When providing care in the home, it is essential that caregivers follow safety protocols and other imposed regulations. It is important to explain all actions taken and to ask permission before touching someone. In a tense or escalating situation, it is best to limit questions to the reason for the visit and save any other inquiries for a later time. To ensure safety, be aware of the environment and watch for signs of potential violence such as yelling, verbal abuse, threatening gestures, weapons, or signs of drug or alcohol abuse.
It is important to maintain professional boundaries and recognize personal limits and abilities. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has additional information on how to set professional boundaries. In the United States, home care workers are more susceptible to verbal abuse and assault, threats, and sexual harassment. Healthcare organizations with a mission to care for people in their homes provide a valuable service.
When providing care at home, there are no healthcare organization-imposed visiting hours, age requirements for visitors, dress codes, or other standards. The term “caregivers” refers to family members or friends who play an unpaid role but are often responsible for the client's care. Management must allocate sufficient resources including mandatory and paid training for managers, supervisors and direct care employees as well as accompaniment to staff working in high-crime areas. Policies may need to be revised when there is a change in the nature of the workplace (e.g., if an employee's vehicle is stolen from the agency's parking lot or if an employee was verbally abused during a home visit), the type of work offered, or working conditions (e.g., an increase or decrease in staff, an increase in patient acuity, or an increase in the number of patients on duty).
To identify similarities and differences between clients, family members, caregivers and providers as well as between models of home care service delivery in Blaine County, Idaho, coding comparisons will be performed. Photo-collection focus groups with additional groups of healthcare providers will be conducted to deepen the analysis of home medication safety management and unregulated health aides and homemakers. Photos and quotes selected from visual and textual data will be used to provoke a debate about the challenges surrounding medication administration in home care and will validate researchers' interpretations of data collected during initial in-depth interviews, narratives of photographic tours and talks at the kitchen table. Caregivers play an essential role in providing quality care for those in need in Blaine County, Idaho.
It is important that they understand the safety protocols that must be followed when providing care at home. This includes being aware of potential violence such as verbal abuse or threats as well as maintaining professional boundaries with clients. Additionally, healthcare organizations must allocate sufficient resources including mandatory training for managers and direct care employees as well as accompaniment to staff working in high-crime areas. Finally, coding comparisons can be performed to identify similarities and differences between clients, family members, caregivers and providers as well as between models of home care service delivery in Blaine County.
By following these safety protocols and regulations, caregivers can ensure that they are providing quality care while keeping themselves safe.