The pandemic has been a catalyst for change and alternative ways of learning. For many of us, our work environment has had a major impact, some offices have gone virtual. But what is it like for those who are in the front line of social care in Scotland, what is their new normal like?

Mandy Dudley shares her experiences of working during the pandemic, and describes what a day in the life as a support practitioner is like.

Mandy’s Experience

I have worked at Carr Gomm for 3 years. My intrinsic motivation is being in a job that helps individuals achieve their goals, and keep them healthy. For me, it’s not just a job, it’s a privilege.

The pandemic has brought many uncertainties, and it has been a learning curve for many of us. I have learned how resilient our team can be, how well managed and resourceful our service is, and the continued importance of keeping both staff, and people supported as safe as possible.

My responsibilities include carrying out support according to the specific needs of a person. This can include all aspects of daily living, from personal care, medication, shopping, and mental health support. I am also trained to assist with the use of Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) equipment and cough-assist machines, which some supported people use overnight.

 Mandy following infection control protocols by wearing specially sourced PPE.

Over the pandemic, our work environment has changed, particularly with the types of equipment we now use. Specialised PPE was sourced at the beginning of the pandemic to allow safe use of NIV equipment and cough assist machines. Although we’ve always adhered to regulations, we’ve learned even more about the latest advice in regard to infection control, and used this knowledge to keep people safe.

Despite some changes because of the pandemic, I still feel very proud to be doing my job. Maybe even more so. Being a support practitioner is rewarding. I feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I have helped someone, no matter how small. I feel so proud that we have had no cases of COVID-19 in our visiting service. Being able to visit people supported through lockdown was such a privilege, knowing that without this lifeline, daily life would have been so much more difficult. 

If you’re looking to learn more about careers in social care, read more stories from across Carr Gomm: