Cohorted Cult bring you real-life interviews from those working directly on the front line during the Coronavirus pandemic. Introducing Lauren, a Community Carer working throughout COVID-19. Stay Safe, #StayHome.
1. BackgroundInformation: Name, Age, Job Role
My name is Lauren, I’m 22 and I’m currently a community carer.
2. What made you want to become a carer?
To be honest, when I had to come home from travelling, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I started researching and looking for jobs in the current climate, saw this one and gave it a go. I absolutely love it.
3. What is an average day for your job role?
I wouldn’t say that there is an “average day” for a carer. Some days you could just do the morning shift, other days can just be evenings, but most days are all day. Whether it’s our shifts or the patients we’re visiting, each day is different.
4. What is the new reality of working on the front line as a carer, in the current climate?
Most days can be stressful, especially in the current climate. People are scared about us coming into their house, but we do all have the correct PPE to ensure that all health and safety is being prioritised. Our aim is to keep both them and us safe.
5. Have the PPE shortages personally impacted the way you work/people around you?
I’ve been really lucky with PPE, as my company have been really good at sourcing it for us. The only problem we have is that sometimes our aprons run out very quickly and so we need to ensure there is enough PPE to take us through our shift.
6. What have been the most difficult/personal moments for you?
It was only the other day, but a lady set her heating to 30 degrees at some point from the evening to the next morning. It was a really hot day already and she was very dehydrated, so I had to call and wait for paramedics. This made me 2 hours late for the rest of my calls and I only had a 20-minute break from 6:45 am till 9 pm.
7. Have there been times where you wanted to do more, but have been held back due to lack of resources?
The only thing I’ve really been held back on, is not being able to hug someone when they’re having a bad day in isolation or are missing their families. It’s a tough time for everyone and not being able to comfort some people is hard.
8. With that said, have YOU had any rewarding moments which helps motivate you?
There are lots of rewarding moments in this job. The nature of being a carer makes you feel good, helping those most vulnerable. On a daily basis, it’s leaving each call knowing that you’ve helped someone, even if it’s making them a cup of tea.
9. How has this pandemic influenced your home life?
Before COVID-19 came around, I was in Australia had just started my working holiday back in November. Due to the pandemic, we had to come home early – a year and a half early! It was a big change as all our plans were put on hold, but after self-isolating, for 3 weeks I got straight back into work. It helps that all of my family are working, my mum and sister work in a pharmacy and my dad is an electrician for the London Underground. Not much has changed for my family, as everyone is still going to work.
10. What do you do to maintain your self-care routine, to encourage relaxation at the end of the day?
If I’m honest, I don’t really have a self-care routine (I know it’s bad) … When I get home of an evening/night, I’ll make food if I’m hungry, have a show and most likely watch something on Disney+. It’s really hard to set and maintain a regular routine when every day at work is unpredictable and my hours change on a daily basis.