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Social services and healthcare

Gillian Davidson

My name is Gillian Davidson and I am a professional live-in carer employed by the Good Care Group. I’m registered with the SSSC as a support worker in care at home. I help people to stay in their own home with the support they need.

Before I started my career, I was caring for family members who were experiencing difficulties with illness, disabilities and the effects of ageing at 95 years young. I enjoyed improving their lives so decided to study social care at college. I went to Banff and Buchan College, now part of North East Scotland College, and studied for a National Certificate (NC). I then began my first social care job full time while I attended evening classes part time for two years to gain my Higher National Certificate (HNC).

For around 15 years, while my children were at school, I worked for the local authority as a care at home support worker. I had set times and worked my way around clients’ houses helping them with washing, dressing and meals. I assisted with their medicine management and kept their houses secure and safe.

My next position was health care support worker (HCSW) with NHS Grampian. I worked in an assessment ward for people over 65. I added to my skill set by learning clinical skills, observations and recording. This has been great and I took these skills with me. I’m often told how useful they are by other professionals.

I am always keen to develop. For example, when working with the local authority I answered an advertisement in my local paper and attended a course in counselling. I was a voluntary counsellor with a charity promoting good mental health for people experiencing emotional difficulties in my local community.

A typical day in my current role involves being very client led. I will provide choices and my client will let me know when she wants to get out of bed, shower, dress and what activities she would like to do. As it’s live-in care there is no pressure to be washed or dressed at set times. My client can have choice, at her own pace, about what she eats, wears and does with her own life. I think it’s great, so does she!

Live-in care is a unique experience. At times it can feel isolating, however The Good Care Group use a range of technology to support us. All record keeping is digital and recorded on a Chrome Book. This includes daily care notes, food and fluid, body maps, incident reporting and medication. This allows the care manager to see records and support us with what is happening in real time. There is also a 24 hour on call team.

I enjoy being able to travel and live in some great locations. This year I’ve been to Moray, the Isle of Tiree, Edinburgh and London. I’ve supported my client on a ferry and travel to work on a small 16-seater aircraft for half of the year.

My work pattern means working one week and having three weeks at home, which is my choice. Many other shifts are available to suit employees and clients. I would recommend a career in social care if you enjoy being hands on and are a people person. With an ageing population living with more complex needs wishing to remain at home there are plenty employment opportunities.

If you have a willingness to learn and enjoy variety, working in social care is for you.

PGillian outside the gates of Buckingham Palace

I would recommend a career in social care if you enjoy being hands on and are a people person.

Gillian Davidson Professional live-in carer