Carmen was one of Hearth’s earliest support workers – joining us in December 2017.
For some time, Carmen had been looking for a volunteering role in the disability sector. Instead, thanks to a university referral, Carmen found what would become full time employment.
Her achievements come as no surprise. Carmen approaches each day with a simple determination to make a difference.
“I try to bring a positive and a “can-do” attitude. [I’m] passionate because there are a lot of vulnerable people,” she said.
Growing confident on the job
Carmen began working at Hearth on casual shifts. She initially found her role as a support worker daunting. And then the situation improved.
“It was scary at first. But Hearth provided a lot of training before I started working. I [then] felt a bit more confident to do the things I need to do for my participants,” she said.
“I didn’t expect myself to be able to prick a hand for monitoring glucose. With this [one] participant, I was required to check his blood sugar if he felt dizzy. The first time, I couldn’t do it because I didn’t like blood and I was scared of hurting the other person.”
“I never imagined myself needing to use a needle but I learned how to do it under supervision, and now I’m fine.”
Over the next few months, Carmen transitioned to part-time work, and then full-time.
When care comes naturally
For Carmen, seeking a role as a support worker came naturally because she had been caring for her mother for some time.
“[As I was] growing up, my mum was disabled [and] half-paralysed due to illness. I had to take care of her, shower her. [I had to] defer from uni to do it,” she said.
“And whatever I’d Iearned about taking care of a disabled person [before support work] was from her. I had to treat her gently and look after her.”
“I understand how difficult is for a person to not be capable of doing certain everyday things.”
Carmen says that over the past year she has learned to be more open minded when it comes to both the participants she works with and herself. She works with many different people over the course of a week and enjoys the way her shifts are structured.
Community service beckons
Carmen is an outstanding example of Hearth employees growing within their jobs, constantly refining their skills and even deciding on their professional pathways.
“Because of Hearth and my experience I have decided to upscale myself and study a Diploma of Community Service in the hope that I can help more people and a larger variety of people.”