My job as support worker is based within a residential unit for eleven service users. It involves working day shifts on a fortnightly rotating rota. Before entering the unit, we have a code that we have to enter to allow us entry to the building. This code unlocks the front door, and is for safety and security of staff and residents, and complies with our duty of care. All employees and visitors have to sign in a book, kept within the hallway.
This is so at any time, the manager has a detailed record of who is within the building, staff, residents, workmen, or visitors in case of that an emergency, or in case an evacuation procedure may arise. All visitors to the building are asked their identity. All the external doors can be opened from inside the building to allow persons to exit at any time, however the doors are alarmed. This alerts staff by the use of a paging device, carried by all support staff.
This enables safety and security of all persons within the building.
When my shift begins all staff have a hand over meeting, lead by the manager on duty. This ensures all important information is communicated: for example any medical or dental appointments that the residents may need escorting to. Or any health issues, or requests made by the residents to go out. Maintaining confidentiality at all times. Any updates or new risk assessments are handed over for all to read and sign. Working to all policies and procedures at all times.
As a support worker, duty of care is an obligation that ensures that no harm is done to people in your care; if this duty of care is not met you are held accountable for the negligence which has occurred. We must put the best interests of service users health, safety and wellbeing as a priority to protect them and keep them safe from harm in all aspects of care, this includes: maintaining confidentiality, reporting concerns (both about service users and colleagues/ other professionals) and maintaining high standards of conduct; it is what underlies the Code of Practice on day to day working practice. Policies and procedures are in place to ensure that a duty of care is implemented and carried out in working practice; this is a legal obligation which if not implemented into your working practice could be classed as negligence or malpractice which is a breach of duty. Duty of care is not just having correct working practice but also to maintain confidentiality of both service users and staff and not doing anything which could put them at risk. In my working role I have to think of duty of care when planning a task, taking everyone’s best interests into consideration. Other ways I implement duty of care into my working practice is to carry out daily checks to ensure the working environment is safe both for service user and employees. Duty of care also involves being aware of potential hazards, preventing mistakes/ accidents from occurring and making competent and informed decisions in the role.
After greeting the service users, I often have a chat with them all individually to ask how their day has been, and what they would like to do for the rest of the day. It is important to empathise and actively listen in a sensitive manner accessing appropriate additional support where necessary, promoting equal opportunities and respecting diversity, different culture and values.