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Interview with Joanne - Disability Support Worker

Posted about 1 year ago

Edmen   Joanne   Blog  Media Hub Final

1. Tell us a little about your background and why you decided to become a Disability Support Worker?

Before I worked in the disabilities sector, I worked in the childcare/education industries for over 20 years and I am also a Mum to six children.

While I thoroughly enjoyed my career working with children, there came a point and time in my life where I decided that I'd like a career change. But, I still wanted to help and support people, as this is what I have a passion for. With the support of my wonderful children and partner, I decided to try the Community Services industry. I enrolled in my Certificate IV in Community Services.

I started with Edmen soon after this and knew this was definitely for me. Since working with Edmen I try to have as much fun and laughter as possible with my clients, as well as supporting them to reach their goals. Seeing my clients happy and enjoying themselves, makes my heart happy. So far I am loving the challenges and rewards of my job as a Disability Support Worker.

2. What kind of work do you do on a day-to-day basis with your clients?

The shifts usually consist of working around daily living: meals preparation, giving medications, self-care, showering/toileting, activities, cleaning, laundry, cooking, taking to appointments/outings and of course, having fun and reaching goals.

Throughout all these activities, I try to encourage and support every client to participate and do as much as they can themselves, even though we know it will take longer. This helps them to remain independent.

I work mainly work in a group home, which are commonly referred to as Supportive Independent Living (SIL). The home houses people of differing ages, with different levels of disabilities and I am rostered there most days. I believe that the consistency of a regular Disability Support Worker helps my clients.

3. Why did you choose to work with Edmen in comparison to other agencies?

I did research other companies, but Edmen was the one that resonated with me and my beliefs. Edmen gives me the flexibility to work around my family, study, as well as home schooling my son, it is my choice to accept or decline shifts each fortnight and I can put my availability in the calendar. Rostering is all online and my Service Coordinator (Nick) is very professional, understanding and open. With my current work-life balance I am now able to achieve a lot more and I am feeling less stressed.

4. What has your experience been like working with Edmen?

Amazing and a very professional company, Edmen truly goes above and beyond what I had expected.

The ability for me to work around my family and study is very important to me. They allow me to book a couple of weeks in advance so I can plan other commitments but they will also call me if last minute shifts pop up which they need filling. When the staff from Edmen call they are always in a friendly, happy mood. They are really friendly and understanding if a shift doesn’t work or I need to change my schedule.

Also, Edmen understand if you are not comfortable in certain circumstances and they are always there to listen and support me, as needed.

5. What impact do you feel you have on your client’s?

I hope that I am having a positive and meaningful impact with all the clients I work with. My main goal is to make my clients enjoy every day and be happy, that’s all. I have let my guard down and I like the fact that my clients accept me for who I am.

While COVID has forced the closure of many day programs, the clients were spending the majority of their days staying at home. As a distraction, along with dancing a lot, I like to focus on their meals, making this part of their day deliciously enjoyable. I enjoy taking my clients on outings as the restrictions are starting to ease.

6. What advice do you have for people considering becoming a Disability Support Worker?

I would highly recommend taking the leap and trying a job as a Disability Support Worker. It certainly has its challenges on a daily basis, but it is very heart-warming and rewarding. This is a tough job that requires teamwork and support. Ask for help if and when you need it, there is no shame in that. But the most rewarding part is building beautiful and lasting relationships with clients.

7. Would you recommend Edmen to other people looking to work in the industry? If so, why?

I would highly recommend Edmen. They are an outstanding and professional company to work for who will have your back if something was to go wrong. They're there for you every step of the way.

Nick (my Service Coordinator) is very supportive, understanding and friendly. My experience with Edmen has only just begun, but I can see myself staying with them for many years to come.