Maggie Bateman Care Practitioner - Oldbury Grange

Bridgnorth born Maggie Bateman made the step from being a dedicated dinner lady for 20 years to a passionate Care Practitioner, making a difference to people’s lives every day.

How did you start a career in care?

“I started working for Morris Care at Oldbury Grange 11 years ago. I’m a local girl and have lived in Bridgnorth all my life.

I was a dinner lady for 20 years before I decided I really needed a career change. I didn’t have any previous experience of providing hands on care, but working in a school for so long gave me a great foundation for caring and safeguarding.

Choosing care as my change in career seemed like a logical step at the time and I will be honest, I haven’t looked back since.”

What does a Care Practitioner do?

“We provide hands on personal, emotional, social and physical care and support for all our residents.

I spend my time in both areas of the Home – The Laurels and The Rowans – this way I get to know all of the residents living at Oldbury, not just a few. I love working on The Rowans, dementia is a difficult condition to live with but all of the residents living there have a fantastic sense of humour. They love to dance and share a cup of tea with me. We’ve got a new music box there and it’s incredible!”

How have you progressed your career in care?

“Morris Care has been brilliant with my career development over the years, everyone has been really supportive and I have now completed my NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Health and Social Care. I started at Oldbury as a Care Assistant and I’m now a Care Practitioner.

I’m a Mentor which means I buddy up with a new member of staff during their probation period to make sure they’ve settled in well and are on track with their progression. I am there for them whenever they need me.”

What’s good about working in the care sector?

“How we’re able to make a real difference to people’s lives and everyone is one big family here. We all have good and bad days, of course we do, but we give each other a hug, a quick pep talk and then we’re back doing what we do so brilliantly. There are days when I have a little cry – often a happy cry – because sometimes my emotions just take over, but I wouldn’t change my job for the world.

As I’m local, I have seen old school teachers and neighbours coming to Oldbury as quite poorly residents. This can be hard but the fact I can be there for them and make them as comfortable as possible, is a real privilege.”

Do you have any advice for people looking to work in care?

“Ask questions and ask more questions! I am still learning after 12 years and there’s no shame in asking. Advances in healthcare are developing and evolving all the time and so no one ever knows everything there is to know. Go with your gut, if you’re not sure about something, then ask before you act.”

What do you need to be a great Care Assistant?

“You’ve got to be a happy person. Our residents pick up on your emotions and it does have an impact on how they feel. Smile all the time and if you’re having a bad day then speak to someone in your team.

This job isn’t easy, so you have got to have the desire to work and to make a difference. If you do, then you’ll get the job satisfaction in return. Finally, be content! If you’re not, this job isn’t for you.”