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Make others aware of any actions they may be undertaking that are causing discomfort or distress to individuals

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

As a care worker, you will be responsible for making individuals as comfortable as possible and minimising any distress they may experience. You may also be responsible for actions or activities that may cause the individuals that you care for pain, distress or discomfort.

This could be when assisting them with movement, performing personal care or even something as simple as turning on the lights in a darkened room.

When working with individuals that are experiencing pain, discomfort or disrress, you should always show care, compassion and kindness as well as be courteous and always asking for consent.

And you should always explore new ideas or better ways of doing things that may reduce discomfort (although it is advisable to run any changes past your manager before implementing them).

Raising concerns with individuals

You may observe that an individual seems to be experiencing discomfort but has not communicated this to you. In these cases, you would usually ask them if they are okay or if there is something that you can do to make them more comfortable.

There may be occasions when you observe others (e.g. colleagues) performing actions that cause an individual unnecessary discomfort and distress. When this happens, you should always seek to make them aware of how their actions affect the individual and how they could prevent or minimise it.

The most obvious way to do this is by speaking to them and suggesting an alternative method or even showing them.

Raising concerns by reporting to their manager

Sometimes, it may be more appropriate to report your concerns to their manager or supervisor. This could be if you have already approached a colleague about how their actions are causing an individual discomfort, but they have failed to change their practice. Or (as mentioned above) you want to suggest how discomfort and distress for a particular individual could be reduced.

Raising concerns in team meetings

Sometimes, a better forum for raising concerns can be team meetings where everyone can present their ideas about how to resolve the issue and agree upon a solution. This is especially true if it is organisational restrictions, procedures or policies that are causing the discomfort. For example, an individual may get frightened if they are being woken at 6 am by a carer, and something as simple as changing their visit to 6:30 am when they are already awake can make a massive difference to their well-being.


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