More than "Just a Carer"
Posted on 1st August 2022 at 09:53
In today’s society, a career in care can be an incredibly stressful occupation. The additional pressure of stigma around care work as a profession often exacerbates the situation. This stigma is placed onto carers by wider society, and within the healthcare industry itself.
This aspect of care work must be addressed but, unfortunately, is not at the forefront of the governments mind.
A significant number of healthcare professionals see a career in care as a means to another higher-level occupation for the more skilled and experienced individual. Consequently, senior staff see carers to be unprofessional, unskilled, and unimportant individuals.
As a result, the stigma within the industry can lead to self-stigma. This internalisation can affect the quality of care that healthcare workers provide, undermining their occupation and the great work that they do.
These attitudes are reflected in the annual salary of care workers. Healthcare assistants employed by the NHS sit in the Band 2 pay grade. In April 2021, NHS care assistants with less than two years of experience received an annual wage of £18,870, over £4,000 less than NHS dental nurses. An increase in wages would be a vital step toward destroying stigma surrounding carers.
Even though the government continue to neglect this issue, there is an awareness of carer stigma within the healthcare industry. Positive steps are in motion to encourage government action and responsibility.
Despite the existence of internal awareness of the stigma around careers in care, the government is ignoring how vital their role is in resolving the issue. Equal pay, above living wage would substantially reduce the effects of stigma on healthcare workers.
The extent of ignorance at government level is shown in an article produced by BBC News in May this year. The report portrays the inadequacy of the action of officials, recounting how a campaign by Unison in Suffolk, requesting a pay increase for carers, was rejected by government.
The lack of intervention shown on this occasion allows the stigma to persist, undermining the efficacy of care work, and how it must be tackled at all levels.
The Role of Hands-on Healthcare
Although the government needs to instil change, Hands-on Healthcare continue to take steps in ensuring carers feel supported and assisted, removing the stigma towards their profession.
At Hands-on Healthcare, we believe care work is a professional role that deserves respect, and proper employment contracts. Addressing the stigma is fundamental in ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare.
Our code of ethics, value system, and duty of care, shows how we hope to encourage the view that a career in care is just as important as other occupations in the healthcare industry. Check out Our Story to find out more.
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