As mentioned before, our targets and progress with regards personal development are discussed during supervisions and documented on our supervision forms.
A better way of doing this might be to produce a personal development table like the one below:
|Gain a nationally recognised qualification in care
||Government-funded Diploma in Health & Social Care Level 2
||Informal discussion with manager every month
|Learn life-saving first aid
||Practical first aid course at head office
||14th December 2014
||Discussion at next supervision
||Course went well, learned lots
During my first weeks working with a new client, he got upset for no apparent reason and went to his bedroom and slammed the door. He came back down a few minutes later with his hood pulled over his head and would not talk to me. I asked what was wrong and tried to converse with him for over an hour but he just ignored me.
A little later on, one of my colleagues explained to me that this particular client behaved in this way to gain attention and the best thing to do was to ignore him until he had calmed down. I put this into practice the next time he did this and within ten minutes, and after realising I wasn’t giving him any attention, his hood came down and he apologised and started chatting to me.
Last Christmas, a client who gets very excited around this time of year was due to go home to stay with his parents from Xmas eve to Boxing Day. Unfortunately, he wanted to come home after dinner on Xmas Day, which staff facilitated (as we had a contingency rota in place).
He wouldn’t tell us why he wanted to come back as he has a great relationship with his family, Having reflected on the situation, I remembered that he had presents in his house that he was saving to unwrap when he came home. Because he gets very excitable about unwrapping presents, I realised that that was the reason he had wanted to return. The next year, we ensured that he had taken all his Xmas presents with him.
Shortly after joining my company, I completed an online course on Common Induction Standards, which included topics on medication, first aid, health & safety and food hygiene. I felt I learned a lot from these courses, particularly about food hygiene as I was unaware of many of the best practices. Examples included letting food cool down before putting them in the fridge and keeping raw meat separate from other foodstuffs. Now that I am much more knowledgeable in this area, I have benefitted both professionally and personally.
Along with my manager I have been fully involved in creating my development plan. In a recent supervision, I suggested that I work towards my Diploma in Health & Social Care Level 2, which my manager agreed with and we set a timescale for doing it within 12 months, with me to report back on my progress in each supervision. I have requested practical first aid training on multiple occasions but, as yet, have not received any. In another supervision, my manager asked me to be the Key Worker for a particular client, which I agreed to.
My personal development plan is usually discussed between myself and my manager in my supervision. During this meeting, my manager will also pass on any ideas for training that senior management think I will benefit from. We will then agree on some objectives for my personal development and discuss what methods we can use to achieve these objectives, whether it be formal training (either internal or external), working towards a qualification or doing my own research. Finally, we will set a timescale for me to achieve these objectives and arrange a schedule to review my progress.
The best source of support for my own learning and development is my manager. I have regular supervisions with her to discuss any training that I think I need or she thinks I could benefit from. I can also do my own research to learn about topics that I feel I should know more about from books or the Internet. I find talking with my colleagues and other professionals from the care sector can be great sources of information.
I have included a copy of our Supervision Policy & Procedure as evidence.
There are many times within my current job role that I have used reflection on my work activities to try to improve on the way I do things.
One example is when my team were trying to promote a client’s independence by encouraging him to clean his bathroom. Each day he would be asked if he wanted to clean it and each day he said “no”. It was an almost robotic response. The service user has a learning disability, which means questions had to be kept simple, whilst still promoting choice, so after thinking about it I came up with the idea of changing the question to “do you want to clean your bathroom now or later?”. The next day, I asked the question and his first response was “later”, but after a couple of minutes, he changed his mind and said “I’ll do it now.” and went upstairs to clean his bathroom. This technique is still being used by the team.
Although I have only been working in the health & social care sector for just over a year, I feel that my knowledge has increased exponentially. I have undergone training in Health & Safety, Food Hygiene, Manual Handling, Medication and First Aid (Common Induction Standards) and read my all of my company’s policies and procedures, which has given me the knowledge to carry out my role within the boundaries of the law, CQC compliance and best practice.
Reflecting on work activities is a fantastic way of developing knowledge because it gives you breathing space to stand back, assess a situation and identify what you have done well and how you would do things better should a similar situation arise in the future. The process of managing a situation and reflecting on it afterwards can give powerful insights about how to make improvement both personally and professionally and gain experience.