I care for a young lady with severe special needs and medical needs three times a week (I’m at uni on the other days)…
This week I was hit with the double whammy of toothache and tonsillitis and have had to call in sick…
Calling in sick makes me feel so guilty that I spend most of my sick days crying and feeling panicking.
If I don’t work (and the agency can’t find a replacement) then my young lady can’t go to school and has to stay home. Her father, who has probably done a nightshift with her (she needs 24 hour waking care) will have to stay awake with her instead of having a rest.
I find the guilt totally overwhelming. Does anyone have any tips on how to cope? I’m sure I’m not the only one out there…!
Welcome to the wonderful world of a paid care worker.
In our world , being sick does NOT count … we tend to carry on regardless.
Many would welcome the chance to down tools … if only for a few hours every week or so.
Some care 24 / 7 / 365 … often putting their caree ahead of themselves … they have NO option.
Still , concern over one’s client is refreshing to see.
You are doing a fabulous job helping this young lady and her father but you are allowed a life of your own and time to be ill and recover before returning to work.
Part of wearing and developing a professional head is to be able to use that on/off switch and not get emotionally involved with either clients or their families. Try a bit of reflective thinking- is there alternative cover in place when you are absent- if not is this your employers fault if you work through a company or agency? If you work directly for the lady’s dad then discuss with him how to source some backup when needed, Don’t bear all the weight on your own shoulders…
Try stepping back and considering why you have allowed your professional self to become so emotionally entangled with client and family? Is there something there that you could be doing differently.
One of the most important things I learnt along thre way was that you can’t change what is happening around you but you can change the way you react to it and how you respond next time.
Are you under too much pressure working and studying too much- reflect on work/life balance. As Chris has said you in the fortunate position of having a choice being a paid care worker.
Can you arrange cover or not? I think you need a break for a while. It is okay not to be at work when you are ill seriously. Do you work for a company or are you private? It might be time also to mentally reevaluate things. It sounds like you need to be careful you don’t end up in a wholly inappropriate situation that could be prevented. You are doing a brilliant job already, take heart from that. I am a unpaid carer and I work full time as a freelance provider of childcare outside the home. I need respite, this is what I do for a living, Caring should not control every decision you make either. Notify the company and ask for their help in reallocating workers.