No two days as a care professional are the same. Whether you’re a care worker, ancillary worker or care manager, each day will bring with it its own challenge and of course rewards. Sharon George is Head Housekeeper at Haddon Hall Care Home, part of the Porthaven Care Homes Group
You worked in retail previously. What motivated you to make that switch relatively late in your career?
I enjoyed working for Morrisons for 17 years, but wanted a different challenge. I thought that providing a service for a different clientele would be fulfilling.
Please describe your current day-to-day duties at Haddon Hall Care Home
My daily routine involves managing ten staff, overseeing the provision of laundry and ensuring that the home maintains a high standard of cleanliness with daily cleaning schedules. As head housekeeper, I am also infection control champion, working closely with the home trainer to ensure that infection control is met throughout the home. It is my highest priority to increase my awareness of infection control legislation, so I complete training regularly. My other duties consist of completing weekly rotas, monthly ordering and staff appraisals.
A caring professional role is not always an easy one. What are the main strengths you need?
To be caring, a good listener, patient, and understanding. Teamwork is absolutely essential, as each department plays a big role in keeping the home a safe and homely environment.
To motivate my staff, my Great British Care Awards ‘Highly Commended’ certificate is on show in the laundry room. I tell them that this is an award they can achieve. I have a great, hardworking team – I couldn’t do my job without them. It’s important to be an approachable manager and encourage them to pursue new ways to learn and grow in their skills and role. Many domestic staff decide to participate more in resident care and I encourage them to take that next step and grow within the company. Each month we have a ‘Scrubber of the Month’ award with a team member being nominated on how well they have worked that month. If they have gone that extra mile for a resident, they receive an award of recognition.
What initiatives are designed to be unique and fun for the residents? How have you contributed to this?
Although we are not directly involved in the daily care of our residents, we contribute by keeping their home clean and safe. ‘Resident of the day’ is awarded daily, to make our residents feel special. We ensure that they are happy with our services and listen to their needs. Their dignity is of the utmost priority and we love to include them where we can safely in our daily tasks. We love to get to know them, sing with them, dance with them and find various other ways we can positively bring more purpose and happiness into their lives.
There are some lovely facilities and activities at Haddon Hall Care Home. How does this make your life and the life of the residents, easier?
We have a home designed to enable all members of staff to provide the best care possible. Residents have modern and spacious living spaces and can enjoy a hair salon and private dining room. As a domestics team, we ensure that these areas are kept to the highest standards of cleanliness so everyone can continue to enjoy them.
What advice would you give to anyone wishing to become a professional in the care industry and Porthaven in particular?
Porthaven has high standards and values for respect, dignity and the care of the residents. It is hard work, but so rewarding. I can go home knowing that I have contributed and made a difference to the lives of our residents in a positive way.
Written before the coronavirus crisis