5.3 Explain why a worker’s personal views should not influence an individual’s choices

5.3 Explain why a worker’s personal views should not influence an individual’s choices

Implement Person-Centred Approaches in Care Settings Answers

Care Learning

7 mins READ

This guide will help you answer The RQF Level 2 Diploma in Care Unit 5.3 Explain why a worker’s personal views should not influence an individual’s choices.

In health and social care, the primary focus is the well-being and autonomy of the individuals receiving care. Professionals must ensure that their support and guidance are impartial and based on the needs and preferences of the individuals, rather than their personal beliefs or opinions. This principle is crucial to maintain the dignity, rights, and choices of those receiving care.

Individual Autonomy

Respecting Choice

Every person has the right to make their own choices regarding their care and life. Autonomy, or self-determination, is a fundamental principle in care work. It allows individuals to control their own lives, make decisions, and be responsible for their actions.

A care worker’s role is to facilitate and support these choices, not steer or influence them based on personal views. It is essential to respect that each individual is unique, with their own values, desires, and needs.

Enhancing Well-being

Supporting an individual’s choice can significantly impact their mental and emotional well-being. When people make their own decisions, they often feel more satisfied and in control. This sense of control can lead to lower stress levels and a greater sense of self-worth.

Influencing an individual’s choices or overriding their decisions can lead to feelings of disempowerment, frustration, and loss of control, which can negatively impact their overall well-being.

Ethical Considerations

Professional Boundaries

Maintaining clear professional boundaries is fundamental in health and social care. These boundaries ensure that relationships between care workers and those receiving care remain appropriate and focused on the individual’s needs and rights.

When a worker allows personal views to influence decisions, these boundaries become blurred. It can lead to a conflict of interest, where the care worker’s interests or beliefs take precedence over those of the individual.

Code of Conduct

Health and social care professionals must adhere to a strict code of conduct. This code includes principles such as respect, dignity, equality, and impartiality.

Influencing an individual’s choices based on personal views directly contradicts these principles. It undermines the individual’s right to self-determination and can damage the trust and rapport necessary for effective care.

Legal Considerations

Human Rights

The Human Rights Act 1998 enshrines individuals’ rights in law in the UK. This includes the right to respect for private and family life, home, and correspondence.

When a care worker imposes their views on an individual, it can infringe on these human rights. Respecting an individual’s choices upholds their legal rights and promotes an environment of respect and dignity.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

For individuals who may lack capacity, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 requires that any decisions made on their behalf are in their best interests and consider their wishes and feelings.

If a worker’s personal views influence these decisions, it can lead to biased judgments that do not accurately reflect the individual’s best interests or wishes.

Practical Considerations

Person-Centred Care

Person-centred care is at the heart of modern health and social care practices. This approach respects and values the uniqueness of the individual, and it involves tailoring care to meet their specific needs and preferences.

If personal views influence care decisions, it can compromise the person-centred nature of the support provided. Care becomes less about the individual and more about the worker’s perspectives, leading to a generic and less effective approach.

Promoting Independence

Health and social care workers aim to promote independence wherever possible. Independence involves enabling individuals to make their own decisions and supporting them in living their lives as they choose.

When a worker’s personal views intrude, it can hinder this goal. It can result in the worker making decisions on behalf of the individual, thereby reducing their opportunities for self-determination and independence.

Examples of Influence and Consequences

Scenario One: Personal Beliefs

Imagine a care worker with strong dietary preferences due to personal beliefs. If this worker tries to persuade an individual to follow the same diet, it can lead to the individual feeling pressured and uncomfortable. This pressure might result in the individual’s nutritional needs not being met, which can adversely affect their health.

Scenario Two: Lifestyle Choices

Consider a care worker who disapproves of certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking or drinking. If this worker imposes their views and discourages these activities without proper advice and support, it can create a sense of judgement and reduce the person’s willingness to engage openly and honestly.

Scenario Three: Healthcare Decisions

A care worker might have a preference for specific medical treatments. Suppose they push their views on an individual who is deciding on treatment options. It can lead to the individual feeling confused and pressured, potentially making a choice they are not comfortable with, affecting their health outcomes.

