, think about shadowing someone who is already in the role, and find out what training and skills you’ll need to succeed.
Read on to find out what it takes to make a successful transition from care assistant to support worker.
If you’re interested in progressing your caring career even further, you might want to consider training to become a qualified nurse, which is a significant step forward in terms of career development and the broader responsibilities that will come with the role.
Many care assistants make the move into nursing, and there are transferable skills such as your compassion, patience and understanding that will stand you in good stead when you are starting out.
The skills that nurses learn through their training mean that they are able to take on more responsibilities, and this training takes years of time and effort.
Find out whether you’ve got what it takes in our step-by-step guide: Your healthcare career journey: 7 steps from care assistant to nurse.
The transition from care assistant to nurse can be a natural progression that builds on your existing caregiving skills, and with many educational pathway options, such as nursing degrees or nursing apprenticeships, it’s worth exploring the pathways in detail to discover which one works best for you.
How do I get started?
Here's how to figure out what to do next in your career...
- Take time to reflect on your current career stage and identify your goals.
- Create a plan outlining the steps you need to take to reach your desired role.
- Seek mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals in your chosen field.
- Embrace continuous learning and invest in professional development.
- Explore resources like Florence Academy, which offers a wealth of educational opportunities to support your growth.
By following your passions, seeking opportunities for growth and embracing lifelong learning, you can follow a meaningful path in your care career that contributes to the well-being of others.
Florence can help you find flexible shifts near you, take essential training courses and improve your work-life balance. Find out more and sign up today.
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