Alison J is one of the superstars who make up our newly created Field Support Team, who provide mentorship, support and an escalation point to our teams whilst working out in the field. Read on to find out how becoming a dog walker for her 99 year old yoga instructor neighbour brought her back to into the care sector and all about her recent promotion into Field Support Assistant at Eidyn Care.
Can you tell us about your journey that’s led you to Eidyn Care?
“Before I joined Eidyn Care, my first experience of working with the elderly age group was as a Mental Health Nurse in a day hospital, when I specialized in the care of over 65’s with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and dementia. I then became an Early Stage Link Worker with Alzheimer’s Scotland, supporting those with the first signs of dementia. After this, I decided to take a break from care for a number of years; baking and waitressing for my local café in North Queensferry. From there, I returned to Care by chance, when I started dog walking for family friend in the Village who had been teaching yoga until she was 99! As time went on, her needs progressed and I started helping her with other daily tasks and personal care. This was my first experience of providing care in the community and I loved it!
What was it that attracted you to come and work with Eidyn Care?
“After seeing the Home Care Assistant role advertised online, I looked at client and staff reviews and it was very clear how supportive Eidyn Care are of their employees as well as their clients – which has become obvious since joining Eidyn Care. I could also see how much value they place on being person centred. They really are an outstanding company and I’m very proud to be a part of it.”
When did you start with Eidyn Care?
“I started my role as Home Care Assistant at the start of January 2020, when Covid-19 was just starting to become apparent. At that point, at a very basic level, I was very grateful to be able to have a job but I was also very privileged to have this type of work during the pandemic.”
What led you to apply for the Field Support role when it became available?
“It was serendipity! Everyone in Eidyn Care was very much involved in having an input in the types of roles that would exist in the organization as part of the ‘People Plan’ and I always thought that the Field Support role sounded very interesting as a concept. Then when it came up, I applied, was interviewed and was very happy to accept it!”
What sort of additional duties do you have as a Field Support Supervisor?
“I am given ‘on-call’ duties, which were daunting as first but I have been given a huge amount of support to help with this; it has formed a large part of our ‘classroom training’ as well as having ‘de-briefing’ sessions after the shift with Rebecca, our Registered Manager, and the rest of Field Support team. That’s been really useful to chat through successes and difficulties and share each others’ perspectives.
Once I work further through my training plan, I will also be involved in attending ‘support visits’ with Home Care Staff, which are set up to ensure that Carers feel confident in the duties that they perform for their clients.”
How have you enjoyed the role so far?
“The great thing about this role, is that I have new dimensions and opportunities within the Company but I still get to provide care for my clients on a regular basis – which I absolutely love to do! Promotion can sometimes mean getting detached from care at a grass roots level but I definitely don’t find that with the Field Support role!
As a whole, working as a Field Support has been like looking through a telescope from the other end.. it’s given me great perspective in understanding the company as a whole. I’ve had a lot of training on our systems CarePlanner and PASS and feel very comforted in the fact that there is always someone there to ask if I don’t know something!”
Can you tell me a bit about the training you have received so far as part of your new role?
“The most structured training has been the ‘Train the Trainer’ programme, where we had an external trainer coach us on how to present best practice to our carers on areas such as Moving & Handling and Advanced Medication Administration. It was a great opportunity to build these skills and also bond with the rest of the Field Support Team.
We’re coming to the end of our ‘formal’ 12 week training programme but Eidyn Care have made it very clear to us that we are not expected to be a ‘finished product’ we will be continuing to learn and grow for months and years to come.”
What do you enjoy about being part of the Eidyn Care Family?
“‘Family’ is a really good description; it is incredibly supportive. I was initially attracted to work for the Company by the reviews about the level of support given by Eidyn Care but having now worked for them over the last 13 months, it really is the case. Their support runs deeper than just policies and mission statements, it is informally as well – it’s a just very caring company. The Carers really look after each other as well; there’s never a ‘them and us’ culture at all. I love working for the Company and I have my dream job!”