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5 Essential attributes of exceptional care work

Care workers are essential to the fabric of society – there are many people who may require carers or assistance for everyday living, especially if they have disabilities, are elderly or have mental health issues. Because the nature of the job involves working with and caring for people, it’s very important to ensure that hired care workers are able to look after their service users properly. Listed below are 5 essential attributes of exceptional care work that any carer should have.

Empathy and kindness

Empathy and kindness are key traits for people working in any position, however, they are especially important in the care field. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, usually by mentally putting yourself in their place. Using empathy will help carers to understand how the person they are caring for is feeling and will, in turn, allow them to provide better care for them. Residents are more likely to respond to kindness and empathy, which will make the job easier too.

Patience and the ability to remain calm under pressure

If a client responds negatively or is hostile, it can be difficult for some people to rise above it and respond in the correct manner. Somebody who is patient and can remain calm under pressure will be able to deal with this more. A carer should remain calm at all times – not only is this the right thing to do, but it may also help to diffuse a situation and make the resident more likely to calm down themselves. Patience links into this – if a carer has patience, then they will have more of an ability to remain calm under pressure. Some service users may need more time to do everyday things, so patience is definitely an essential attribute of exceptional care work.

Hiring a carer can bring many benefits
A carer should have the ability to remain calm under
pressure and during any situation.


As with any career, it’s a good idea to go into something that you are passionate about. If you already have a passion for care then this is a great start – people who are passionate about their work tend to do a much better job, which means that service users will receive better care in general. People who are apathetic about the role are more likely to miss or forget things, which can be very dangerous when working with people. For example, forgetting to give somebody their medication can be very dangerous for that person. Passion isn’t something you can necessarily teach an employee, so it’s important to try and hire someone who is passionate about the job from the off. If you’re passionate about your role, you’re more likely to enjoy the job you are doing.


An exceptional care worker should be positive, especially in negative situations. People in care usually have issues that people who aren’t in care wouldn’t normally face. For example, they may have disabilities that affect their daily life to a degree where it is hard for them to stay positive. Whilst you should stay grounded, having a positive demeanour can brighten a service user’s day and may make them think differently about their situation. It can be hard to watch those you care for go through difficult situations, but if you can remain positive, you can improve the mood and outlook of the person you’re caring for.

Respect and good listening skills

Respect is an important attribute to have in any job. It’s also a key quality for any care worker to have – if you respect the clients you are working with, they are more likely to respond to you. All care workers should be able to recognise that each client is an individual with their own personality, needs and requirements. If you can show respect for the client and their needs, they will have a more positive outlook on their situation and you will be able to build a rapport with them.

Carer - Laughing with employer
Good listening skills is key when working as a carer as it allows you
to understand the different personalities and needs of each client.

Having good listening skills is another virtuous quality to have in a care position and links into the previous point about respect – instead of zoning out, a good carer should listen to their clients when they speak to them and should try and remember anything said to them, even if they find it boring or if the client repeats themselves. If you can listen effectively, this will help you to do your job better and the person you are caring for will also respect you and respond to you more.

Whilst there are many qualities a carer should have, these five things are essential attributes that any exceptional care worker needs.

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A photo of a customer service employee.