Recently a client contacted me to do training for their caregivers and it highlighted areas that caregivers need to know in their work.
So this month I am going to discuss becoming over involved.
The Risk Of Becoming Over Involved
Becoming over involved with clients/residents is a real risk and can have detrimental effects on the client/resident, their families and the caregiver.
Because once the relationship moves from carer to friend there can be many ramifications.
It is our professional boundaries define our responsibilities at work.
So what exactly are professional boundaries and why are they important? This short clip explains it well…
Professional Boundaries In The Healthcare Industry
The people you look after are vulnerable and open to exploitation.
So having professional boundaries is essential for their protection
It alos helps define the business you are in, it protects you and it helps the public know what they can expect from you.
This video explains why these professional boundaries are needed in our industry.
Now I know it can be difficult to keep a relationship professional and not get attached to a client.
After all, when you look after a person for a long time you can become quite close.
They often share things with you and talk to you as a friend.
However, when you become over involved with your clients/residents it actually interferes with you being able to do your job.
Friends Vs. Residents
It may be that they start to expect special favors from you and expect you to do things, as you would for a friend.
These may be things that are not part of your job but could eat up a lot of your time.
…And because they think you are a friend you decide to give them special treatment.
It could also work the other way around where you could take advantage of them and their situation.
You tell your client little things about you and your life or family that takes your relationship over the line from being friendly to being friends and friends help each other don’t they?
Once this boundary is crossed it often leads to a slippery slope of disaster.
Many people in care, be it at home or residential, become lonely.
A friendly face to take care of them makes their day.
Their professional caregiver may be the highlight of their day or week.
On top of this we all want to be liked – to feel special.
So to be told you are their favorite caregiver makes you feel good.
This can be sweet, or it can be a form of manipulation a person uses to get something they want.
So maintaining a boundary between you and the person in your care is paramount to keeping both you and your client safe.
Now all of this may sound a bit harsh but you only need to become a victim to this sort of behavior once to realize the consequences it can have on the innocent.
Don’t ever put yourself in a position where boundaries are transgressed or violated.
Take a look at this video to help you understand a bit more about what boundaries are and how they can be transgressed.
Protect Yourself… Protect Your Residents
In order to protect both you and the client you need to maintain boundaries (as do all your caregivers).
If you think you can get away without being caught, think again.
Something is bound to happen to expose you…
And if the client/resident thinks they can get away with it, make sure they know they could end up with no carer at all if something goes wrong.
It is up to you, as the professional, to maintain a boundary between you and your client or resident.
Take your training to the next level… Get these printable Infection Control Protocols to share with your team and learn how to deal with 19 different infections & communicable diseases in your care facility.