Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Care assistant skills and qualities required

If you want to be a good care assistant, there are some essential skills that you need to possess. Not all of these skills can be taught; some are simply part of your natural personality, and they make it much easier for you to provide care.

Here are six care assistant skills and qualities required if you want to be great at your job.


One of the most important skills for a care assistant is patience. This is because most care assistants regularly work with vulnerable people with diminished abilities, so they may be slightly slower when it comes to moving around or asking for something. They may also feel frustrated or upset, and they may take these emotions out on their carer - but a great carer will always be able to remain patient and calm.

Care assistant


Multi-tasking is also a useful skill for care assistants. After all, most care assistants have to complete multiple tasks at the same time; perhaps you need to prepare a meal, but you also want to talk to your client about their needs. This can be overwhelming for some people, but a good care assistant should have no problem.

A friendly, happy attitude

A carer should also always try to have a friendly, happy attitude. This may sound difficult, but for many people their carer is the only person they speak to during the day, so if the carer is in a bad mood it could ruin their entire day.

This is why great carers always make an effort to be in a happy, positive mood when they are with their patients. From taking the time to smile when they see their patient to asking about their day, these little steps help to make the patient feel more comfortable and relaxed. This is especially important if you are working with anyone who has depression or anxiety.

Care assistant

Being able to think on your feet

It is also important to be able to think on your feet. Some carers have multiple patients with different care needs, which means every day is different - and it is likely you will encounter unexpected occurrences and emergency situations on a regular basis.

Being a good listener

Good carers are good listeners. Most people receiving care want someone they can talk to about their feelings; perhaps they are scared about their illness, or maybe they feel isolated. Either way it is important that their carer has strong listening skills, as this means their patient can talk to them about their feelings without worrying that they are bothering them.


Finally a great carer will be able to empathise with their patients. It doesn’t matter whether the patient is much older or younger than them, or if their illness is hard to understand; they always go out of their way to put themselves in the shoes of their patients. This means it is much easier for them to understand their patient, so they will be able to provide better, personalised care.

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