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Document Typology: Newspaper / Magazine article
Methodology addressed by the publication:Narrative medicine
Title of document: SENpower
Name of author(s): Vaida Augugustyte
Name of publisher: Eurocarer magazine 2009 ,69(56-57)
Language of the publication: English
Language of the review: English
Care assistants provide practical help and support to people with physical and learning disabilities in a range of environments, such as residential homes, day centres or schools.
Care assistants work to assess the level of care a client needs, working with other health and socThere are no academic qualifications needed to be a care assistant; getting a job depends more on having the necessary skills and experience. Most care assistants receive on-the-job training from their employers which will equip them with the necessary skills and qualifications to do the job. All care assistants who work in adult social care are expected to undergo a twelve week induction programme which provides training in the basic aspects of being a care worker.
Reviewer's comments on the document:
Direct experience is not necessarily required for the job but it will be useful to have some experience of working with people, preferably in a caring capacity. This could be personal experience of working with a family member or voluntary experience, such as visiting elderly people in residential homes or helping in a school for pupils with learning disabilities.
Frontline health care workers have always been especially vulnerable to the perpetual tides of health care 'reform, they bore the brunt of change in a new way. They were obliged to take on additional work, take lessons in recalibrating their attitudes, and, when those steps failed to bring about the desired improvements, take advantage of training programs that would ostensibly lead to better jobs. Such health care workers not only became targets of pro-market and restructuring policies but also were blamed for many of the problems created by those policies, from the deteriorating conditions of patient care to the financial vulnerability of entire institutions. The author describes some of the most heavily funded training programs, arguing that both the content of many training and education programs and the sheer commitment of time they require pressure individual health care workers to compensate for the irrationalities of EU health care system, for the fact that caring labor is devalued, and for the inequities of an economy driven by the relentless creation of underpaid service jobs. In so doing, the book also analyzes the roles that unions-particularly SEIU 1199 in New York-and the city's academic institutions have played in this problematic phenomenon.In her thoughtful and provocative critique of job training in the health care sector, Ariel Ducey explores the history and the extent of job training initiatives for health care workers and lays out the political and economic significance of these programs beyond the obvious goal of career advancement. Questioning whether job training improves either the lives of workers or the quality of health care, she explains why such training persists, focusing in particular on the wide scope of its "emotional" benefits. The book is based on Ducey's three years as an ethnographer in several hospitals and in-depth interviews with key players in health care training. It argues that training and education cannot be a panacea for restructuring-whether in the health care sector or the economy as a whole.

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