Just as there are many different areas within the care sector, there are also many different scenarios that healthcare professionals can find themselves in. For people entering for the first time, the range of options can be confusing. This list of typical scenarios is designed to illustrate some of the situations that can be encountered in different types of job. The scenarios we look at include:

  • visiting a client at home
  • dealing with an angry client
  • handling a reluctant client

Care work scenarios.

Visiting a client at home.

An increasing number of care jobs focus on helping people in their own homes. This could involve anything from basic housekeeping and shopping trips to helping with personal care matters like dressing and bathing.  Since many elderly and disabled people live alone or have limited social opportunities, it can also be important simply to provide company.  Some aspects of this type of care require special training, such as food hygiene training if it will be necessary to prepare meals.

In order to prepare for a home visit it’s important to check the client’s case file or care plan.  Any medical issues that may affect interaction with the client should be identified.  If the client is sometimes cared for by a family member and that person is present during the visit, it’s useful to connect with them to help identify any new issues and to establish a cooperative relationship.

Dealing with an aggressive client.

Many careers in care involve working with mental health patients, addicts, or elderly people who may gradually succumb to dementia.  In these situations clients sometimes become aggressive.  It’s important to learn techniques for dealing with situations like this before they arise so that when they do it is possible to stay calm and focused and concentrate on finding a solution.

When attempting to de-escalate a situation of this sort it is important to acknowledge the client’s feelings with a simple, calm statement.  If possible, another person who was not there when the conflict began should be brought in, as they will be in a better position to help. The client should not be interrupted or touched and restraint should only be used as a last resort. A care worker in this situation should always be aware of their personal safety and make sure they can get to an exit.

Dealing with a reluctant client.

Although care workers often motivate themselves with the notion that they are providing a useful service, it is often a service that clients don’t want.  They may resent being in need and take this out on the care provider, or they may fear being robbed of what independence they still have.  In this case it is important to approach them with a clear understanding of the issues.

A good care worker should keep in mind that the important thing is achieving goals, not achieving gratitude.  They should try to empathise with the client’s situation without letting it cloud their judgement.  It is best to be open and straightforward about the issues at hand and remember that even an angry response may include information that can lead to dialogue.  A good care worker recognises the power imbalance in the relationship and respects the concerns it triggers, but does not take rejection personally.