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Enhancing aged care with soft skills

Monday, September 28, 2020

When it comes to pursuing the career you want in aged care, qualifications are essential. As well as completing the right course, it’s vital to understand the importance of soft skills. Comprising of personal attributes such as patience, responsibility, communication and empathy, soft skills are beneficial for aged care roles.

People who possess developed soft skills are better equipped to solve problems in the workplace, communicate effectively, work well with others and navigate their work environment. These skills can optimise productivity and success in the workplace and, while not explicitly taught, they can be developed through training to offer many benefits for your aged care career and employer.

Soft skills for aged care career success

Soft skills training for aged care

Many roles and sectors hold soft skills in a high regard — and it’s not surprising. These often innate human qualities give employees the ability to reach their full potential and in aged care this means improved support and care for clients. These types of skills can also help aged care workers to better relate to and connect with families and their fellow carers.

There are a number of soft skills that are particularly valuable in the aged care sector:

Adaptability

Working within the aged care sector, you might find yourself in a number of different situations with different people in a short space of time. It helps to be adaptable and flexible as you move between scenarios in the workplace providing the care needed at each juncture to make each elderly individual feel secure and safe.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a broad term covering self-regulation, self-awareness, motivation, social skills and empathy. These areas all contribute greatly to employability as well as ability to succeed in (and out) of the workplace. Emotional intelligence impacts relationships with others and making the right behavioural choices in a range of contexts. In aged care this can ensure that everyone is safe and provided the highest standard of care.

Communication

Whether you are communicating with clients, families or other aged care professionals, communication skills can play a key role in your career success. This soft skill doesn’t just mean developing your own speaking and writing skills, but also comprehension of others through effective reading and listening.

Cultural competence

We all come from a variety of different backgrounds and cultures. Cultural competence is the ability to understand and communicate across them. Aged care involves working with clients and families from a range of cultural backgrounds and demographics, so possessing cultural competence is important.

Patience

Elderly individuals can feel frustrated when they are unable to complete a task without help or annoyed with a situation. Some are frustrated that they even require assistance at all. Patience can help you to keep a situation calm and improve the bond you have with those in your care.

Understanding human-centred education

At Royal College we take a human-centred approach to educating our aged care learners. Over the last few years soft skills have become increasingly valued in the workplace. Human-centred education techniques are now recognised alongside the more traditional, practical approach to education. The marriage of knowledge and hands-on skills with soft skills is instrumental in fostering a compassionate and caring society — vital for a quality aged care sector.

As the name suggests, this approach focuses on the human element of education — that is, our learners’ wellbeing, curiosity and care in relation to their studies. It enables people to develop their vital soft skills while gaining technical skills and formal qualifications simultaneously.

Soft skills in aged care

Supporting students to strengthen their soft skills

Not only have we incorporated a human-centred approach to training our learners, but our aged care courses too encourage a person-centred approach to care. We are committed to helping learners to strengthen their soft skills throughout their study journey as well as approaching aged care with empathy. Developing crucial soft skills within our courses helps to create caring, compassionate and highly effective professionals who are equipped to provide the highest quality care to ageing individuals.

A compassionate and caring world is better for everyone, and a renewed focus on soft skills like communication, kindness, compassion and patience can help pave the way to a better care. Incorporating and developing your own unique personal qualities, perspectives and understanding of the world into your learning and career can bring out the best in each individual. Working on these skills can help you get the most out of your training and your career in aged care.

To discuss your aged care career, get in touch with Royal College.

 

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