Tuesday June 25, 2024

Meet care coordinator Ashley Swales

27 year old Ashley Swales, from Maske-by-the-Sea, has worked in the care industry for several years. Starting her career as a care worker with Meadowvale Homecare, Ashley then became a health care assistant for the NHS at James Cook Hospital, until she recently returned to Meadowvale as a care coordinator.  

What did you do previously and why the career change? 

“I’ve always worked in care since leaving college, my auntie was manager of a care company and I was interested in what she did, she cared for my Gran, and I just love looking after people. To be in this job you need to be a caring person and have a genuine care for people and what you do. 

“Before my current role, I was a health care assistant at James Cook, it was great to try something new and be more hands on and gain more responsibility, by taking bloods etc. I decided to move back into the care industry again, as it was tough on my family and trying to find childcare when I was working weekends and night shifts. I wanted a role where I could still work and be a Mam too. I loved the NHS but it was becoming too difficult working out my shifts and childcare. Now I work Monday to Friday and I’m on call one night a week, which is perfect for me.” 

 What do you love about your job role? 

“I like being able to support staff, making sure they’re happy at work and that our services are protected. I love the challenges the role brings and problem solving. To go into a care coordinator role, I think you need experience of being a care worker previously to be able to understand the challenges.” 

What are the tough sides to the job? 

“Covid-19 was really hard, every company was short staffed, and it took its toll on a lot of people. It’s hard when things don’t go right, everyone is human and makes mistakes, but it’s about learning from them and growing as a person. I think one of the hardest things of the job is losing a patient, it does affect you and it’s something that we all have to deal with.” 

What would you say to others that are looking to join the industry? 

“Absolutely do it, if you’re a caring person and love looking after people, just do it. My sister worked in a café all her life, and I tried to persuade her to join the care industry, but she would always tell me she could never do it, and one day she decided to give it a go. She absolutely loves being a care worker now. 

“You have to be professional and give a really good standard of care and be supportive to your clients and colleagues.” 

What does your typical day look like? 

“My day starts with a meeting about the night before, any concerns are dealt with first, as well as any sick leave. I communicate with social workers, work through any staff concerns or problems, check new medications for clients, and check any emails, the systems and rotas.”  

If you’re looking for a fulfilled career, a job to suit your lifestyle or simply looking for a new role, The Caring Kind is connected to various care providers within Redcar and Cleveland, join our community today.