How a care worker who has just started work can ensure that unacceptable practice does not occur
This essay will discuss issues of care and examine how a care worker who has just started work can prevent poor-quality care being provided. The assignment will consider the relationship between the care worker and service user, then move on to discuss the impact of a care worker's behaviours and attitudes. This relates to the five key principles of care practice which are; maximising potential; having a voice and being heard; respecting people's beliefs and preferences; supporting rights to appropriate services and also respecting privacy and confidentiality (The Open University, ...view middle of the document...
142). This is in the care worker's best interest as sometimes these emotions can 'lead to stress and burnout' (Savage, 2003, p.9). However, although there is a wide expectation that care workers should learn to control their emotions, Benner and Wrubel (cited by Lawler, 1991, p.143) state that it is 'impossible' to provide acceptable care without 'some degree of involvement'.
When there is no emotion involved at all, there is a danger that depersonalisation can occur as a consequence of 'time-saving' (Lee-Treweek, 1994, p.109). Lee-Treweek wrote about Cedar Court, a nursing home in which depersonalisation was a form of abuse, where care workers made jokes at the expense of the service user, causing them to become stressed even if they were unable to hear, see or understand the jokes (1994, p.109). This particular home did not respect the service user's dignity, as they treated patients like objects and did not attempt to build any form of relationship. This is an example of unacceptable care as it leaves the service user 'feeling worthless and purposeless' (Jones et al, 2010, p.42). Care workers should understand that the people that they are caring for need help rather than managing, and therefore they should be treated with respect and dignity.
It is important that a new care worker has appropriate behaviours and attitudes in order to prevent unacceptable care. One of the factors that can influence this is the sociocultural background of the care worker. It is suggested that some cultures find it more difficult to handle other people's bodies than others, especially for the British, who are referred to as a non-touching culture (Lawler, 1991, p.137). Therefore, it is important that these barriers are overcome to prevent awkwardness and discomfort for both the care worker and the service user. This is of particular importance to those who are new to care work as a service user feeling uncomfortable could be a result of their 'inexperience', which is how Richard may have felt in the case study of Marie during the first months of her employment as a support worker (Jones et al, 2010, p.22).
There are also certain attitudes that should be adopted when dealing with challenging behaviour. It is often assumed that 'antisocial' behaviour is displayed because of a need for 'attention', however as Anthea explains in More about challenging behaviour (The Open University, 2014b), there are alternative reasons for challenging behaviour including but not limited to primary human needs, finding something difficult or lack of verbal communication. 'The term challenging behaviour has been introduced to shift responsibility for difficult behaviour from the service user to the service provider' (Jones et al, 2010, p.37). When dealing with challenging behaviour, finding the 'function' is important to try and make a connection to the behaviour and the intentions of the service user (Jones er al, 2010, p.35). This care worker would then be identifying and...