Channel 4 Learning


What values should care workers promote?

Promoting and supporting an individual's right to dignity, independence, health and safety

People who require health care, particularly long-term health care, may feel like their dignity and independence are slipping away from them.

People who depend on kidney dialysis machines, for example, might feel their lives are ruled by the priority they always give to their treatment. They may very well feel that they aren't 'normal'. In situations like this, the attitude and understanding of health care workers can make a real difference.

Finding ways to accommodate patients' lives within a treatment programme can help people feel free, even if they need a great deal of treatment or direct care.

Acknowledging an individual's personal beliefs and identity

For a nurse with a ward full of patients to look after or a live-in carer that is run off their feet, it can be difficult sometimes to treat the people they care for as individuals.

Nurses, doctors and health workers have to override people's wants as a part of the job. For example, they have to tell some people that they can't eat certain foods, or that they must do certain painful exercises.

They have to react sternly to people who refuse to follow doctor's orders. It's crucial, however, that they don't accidentally override their patients' or wards' beliefs or identity. A patient may refuse her dinner because it contains meat and she is a vegetarian. Another patient may need to leave his bed at certain times to perform religious ceremonies.

image of a nurse with a patient
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