Promoting Dignity in your Day-to-Day Work

What is dignity?

“While dignity may be difficult to define, what is clear is that people know when they have not been treated with dignity and respect”. Dignity in Care

  • Respecting people’s dignity involves us acting with compassion and having empathy so that we respond to meeting their needs appropriately. (By acting with compassion you are able to recognise and empathise with someone else’s feelings or predicament and to try and alleviate and prevent any distress or suffering which they may be experiencing.)
  • It requires us to consider whether doing something in a particular way is showing the person respect and enabling their privacy, self worth and integrity to be maintained. (For example if we are assisting someone to eat, bathe or transfer from a bed to a wheelchair are we not doing it not only safely but in a way in which the person’s feelings and rights are not being violated? We need to ensure that we do not embarrass, belittle or trivialise them and their needs.)

Ways in which a support worker can promote dignity in their day-to-day work    (answers question 5.1c)

  • Working to the ten points of the dignity challenge (Dignity in Care Campaign) See topic 7.1 ‘The Ten Point Dignity Challenge’;
  • Ensuring that what they do is the law by checking with a manager that it is best practice;
  • Ensuring that they do things in a way which the person feels comfortable about and not make assumptions about this;
  • Putting themselves in someone else’s place and asking themselves the question “would I like this to happen to a member of my family or to myself” but also by recognising that some people may feel their dignity is being infringed by something I or my family might find acceptable
  • Understanding the importance of culture on people’s views of dignity;
  • Instilling an ethos of respect in the workplace with colleagues;
  • Providing a personalised service

Use to answer question 5.1c of the Care Certificate

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