How Caregiving Skills Translate to Parenting Skills

Caregivers are important assets to the healthcare industry. They toil endlessly to make patients as comfortable as possible and meet their needs to the best of their abilities. At the end of the day when caregivers go home, many of them automatically switch to parent mode.

If you're a caregiver and parenting at the same time, do you feel that the skills you develop at work actually help you raise responsible and respectful kids? If you haven't realized it yet, caregiving and parenting share similar responsibilities. The following skills you use while caring for patients should be treasured, because they are absolutely helpful when you apply them at home.

Communication Skills - At work, you are expected to act and talk professionally, and that includes avoiding cussing when you’re annoyed. Respectful communication has many advantages, one of which is getting your message across without hurting people along the way. At home, we’re tempted to raise our voices and speak out of anger when kids seem to know exactly how to push our buttons.

The result? Young kids bawling, teenagers slamming the door in your face, and grown kids storming out of the house. What goes around, comes around, so keep a level head and tame your tongue when dealing with mistakes.

Observation Skills - At work, we use our senses to determine a patient's status. We know if a patient is not their usual self because we have observed their progress each day, and the changes we observe are vital for nurses and doctors in charge of treatments and procedures.

At home, the way we understand our kids is unmatched. We know them from head to toe and what every facial expression means. But, we are distracted at times and miss details that signify a potential problem.

It is important to hone your observation skills and focus attention on what is different or amiss. And we’re not just talking about their physical needs but their emotional and mental health as well.

Parents are already good at interpreting non-verbal cues from their children, and you’ll get even better when you apply your observation skills as a caregiver.

Patient Care Skills - As caregivers, we are experts at patient care—monitoring vital signs, checking urine output, noting bowel movement routines, and assisting in activities of daily living, just to name a few. We rarely lose our cool over a patient's status because our emotions are in check.

Maybe it's just a different story when the one needing attention is our sick child. That’s understandable, but keeping a level head means there's room for logical problem-solving.

If a child shows signs and symptoms of a disease, make notes of your observations. Check their temperature, pulse, and respiration, and then monitor these regularly. Note any rashes and any other obvious signs. You also need to check their urine and stool.

Ask about their discomforts and make a list of your observations. Your notes will be very helpful to the physician who will determine what's ailing your child.

Knowledge of Infection Control - Your know-how about infections and how they are spread is very helpful in keeping a clean home and teaching children to be conscious of the causes of infection.

As caregivers, we can teach our kids about healthy habits that prevent infection, such as handwashing. We can model the mantra “clean as you go” as a way to prevent clutter and disease-causing dirt. We also definitely know how to sanitize the home to keep infectious diseases at bay.

The knowledge and skills we have as caregivers are more valuable than we often realize. Aside from the fact that our work puts food on the table, it also helps us be good parents. What more could we ask for?