When I am supporting the individuals I work with, I find it vital to always reflect on my work. What I do well, what I don’t do well and improve and enhance my performance. It is important for me to think about and evaluate what I do, as I can always improve to fit the customers needs. I like to focus on how I interact with the customers, and how the environment around them is. I have a reflective log/personal development plan which I fill out and give to my manager each year. It contains examples of what I can do to improve and shape ideas. I also write about my strengths and what I do well. Other than a yearly personal development plan, I am always discussing with my manager and colleagues different and better ways in which we can work as a team to better the lives of the customers we support.
When I first began working in care and support, I thought, through following other staff who had worked in the industry a long while, that it was okay to prompt customers to say “please” and “thank you”. Since building up my own way of working and knowledge through others, I know that it is right and better for the customers to let them make their own decisions. My own values and beliefs could affect my working practice, as I work with other people who have different beliefs and values.
In a professional environment, I have to accept and support the people I work alongside and work for, if I don’t agree with their values or beliefs, I try my hardest to understand their point of view, and of course if it is a customers point of view, I will support them in what they want to do. For example, one of the ladies I support openly admits she is racist, and she stands by her beliefs. My job is to be kind and supportive, and although I don’t personally agree with racism, it is my job to be open minded and supportive.
Diversity means to encompass acceptance for others, and respect all beings as unique individuals. It is important to recognize others as individuals, including their race, sex, religions and beliefs, sexual orientation, age and other concepts that make us the way we are. Diversity is about moving forward and being able to accept everyone for who they are. Equality is about each and every individual being seen as equal to one another. To be fair and give everyone equal opportunities, no matter their race, age, religion etc. Promoting equality should remove discrimination towards others, and to not victimize or harass others for the way they are. Inclusion is ensuring people are being included, engaging in ‘everyday’ things and having human rights. To have a sense of belonging and feeling respected is a part of inclusion, and valuing all individuals.
The effect a person could have by being discriminated could be different to another person. The adults I support should be given choices and chances to join in with activities, and if the were judged for having a disability, this would be discrimination. This could make the individual feel a lot of different things, depressed, stressed, fear, feeling withdrawn, low self esteem and humiliation. I always ensure the two customers I support are involved in everyday activities, such as cleaning their home, cooking their dinner and choosing what they would like to wear. There are many pieces of legislation that have been put in place to ensure equality is promoted and discrimination is reduced, these include: The Human Rights Act 1998, The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and Employment Equality Regulations 2003.
These legislations are to promote equality for all, regardless of sex, age, disability or religion etc. Although these legislations are in place, people still may not be able to change their views or opinions, and this is why good practice should be set in place, and others should reflect on how they work and support others. Everyone has a right to be included, and to participate in equal activities and to be valued as a unique individual. One of the customers I support had never been to church at 37 years old, and had told me one day that she would like to go. We walked up to the church and attended a service one Sunday, which she really enjoyed and was extremely happy to join in with singing hymns, praying and interacting with other church goers. She decided that she only wanted to go on special occasions, such as Christmas and Easter, and I respected her choices and updated her ‘This is Me’ document.
If I was to witness a discriminatory incident, I would write down what happened in my own personal records, and report the incident to my line manager. If would possibly challenge the person in a calm and professional manner, and tell them that what they are saying or doing is unacceptable,
and explain to them why. In my workplace, discrimination towards another person can lead to disciplinary action, and we have policies in place to deal with discrimination.
My duties and responsibilities in my job role are to support adults with learning disabilities with good practice, and complying to all policies and procedures whilst doing so. Improving my performance at work is an everyday thing, I always remain focused and keep a reflective journal of which I record daily things, what I could improve, be done differently, how I feel about things and why I do them. Throughout my shift, I keep an open mind, and look at things from different perspectives, for example if a customer wants to go out in the snow without shoes on, I would support them in trying to think of a different way to do this, such as wearing shoes or waiting until it is sunny to wear no shoes in the garden. This way, the customer still has different options, but the potential negative outcomes would be explained to them e.g. catching a cold or something more serious. I have a personal development plan, and I see my line manager as my mentor.
She goes through my PDP with me and supports me to achieve my goals. Within my PDP are various things including training I would like to attend, usually optional training that would benefit my knowledge and understanding and the customers I support. I am applying for the senior support worker programme this year, which is a programme my company set up to give support workers guidance and training if they want to become a manager in the future. This includes giving presentations and working extra hours and taking on more responsibilities such as doing rotas, giving other staff supervisions and being the PIC – Person in Charge. My manager reviews my personal development plan yearly, and sets me goals and targets to achieve throughout the year, for example attend MCA training, support a customer on holiday and complete my diploma in health and social care. Monitoring my own practice has changed the way in which I work for the better.
By attending more training, for example epilepsy training, I now have a better knowledge about epilepsy, and what to do if someone has a seizure. Completing my diploma will change and advance my job role as I will have learned more about vulnerable adults, practices and standards and more to help me support the best way I can. I have a yearly appraisal which is part of my PDP. My manager tells me what I am doing well and what I can improve on, and I continue to feedback to her every month during my supervision to ensure I am on my way to achieve my goals and have a successful appraisal. My beliefs and values are something I keep out of the workplace, as some people I support and work alongside have different views to me, which I need to respect in a professional manner. What I believe in and value are a part of who I am as a person, and the same goes for others, therefore as a professional I must provide the same quality of support to each individual, not just those who believe in the same things I do.
Courtney from Study Moose
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