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What is dignity in care: Everything you need to know

The way you treat a patient has to do a lot with their speedy recovery and level of care. People approach healthcare service in a very fragile and vulnerable stage of their life. So If they feel cared for and dignified their stress levels will automatically come down. Treating people as individuals with respect and giving them the respect they deserve is an important part of healthcare. From this article, you will learn what dignity in care stands for. You will also find out how healthcare professionals can collaborate to provide a committed service.

Table of Contents

What is dignity in care?

Dignity means treating someone with respect and honour. A person’s life revolves around their sense of dignity. Every conversation has some effect on a person’s sense of self-esteem and identity. Dignity in care means:

  • Providing care that promotes a person’s self-esteem 
  • Acknowledging their abilities and desires 
  • Not doing anything that can undermine it. 

There has been a growing awareness of the importance of “dignity in care” in recent years. Dignity concerns how people think, believe and act with them. Treating others with integrity means treating them as valuable people. The manner of treatment makes them mindful of their worth.

Dignity and respect in the care

Dignity is everyone’s birthright. There are no questions over anyone’s worth and importance. Everyone deserves respect.

Our sense of worth, emotions, and values are all part of our dignity. This is what we are born with. We are irreplaceable. We are distinct. Anyone can tell how the person on the other end is handling them by looking at their body language.

Health-care practitioners must maintain professionalism in their interventions. Health care providers foster equality by:

  • A client-centred policy
  • Communication that is successful
  • Supporting each individual’s physical and emotional well-being

Human beings deserve respect regardless of their physical, cognitive, or ethnic distinctions. This would lead to increased commitment and, as a result, improved recovery and well-being. So a prerequisite to delivering high-quality care is to introduce the practice of dignity and respect.

How to maintain privacy and dignity when providing personal care

Personal treatment is an important benefit that many people need in order to live stable, prosperous lives. While it’s tempting to think of this work as a set of assignments, keep in mind that you’re primarily providing a service. Build a comfortable and supportive atmosphere where the charge is appreciated in their everyday routine to make them feel supported and safe.

Additionally, make an extra effort to provide as much room, anonymity, and autonomy to the person you’re caring for as possible. Even the tiniest movements will make a major difference in your charge’s life! 

Ways to provide privacy in personal care are given below:

1. Provide them extra privacy in overcrowded spaces

Pay heed to your patient’s surroundings. If they’re in a more public setting, such as a hospital bed, concentrate on making the space feel safe and comfortable. Before handling any hygiene-related activities use privacy curtains around the patient’s bed. Inquire if there’s something more you can do to help them feel safer and more at ease.  See if you should move the charge to a more safe location if they have privacy concerns.

2. Look away while they are getting dressed

Remind yourself that the person you are caring for is an individual. They have their own sense of modesty and privacy. Make a conscious attempt to look in the other direction as they dress. Ask them if they’re happy putting on their own clothing. Unless they specifically inquire or need assistance don’t look at them. Whenever you’re assisting them in getting ready, avoid looking at their private areas. 

3. Maintain a personal space and boundary

Without permission, do not rummage through the patient’s clothes or other personal possessions. If you’re looking for something in the room, ask them first even if your motives aren’t evil. Going through their things without permission would seem inconsiderate. Before browsing at or touching their personal belongings, always inquire. 

4. Discretely identify their pains and discomforts 

Keep a close eye on the patient’s physical tics. People are often embarrassed or unable to confess their distress. In such situations, you may need to start the dialogue. Rather than leaping to conclusions, kindly check how he is doing well and if there is something you can do to help. 

Patients suffering from pain may not always want to express how they’re feeling. Say something like, “Would you like me to get you a heating pad?”. 

5. Assists them with using the toilets 

Make a note of when the person you are in charge of goes to the bathroom and how often they bathe. Ask if they need assistance changing their clothes while they’re on the toilet, getting ready to step into the shower or tub.

6. Maintaining patient confidentiality 

Don’t tell anybody about your workday or other patient details. It is illegal to divulge a patient’s personal records. If you’re caught revealing that kind of information, you might face serious consequences.  You don’t want to jeopardize the culture of confidence and privacy.  So  Instead of using your patient’s tales and tidbits as a conversation starter with your colleagues, keep them to yourself.

Dignity in care

Maintaining dignity and respect in care

In care, dignity means supporting the self-esteem of a person. Recognising the patient’s capabilities create positive mindsets within the patients. As a result, the recovery process speeds up.  

