One of the most sought-after skilled occupations in the world is caregiving. Despite its prevalence, it is still utterly misunderstood.
Various websites and dictionaries have their own definitions of what a caregiver is. However, I am going to stick to the definition provided by Dictionary.com. According to the site: “a caregiver is a person who cares for someone who is sick and disabled”.
Caring for someone includes practical assistance, physical help, and emotional support.
Practical assistance refers to supporting the person in the activities of daily living such as preparing healthy meals and taking warm showers. Physical help consists of assisting the person in movement and direct medical care.
Lastly, emotional support includes enrichment of the Psychological and social aspects of a person (e.g., by talking about the person’s emotions). By merely reading all these descriptions, you will realize that caregiving is a highly complex occupation.
Filipino Caregivers must combine their knowledge, skills, and personalities to help the “patients” manage their condition. On that note, here are the characteristics that good caregivers possess:
The knowledge needed to efficiently care for a person must be acquired through formal training. There are many universities and centers that offer caregiving courses in the Philippines. If your budget is tight, you can always avail the university’s scholarship or financial scheme. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the government’s subsidised course under TESDA. The TESDA Caregiving course lasts for only 6 months.
A good caregiver is well-equipped with experience. Having several experiences as a caregiver for various patients can help you handle the different cases ahead. Also, it will give you more local and overseas opportunities.
Since most of the caregivers work independently with their patients, honesty is an ideal trait to have. An honest caregiver is able to handle his or her responsibilities accurately. Honesty enables the patient’s families to trust you with the supplies, funds, and more.
By nature, Filipinos are caring and warm beings. You need to possess these qualities along with compassion and empathy in order to take care of another person. It is essential for a caregiver to have the desire to help. Perhaps a great illustration of a Filipino caregiver with a golden heart is Sharon Cuneta in the film entitled: “Caregiver”.
“I care about my job, Sir. I care about you.”
When you are working for someone who needs direct care, it is vital that you are both understanding and patient. There may be times when your patient is difficult to handle but, you have to cope with the situation. Remind yourself that you are not only sacrificing for your welfare but also for the ones you love.
It is no secret that caregivers face a variety of workplace challenges and stressors. To positively cope with these, you can employ:
1. Relaxation Techniques
Whenever you feel like giving up, pause for a moment. Breathe slowly and repeat.
A higher form of rhythmic breathing is meditation and guided imagery. Guided imagery allows you to re-direct your disorganized thoughts to a relaxed state of mind. It helps to reduce your stress levels. Consider following this instructional video:
2. Behavioral Changes
After aligning your thoughts to the positive light, you must opt for healthy behaviors. Healthy behaviors include eating a balanced diet, exercising more often, and sleeping for sufficient hours.
3. Social Adjustments
Keeping in touch with your loved ones back home is important especially if you are working abroad. You can also seek support from the people who are going through the same situation. Other caregivers can not only validate your feelings but also provide you with practical solutions.
They say that Filipinos are the caregivers of the world. It is not so much about the quantity of the Filipino caregivers abroad but about the quality of care that they provide. If you think that you are perfectly suitable to be a caregiver in Australia, try searching for jobs at jobactive and SEEK.