Where she belongs
Despite having left the sector for ten years, an incident in hospital brought home to Sarah Kerrison that the care industry was where she belongs.
She was being treated in hospital for severe migraine and staff had left a plate of food at the bedside of an elderly patient on the same ward.
“They had been too busy to help her with the food and so it had just been left there,” said Sarah.
“I was heavily sedated but almost on auto-pilot I got up, cut up the food for the lady and sat there helping her eat it. That made me realise I needed to get back where I belonged.”
As a child Sarah had marvelled at the compassionate way a district nurse cared for her motor neurone stricken grandad.
She wanted to become a nurse but struggled when the University she studied at failed to provide support for her dyslexia.
“If I couldn’t be a nurse I felt the next best thing was care support so I joined Caremark Redcar and Cleveland and really enjoyed the job,” she said.
After three years Sarah had become a Field Care Supervisor but then an opportunity arose to move to Dubai where she found a job in HR and admin. She was there for ten years before her migraines became so severe she needed hospital treatment. Unimpressed by the health care in Dubai she returned to her home and her calling.
“The incident in the hospital made me realise I was born to be a carer and Caremark was the only company I wanted to work for,” said Sarah. “They do things right for customers and for their staff.”
Sarah, 35, works nights in care support, helping people get ready for bed and attending through the night to those who need help. For some that might mean a toilet visit or reassuring chat whilst helping them to change their position to avoid bed sores.
Caremark prides itself on the flexibility of hours it can offer staff. For Sarah nights work well as she enjoys walks in the day with her two dogs, Cooper the Labrador and Tess, a Saluki who she brought back from Dubai.
She says some things have changed in her decade away, in particular the use of digital information accessible on carers’ phones to ensure customers’ records and medication details are always up to date.
The basics though remain the same.
“On the care side it’s about being patient, compassionate and empathetic,” said Sarah. “Most important though is to be non-judgemental and make people as comfortable as possible whatever their circumstances,” she adds.