Ways to treat people with dignity in personal care are given below:

1. Watch your body language during interactions 

Throughout your duty hours, be aware of how you appear and respond to those under your supervision. When assisting with hygiene activities, avoid showing embarrassment or disgust. Otherwise, this will lead to feelings of guilt and embarrassment for the person you are caring for. Often, aim to maintain an open stance so you don’t look closed off to the person you’re caring for.

Don’t wrinkle your nose or render a disgusted face while carrying out hygiene responsibilities.

2. Engage in friendly conversations

Come up with fun talking points with the person you are taking care of. Instead of asking about something personal, merely inquire about the weather or their favourite sports team. If you spend time with them without saying something meaningful, you can come off as dehumanizing.

So for starters, try saying something like, “I heard it’s going to snow tonight!” Or If you know his favourite sport, try to bring it up in conversation. Say something about the upcoming derby. 

3. Listening to them attentively

Even if you’re in the middle of something else, prioritize your patient’s demands. If they ask for something specific, attempt to fulfil their request. When you’re working on something critical let him know that you’ll be ready to contribute as soon as you’re done.

If you’re in the middle of cleaning something in your charge’s room, pause when they ask for help. This demonstrates your respect for their interests.  

4. Always speak to them in a polite tone

Treat patients you’re in charge of taking care of as an individual rather than a job. Having eye contact with others is a perfect way to show that you’re paying attention and engaging in what they’re saying.

Don’t speak in a frantic tone of voice or as though you were listening to a kid or a pet. As we have said before human beings need to be treated with respect.

5. Respect their opinions 

When you’re at work, put your own moral and cultural convictions aside. Listen to your patient’s as they discuss their own philosophies and values. Refrain from criticizing or judging them. Instead, attempt to involve them in a discussion about their views so that you can learn more about them. 

How do you promote dignity in care?

One of the most important aspects of caregiving is assisting patients with maintaining their integrity.

Think of your particular function as a caregiver for a moment. You need to know about the person you’re caring for. For that, you need to get familiar with the human being. You need to keep track of the personal preferences and dislikes, particular strengths and weaknesses, desires and needs. When you care about someone else, particularly a family member, it’s easy to fall into a protective mode. But professional caregiving is different.  

Being able to make your choices and acknowledging their self-esteem is a good way to promote dignity. Whether the individual is suffering from cognitive dysfunction (brain loss caused by a stroke, dementia, or another health issue), he can still make choices about his life.

He will make choices that you would disagree with, but it is his preference. As a caregiver, this can be challenging. But you’ll still need to hold an eye on yourself to stop overprotection.

The need for respect and integrity is one of the most basic human needs. When a person becomes sick or injured, the need does not go anywhere. Indeed, it has the potential to become much more effective.

The Six Cs of caregiving

The 6Cs provide a standard of service that reflect the ethos and practices of all organizations that offer care and assistance. They provide a series of shared principles to guarantee all health and social care staff the guidelines to follow. They all have the same weight of value and are all necessary for humane treatment. The following is a list of their definitions:

1. Care

In general, care entails prioritizing high-quality treatment in both work and procedures. It entails providing treatment that is constantly focused on the client. The aim of care is to encourage health and well-being. 

2. Compassion

Compassion applies to receiving care with empathy, reverence, and integrity. It refers to understanding people’s feelings and establishing empathy-based relationships with patients.

3. Competence

Competence ensures someone in a caring capacity is able to consider each person’s health and social needs. It ensures the experience, ability, scientific skills, and technological knowledge necessary to provide appropriate and evidence-based care therapies. 

4. Communication

Any caring partnership and effective team need effective communication. Listening is almost as important as speaking when it comes to communication.

5. Courage

Doing the right thing, standing out where there are problems, and possessing the power and imagination to develop and act in fresh, innovative ways is termed courage in the field of caregiving. It takes courage to ensure that everyone receives the high-quality treatment they deserve.

6. Commitment 

Commitment is making a strong dedication to patients, the environment, and keeping this at the forefront of everything you do. Being dedicated to the job position is also a form of commitment. Finally, dedication entails a commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability.

Concluding remarks

Ensuring dignity in care is a very important part of caregiving. The main objective of care is to speed up the process of recovery and well being. So giving people the respect they need and treat them as individuals is a vital part of dignity in care. 

Domiciliary Care Support Worker
In this course, you will learn essential skills and knowledge to become a competent professional within a domiciliary care setting. It covers the professional responsibilities of the care team, safeguarding best practices and confidentiality guidelines regarding handling service user information.
Domiciliary Care Support Worker
In this course, you will learn essential skills and knowledge to become a competent professional within a domiciliary care setting. It covers the professional responsibilities of the care team, safeguarding best practices and confidentiality guidelines regarding handling service user information.
May 19, 2021

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