Effective reflection on relationships that develop in care work Mary is an 82 year old female resident who came to live in our nursing home five years ago she has a mild cognitive impairment and is totally independent she wears an incontinence pad and requires minimum assistance. Mary loves to sing and listen to music especially Irish traditional music and popular ballads. She remains in close contact with her two daughters who visit regularly.
Mary is a very private person and likes to spend time alone in her room. She is a very jolly lady who loves to laugh and enjoys life. As a care assistant I had assisted Mary with her continence needs by making her aware of where to find continence pads in the bathrooms around the home and making sure they were always available in her bedroom this protects her privacy, dignity and independence as I know it would cause her embarrassment to have to ask for them.
We got on really well because we both have a love of Irish music and I spent a lot of time talking with her about music, her family and her reasons for coming to live with us in the nursing home. I also developed a trusting relationship with her daughters as Mary would often include me in conversation when they visited. I had noticed a change in Mary where she was spending a lot of time in the bathroom and she seemed agitated when in the day room I approached her and asked if she wanted to go for a walk outside as we have done on several occasions.
She agreed and we set off. ecause of the trusting relationship we had built over time I felt comfortable asking her if she was ok and she replied “yes love shure ya have ta have a laugh” I deviated a little with some talk about the gardens we were passing and I approached the subject again by saying if there was anything wrong you can tell me, and if I can help you I will, you only have to ask, she replied with “I don’t want to be a bother to anyone” I told her I noticed she was going to the bathroom a lot, there was silence for what seemed forever then she told me “I have a stinging pains down below” I knew straight away it was thrush as I had observed from her care plan she was prone to thrush. I asked her permission to talk to the nurse and explained it would require medical treatment and she agreed.
Asking her permission protected her confidentially, when we returned to the home I approached the nurse and told her of the situation she acted immediately, knowing Mary was prone to thrush she kept a supply of ointment to treat her, I went back to Mary and asked her to come with me very discretely so as not to draw the attention of other residents or visitors this protected her privacy, dignity and confidentially . I escorted her to the nurses’ station and the nurse took over. Within a few hours Mary was back to her normal jolly self singing in the corner. The positive outcome for Mary during this incident happened because of the relationship we had built over time and getting to know her, being able to observe a change in her behaviour.
The situation was handled with just me and the nurse on duty no other members of staff were involved this protects Mary’s privacy and dignity. Clear identification of interpersonal issues that can arise in care work The interpersonal issues in this situation were between Mary myself and the nurse and no other staff, resident or visitors were aware of Mary’s situation this protected Mary’s privacy, dignity confidentially and respect. Interpersonal issues between me and other healthcare staff occurred through informing them of what had happened and how the situation was handled. What was observed during this incident was that building relationships with residents allow us to be more effective as care assistants.
The types of communication used during this incident were mainly verbal, communicating with Mary in a very discrete and respectful manner put her at ease, and communicating with other healthcare staff to inform them of the incident and how best to handle it should it happen again. The outcome for Mary was she got the treatment she needed in a timely manner, it highlighted to senior healthcare staff the importance of the care assistant in relationship building and observation, reporting our findings to the nurse to get the best healthcare for the resident. Effective reflection on own interpersonal skills as a care worker Interpersonal skills used in this incident were respect and confidentially taking Mary out for a walk and chatting allowed me to discover what was bothering her by doing this it did not draw the attention of any other resident to her situation.
Informing the nurse and other relevant healthcare staff will allow them to handle any other similar situation in a discrete manner thus protecting her privacy, dignity confidentially and independence. Comprehensive observation of the process of developing personal effectiveness as a healthcare assistant In this situation I was able to help Mary because I noticed a change in her behaviour, I believe in order to give person centred care you must know your residents, individualised care is an on-going process, building a trusting relationship with knowledge of life history, likes/dislikes, religious and cultural influences are vital in the implementation of individualised care. Knowledge gained in class helped raise awareness of how important it is to protect residents dignity, respect, confidentially and independence.
We learnt about the art of reflection, looking at an incident, what happened? How we handled it and how can we improve to achieve a positive outcome for the person involved. Knowledge gained in class has helped me gain skills in awareness. observing how residents behave and being aware of changes are important tools for personal effectiveness, reflection is also a vital tool for personal effectiveness looking back at a situation and analysing what happened and how it was dealt with is very effective it allows us question ourselves and ask how can we have handled the incident better and put a plan into action to bring a positive outcome for the resident involved.
Personal skills helped significantly in this situation, skills such as building relationships, empathy, observation and the ability to communicate effectively with residents and other healthcare staff helped me bring about a positive outcome for Mary. As a carer there are many skills that can be developed such as communication, the ability to communicate with all healthcare staff regardless of their discipline is important, and knowledge gained through dialog with residents and their relative’s is invaluable, knowing a little about residents will allow us to care more effectively completing level 5 in healthcare support has been invaluable although we care for people every day, having knowledge and the theory behind it is important and will make for better care.
Detailed evidence of expertise in a range of interpersonal care work skills I don’t know if I have “expertise” in any care work skills but I think I am good at what I do, knowledge is a wonderful thing and as our knowledge increases we become confident, and self-confidence is a great tool to have in care work, having the confidence to talk to other healthcare staff in a professional manner enables us to gain the best possible care for our residents, what I gained from this situation was respect for fellow healthcare staff who listened to what I said and acted on the information.
I don’t know if I could put an action plan in place for this scenario but what I can say is that it is vital that all healthcare assistants observe all residents and become familiar with their daily routine this gives us the opportunity to note any changes and report these findings to relevant staff. Some of the skills used to deal with this situation were gained through life experience, being a father of 4 I have brought with me patience, understanding, and empathy to name but a few but the course has given me the ability to analyse my thinking to look at how I have worked today and how can I improve tomorrow. Conclusion
All healthcare staff from consultants to healthcare assistants must give the best possible care to patents/residents, we are privileged in our role in healthcare and everything we do must be in the best interest of the patent/resident. Being a part of that team and being respected for the role we play is very important. Nurses are put under increasing pressure with medication rounds, paperwork, supervision etc. they can’t be everywhere or know what is happening with every resident so we as healthcare assistants become the eyes and ears of the facility, observing changes and reporting in a timely manner to gain a positive outcome for the resident involved. Being heard as part of the team will make for a more effective workplace.
Courtney from Study Moose
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