Monica Smith – From Manufacturing to Care
Each month we profile a care professional who has come into the sector after a career change and who demonstrates that it really is never too late to care! This month we meet Monica Smith from CMG who previously worked in manufacturing and was inspired to move into a career in care after caring for and the death of her mother.
Monica, a new support worker at CMG, has already made a significant impression at the Apple Tree service, despite not having any prior care experience.
Monica came into the caring profession later in life, having previously worked in the food manufacturing industry. Since joining CMG in January 2018, she has proved to be a very caring, reliable staff member who puts person-centred-support at the heart of everything she does; reflecting the core of CMG’s values.
Monica said “I previously worked for a food manufacturer for 18.5 years, but eventually left the company to care for my mother. Whilst caring for my her, I got a lot of satisfaction from seeing others achieve and learn things they thought they could never do, and have always thought myself to be a ‘people’ person.”
“At the ripe old age of 50, I felt I wouldn’t find a job that I’d enjoy. I then saw a CMG advertisement for support workers, and remembered that my mother used to work with autistic adults – and how much she enjoyed her job. As I have a similar personality and caring nature as my mother, I decided to apply.“
“It was obviously the right thing for me to do, as I absolutely love my job. It is so rewarding. There are difficult days, but I can honestly say I’ve never not wanted to go to work!”
Julie Packer, Apple Tree’s service manager, said “Whether Monica is supporting our individuals in their day-to-day lives, or dealing with challenging behaviours, she approaches every situation imaginable with a positive can-do attitude, using creative thinking to resolve any issues quickly and positively.”
One inspiring example of this, is when Monica supported an individual’s swimming session, when they became ‘stuck’ in the swimming pool for seven hours. Monica maintained a positive, upbeat attitude throughout this challenge, supporting him through his stuck behaviour, and trying various encouragement methods (including his visual schedules) to support him out of the pool.
Monica was also incredible at supporting an individual during a prolonged emergency hospital admission last year, providing support around the clock. During this period, Monica came in earlier than her usual shift start time, and stayed on later than her usual shift finish time, without any hesitation. She liaised with health professionals on the individual’s behalf and kept in close communication with the service, helping to make their stay in hospital comfortable.
Monica is also a keyworker for another individual, which often means working alone, and requires a very high level of self-motivation and organisation to ensure the safe running of the service. Monica has successfully motivated the individual to engage in new experiences, such as playing at a green boules club in the local village, and taking part in baking cakes.
Monica has helped to develop the individual’s independent living skills, and they have formed a productive, close working relationship, with Monica supporting him through various challenges in his life.
Julie said “Monica is a valued member of the Apple Tree House team, and has always maintained a positive approach through the various challenges she’s had. She’s positive, and thinks of the individuals every step of the way, continuously supporting them to achieve. She also makes an excellent brew!”
Monica concluded “I wish that I had begun working in the care industry earlier in life, but on the other hand, I do believe that everything I learnt in my previous employment has made me the person I am today!”