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Senior Support Worker

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice

Area of Practice

  • Learning Disability Nursing


  • Community/Primary Care

Job/Role Summary

In my role as a Senior Support worker I advocate and support individuals with a learning disability to obtain a quality lifestyle in a supportive environment which promotes the independence of each individual in a person centred way according to their assessed needs. I observe individuals’ behaviour i.e. changes of mood or if they are feeling unwell and attend to same, documenting and reporting action taken.  I supervise a team of support workers and lead by example on a daily basis in the delivery of a safe effective service to the tenants. I carry out formal supervision and appraisals.  I mentor students and supervise/monitor practice as well as participating fully in the team approach to the individuals care/support by contributing and attending staff meetings.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I trained as a Registered Nurse Learning Disabilities Nurse at Queens University Belfast in 2000 where I obtained my Diploma in Nursing Studies. I began my working career in Longstone Hospital in 2003 where I worked as a Staff Nurse with people with severe learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge.  I gained a lot of clinical experience and knowledge in this post and worked throughout the various wards and Day Care settings as a Staff Nurse where I also had managerial responsibilities.  Following the closure of Longstone Hospital in 2013 I began working in a Supported Living Facility within the Southern Trust as a Senior Support Worker.  I have also had the opportunity on various occasions since working as a Senior Support worker, to act in the role of Assistant Manager which has increased my knowledge and skills in staff management.


Career Milestones

Throughout my career have been involved in promoting and developing community involvement for individuals whose behaviours challenge. I was involved in the implementation of a new purpose built unit for this client group and have also had the opportunity to act as Assistant Manager of this unit.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

I have always loved working with people with learning disabilities and for the past 14 years I have cared for and supported individuals with complex physical and challenging behaviours. I enjoy being able to support individuals accessing the community, promoting their social skills and engaging in as independent a life as possible.


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

I have found that being a Senior Support Worker is a fulfilling, challenging and satisfying role. I feel that Supported Living for people with learning disabilities is the way forward for the future as it provides a homely and caring environment.  This job role ensures a high standard of care and support for individuals with learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge.


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