Care assistants need knowledge and skills in order to deliver care to others and the ratio between the two varies according to the topic under consideration.
Skill based topics require underpinning knowledge in order for care assistants to understand how and why the skills work. More importantly the care assistants also need to practise those skills in a safe environment whilst being monitored and guided in the practice of those skills. This should be monitoring and supervised by care organisations senior staff to ensure that procedures learnt are being put into practice in the home/workplace setting. Clearly, supervisory staff should cover the same material so that everyone is working to the same ideals.
Knowledge based topics have a skills element in terms of putting that knowledge into practice whilst caring for others. Senior care staff need to monitor and supervise carers to ensure that the knowledge learnt is being used appropriately.
Certain skills and knowledge should be delivered by qualified trainers who have the experience to make the learning understood and appropriate to the care assistants. This especially applies to the statutory training required by staff members.
SSTAR believes that if training is provided in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with appropriate use of humour the learning process is likely to be an enjoyable one. Research shows that, in such circumstances, information is absorbed more easily and retained for longer. Care staff are then keen to put what they have learned into practice and, often, are encouraged to learn more and improve their skills.