Is a support worker job a MUST?

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Chantelleem
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:18 am

Is a support worker job a MUST?

Post by Chantelleem » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:15 pm

Hi all!

Basic question, is it pretty much essential to be a support worker to contribute to getting a AP post?

Long question:
Currently I have a lot (for a 2014 grad) of mental health experience. I am currently (for the next year at least) completing research in mental health for a charity voluntarily among other large volunteer projects. Also I secured a high 2:1 degree!

However, I want to go travelling for three months early 2015, meaning I need as much money as possible. Starting Wednesday I am working an admin job within the NHS whilst doing substantial voluntary projects related to clinical psychology elsewhere.

I am aware that the admin job will add very little to my CV but to be honest my alternative is a temporary support worker job. I am not as keen on this role for a number of reasons. Importantly the pay is significantly less with additional higher expenses (petrol) meaning I will probably not be able to go travelling. Additionally I don't really like the idea of being a support worker/ carer type job as I would prefer to work therapeutically or within a hospital at least (although I'm sure most grads feel the same).

I'd like to add here that I am open to being a support worker when I am back from travelling as the pressure to earn will be less, but I'd love to get a different role if I am lucky enough!

Basically, what do you guys think? Is it okay to do the admin job along with my reasonably substantial voluntary projects for 6 months, enabling me to go travelling for a bit. Or should I just suck it up and do the lower paid support worker jobs?
I would love more than a yes/no answer too :)

Also, what would you personally do considering everything?

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Psychological
Posts: 121
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:11 am

Re: Is a support worker job a MUST?

Post by Psychological » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:50 pm

Hello!

The short answer to your question is that a support worker job is NOT a must, and neither is an AP job.

I wonder what you consider a support worker role to be, as they are very varied. This topic came up in this thread, where you can see that they are quite varied, can be in a hospital setting, and can involve working therapeutically with patients (alongside CPs and OTs if you're lucky).

In my experience admin roles in the NHS tend to be bands 2-4 (with maybe an admin manager at band 5), whereas a support work role would be band 2-3, but some could be band 4. So I don't know if the pay would be much different? There are MANY different names for a support worker, such as health care assistant, nursing assistant, social therapist, life skills recovery worker, assistant practitioner etc. so look out for those when searching NHS jobs.

For the clin psy application the most important thing is the reflecting on what you've learnt from your experiences rather than just ticking a box to say you've done this role and that role. What you're doing already sounds good! An admin role within the NHS will at least give you some insight into how the NHS works and could possibly help with gaining more patient based work in the future. The travelling will also be a good thing for your application.

Personally, I'd either stick with what you're doing now, save up, go travelling, come back and then do something more clinically relevant and paid (it's not a race to get into clinical). Or I would search for the other terms I mentioned above and see if you can find any of those roles at a higher salary than the ones you've seen so far.

Good luck!

Megzi
Posts: 98
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:07 pm

Re: Is a support worker job a MUST?

Post by Megzi » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:55 pm

Basic answer: No, but it does help. I know a few people who snapped up AP posts straight from graduation (but they had other relevant experiences).

No - I don't think you should work as a support worker right now if this will be a barrier to you travelling. As you suggested, you could do support work when you're back from travelling. Other roles you could look into: Therapy Assistant (SLT/OT/Physio), Rehabilitation Assistant etc.

In my experience working with administrators, it requires key skills that will hold you in good stead for future roles.

Chantelleem
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:18 am

Re: Is a support worker job a MUST?

Post by Chantelleem » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:03 am

Psychological wrote:Hello!

The short answer to your question is that a support worker job is NOT a must, and neither is an AP job.

I wonder what you consider a support worker role to be, as they are very varied. This topic came up in this thread, where you can see that they are quite varied, can be in a hospital setting, and can involve working therapeutically with patients (alongside CPs and OTs if you're lucky).

In my experience admin roles in the NHS tend to be bands 2-4 (with maybe an admin manager at band 5), whereas a support work role would be band 2-3, but some could be band 4. So I don't know if the pay would be much different? There are MANY different names for a support worker, such as health care assistant, nursing assistant, social therapist, life skills recovery worker, assistant practitioner etc. so look out for those when searching NHS jobs.

For the clin psy application the most important thing is the reflecting on what you've learnt from your experiences rather than just ticking a box to say you've done this role and that role. What you're doing already sounds good! An admin role within the NHS will at least give you some insight into how the NHS works and could possibly help with gaining more patient based work in the future. The travelling will also be a good thing for your application.

Personally, I'd either stick with what you're doing now, save up, go travelling, come back and then do something more clinically relevant and paid (it's not a race to get into clinical). Or I would search for the other terms I mentioned above and see if you can find any of those roles at a higher salary than the ones you've seen so far.

Good luck!

Thank you so much for this, everything you say makes so much sense!
For the admin job I have I am earning £2 more an hour than the support worker jobs I've been looking at. I've applied to a few health care assistant roles, some of which look fantastic, but I would basically feel bad having to quit them after a few months.

Thank you! I feel the same

Chantelleem
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:18 am

Re: Is a support worker job a MUST?

Post by Chantelleem » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:05 am

Megzi wrote:Basic answer: No, but it does help. I know a few people who snapped up AP posts straight from graduation (but they had other relevant experiences).

No - I don't think you should work as a support worker right now if this will be a barrier to you travelling. As you suggested, you could do support work when you're back from travelling. Other roles you could look into: Therapy Assistant (SLT/OT/Physio), Rehabilitation Assistant etc.

In my experience working with administrators, it requires key skills that will hold you in good stead for future roles.
WOW! Lucky them :)
Thank you very much for your support.

lakeland
Posts: 932
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:18 pm

Re: Is a support worker job a MUST?

Post by lakeland » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:56 am

Definitely go travelling, and you can think more about relevant experience afterwards. Plus the admin job will give you lots of transferrable skills in terms of organisation etc, and NHS experience, so should help you get a support worker job in the NHS when you get back, if that's what you want to do. You could also look into RA jobs when you get back.

I agree that it's not essential, but I think most people will have worked as a support worker at some point. I personally got a lot out of my experience, in terms of getting a better understanding of MH issues and the impact they can have, understanding the NHS better, and getting to do some interesting training. I think, for me, that foundation was important and I couldn't have got an AP or RA job without it.

Chantelleem
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:18 am

Re: Is a support worker job a MUST?

Post by Chantelleem » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:46 pm

lakeland wrote:Definitely go travelling, and you can think more about relevant experience afterwards. Plus the admin job will give you lots of transferrable skills in terms of organisation etc, and NHS experience, so should help you get a support worker job in the NHS when you get back, if that's what you want to do. You could also look into RA jobs when you get back.

I agree that it's not essential, but I think most people will have worked as a support worker at some point. I personally got a lot out of my experience, in terms of getting a better understanding of MH issues and the impact they can have, understanding the NHS better, and getting to do some interesting training. I think, for me, that foundation was important and I couldn't have got an AP or RA job without it.
Thanks for the advice. I am still doing and have done much experience with people with mental health difficulties so it's not as if I have no idea. I could always do with more though!

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