You can totally make your client’s day by doing something very easy and very soothing. You see, what most people fear about bathing is being cold. The time right after bathing is the coldest and most uncomfortable. The nicest thing you can do is throw some towels in the dryer before a bath and use warm towels to dry your client off.
Hospital acquired infections are a very serious problem. Hand washing for 20 seconds with lots of friction is the number one way to prevent infections from spreading. Caregivers can be a great help by washing their own hands often, encouraging the patient to wash her hands often and reminding the staff to wash their hands thoroughly before touching the patient.
Healthcare is an ever changing institution. By the time you have learned one skill, three others have newer, better procedures. According The Household Physician, written in 1905 by seven very educated physicians, carbolic acid was a safe and effective treatment for hemorrhoids. We know now that is neither safe nor effective. Keep learning. It is imperative to your health.
Healthy food is important, but the occasional comfort food treat has great benefits too (relaxation, for example). It’s important to enjoy the treats you love, but not use them to medicate frustration, anger or burnout. Have a piece of cake, pie or brownie as a way to connect to your client, but don’t use comfort food to self-medicate.
Letting other people help you will not only free up time, but allow for better relationships. Let your client help with a few things. Encourage family and neighbors to help. This will increase dignity and independence. When your clients have a sense of self-worth, they function at a higher level. This makes care easier and decreases the client’s distress.
It’s easy to see the joy and beauty in this style and the win/win approach. It is a thing of beauty when the stakes are important, the stakeholders have different needs, and when the results will last a long time.
A true win/win situation addresses values and needs at a deeper level. The process can take time, but people leave feeling they have been heard and their message honored. They value the conclusion and relationships.
Humans are constantly monitoring the norms of their group, whether the group is a family, school, sports team, work team or circle of friends. We assess our status, our safety and our role, and we pay attention to what is considered normal. We may pick up a group’s style of conflict, at least short-term.
“Listen, I should have spoken up in the meeting. It was my idea, and I shared it with George. I was shocked when he introduced it at the meeting as his own. I have been gritting my teeth about this for three wasted days. Usually I just clam up or leave. You know me pretty well, and I think you value me as a team-member. Can we talk about what I can do differently in the future?”
P.S. Sharon has already done something differently!
When we articulate needs, wants, and desires, our interactions get clearer. Creative ideas surface. We build stronger teams. We accomplish more together as we meet challenges with openness and respect.
Will conflict still happen? Sure. But we do get better at managing ourselves. We listen for the signals, and we avoid knee-jerk reactions.