Working in care as a Night Team member – Fiona Cadwallader, Bruce Lodge
Ever wondered what it’s like to work nights at a care home? Our Senior Night Team member at Bruce Lodge, Fiona Cadwallader, talked us through a typical night in her life, what led her to start a career in care and what drew her to working with Borough Care.
1. Talk us through a night in the life of a Night Team member
I’m a Senior Night Team member, so the first thing I do is check in with my staff. I make sure I have the right amount of staff in and allocate where they are going. I then walk around the home and double-check that everything is okay and secure for the night. For the rest of the night, I make sure I’m there to help the residents and staff with anything they need.
2. What led you to start your career in care? Have you always worked in the sector?
I started working in care when I first left school, then ended up taking a break for 15 years. I found myself missing working in the sector so I returned and worked in domiciliary care. I then got a job working for Borough Care and eventually became a Night Team member.
3. Why Borough Care? Is there anything specific that made you want to work for Borough Care?
Several things appealed to me about Borough Care. I really wanted to be closer to home and have a good work-life balance. Bruce Lodge is a great home for me, and I enjoy being able to work three nights on, and three nights off. It’s also great that Borough Care offers the Real Living Wage, that’s something that really drew me to work for them.
4. What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is interacting with the residents. They each have unique personalities and needs, so no night is ever the same. Sometimes the residents just need some comfort or someone to talk to. Of course, there are difficult times – but the rewarding nature of the job makes it worth it.
5. What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to start a career in care?
Bruce Lodge is a specialist dementia-friendly care home, so there can be challenges. Dementia can be very difficult, and at times upsetting, to deal with. A resident may recognise you one minute, but think you’re a complete stranger the next. You need to have thick skin and lots of patience.
Residents with dementia can be unpredictable (sometimes they have no filter!), but it’s important to remember that they don’t always realise what they’re doing. No matter the emotional state a resident is in, always remember this is someone’s wife, mother or grandma. You need to have empathy and understand that what they say isn’t always what they mean.
6. I imagine that there’s quite a big difference between working in the night team compared to the day team, especially as a lot of activities around the home happen during the day. How do you create a sense of community in the home, and build relationships with the staff and residents, in the night team?
What I like about Borough Care is they have you working days for the initial training so you get to know the residents first. That way if residents do wake during the night, sometimes they will know who you are. It’s good that we wear uniforms as residents will recognise us as someone that can help, which settles them. Sometimes residents are completely different at night (which new staff could find intimidating), so I make sure the staff know they can always come to me for help or advice.
7. What are some of the biggest benefits of working nights?
I love to work nights as it fits in with my lifestyle. I have more time in the day to spend with my family and help with childcare for my grandchildren. My work-life balance is spot-on at the moment, and I’d recommend working nights for anyone with similar commitments to me.
A flexible career in care
If you’re interested in working in the care sector, Borough Care offers a range of flexible roles across our homes in Stockport and Staffordshire. Keep an eye on our latest vacancies by following Borough Care jobs on Twitter and Instagram.