Strategies to Avoid Influencing Choices

Self-awareness

Workers must be aware of their personal views and how these might affect their professional responsibilities. Reflecting on personal biases and understanding their origins can help in managing them effectively.

Training and Education

Ongoing training helps care workers understand the importance of impartiality and the methods to maintain it. Education on ethical practices and professional standards is critical to reinforcing these concepts.

Open Communication

Encouraging open communication allows individuals to express their preferences and ensures they feel heard and respected. Active listening and empathy are crucial skills in facilitating this.

Ethical Supervision

Regular supervision and support from managers or mentors can provide care workers with guidance on handling situations where their personal views might conflict with professional responsibilities. It also offers an opportunity to discuss and reflect on difficult cases.

Example answers for unit 5.3 Explain why a worker’s personal views should not influence an individual’s choices

Here are some example answers that a care worker might provide for Unit 5.3, where we need to explain why a worker’s personal views should not influence an individual’s choices.

Example 1: Dietary Preferences

Scenario

Imagine you are a care worker providing support to an elderly individual, Mr. Smith, who has dietary preferences based on his cultural background. You are vegetarian and believe that a plant-based diet is better for health and the environment.

Answer

“As a care worker, it’s essential to understand that Mr. Smith’s dietary preferences are part of his cultural identity and personal choice. My role is to support his preferences, even if they differ from my own views. If I push my vegetarian beliefs on Mr. Smith, it undermines his autonomy, inhibits his cultural expression, and may cause him distress. Moreover, his nutritional needs might not be met, leading to potential health issues. Therefore, I must provide unbiased support that respects his choices.”

Example 2: Religious Beliefs

Scenario

Suppose you are a care worker assisting Ms. Johnson, who finds comfort and strength in her religious practices. You are of a different faith, and your personal beliefs do not align with hers.

Answer

“Recognising the importance of Ms. Johnson’s faith to her well-being is crucial. My personal religious views should never influence how I support her. Encouraging or discouraging her religious practices based on my beliefs would be inappropriate and harmful. I need to respect her practices and provide the necessary support for her to engage in her religious activities. This approach respects her dignity, enhances her emotional well-being, and upholds her right to religious freedom.”

Example 3: Medical Decisions

Scenario

You are caring for Mr. Brown, who is deciding between two different medical treatments. You have a personal preference for one treatment due to a family member’s positive experience with it.

Answer

“In this situation, it’s vital to remain impartial and provide Mr. Brown with all the necessary information about both treatments. My personal experiences or preferences should not influence his decision. Instead, I should facilitate a neutral environment where Mr. Brown feels empowered to choose the option that best aligns with his needs and preferences. By doing so, I respect his autonomy and ensure that he makes an informed decision that he is comfortable with.”

Example 4: Lifestyle Choices

Scenario

You support Ms. Davis, who enjoys occasional social drinking, but you disapprove of alcohol consumption due to personal or health beliefs.

Answer

“My disapproval of alcohol should not affect Ms. Davis’s lifestyle choices. It’s important to respect her autonomy and support her in living the life she chooses. Imposing my views might damage the trust and rapport we have built and could lead her to feel judged or restricted. Instead, I can provide information about safe drinking practices, ensuring she makes informed choices, while respecting her personal preferences and maintaining a supportive relationship.”

Example 5: End-of-Life Care

Scenario

You are caring for Mrs. Thompson, who has expressed a preference for palliative care over aggressive treatment at the end of her life. You personally believe in exploring all possible treatments.

Answer

“End-of-life care decisions are highly personal and sensitive. Mrs. Thompson’s wish for palliative care should be the guiding principle in her care plan. My personal belief in pursuing all treatments should not interfere with her decision. Respecting her choice ensures that her remaining time is as comfortable and dignified as possible. Providing unbiased support involves listening to her wishes, offering the necessary palliative care options, and ensuring her end-of-life preferences are respected. This empathetic approach honours her dignity and right to choose her end-of-life care.”

Strategies Employed

Self-awareness

“I always reflect on my personal biases and opinions to ensure they don’t affect my professional duties. This self-awareness helps me remain objective and provide unbiased care.”

Training and Education

“Regular training sessions on ethics and professional conduct help reinforce the importance of impartiality. These sessions provide tools and strategies for maintaining neutrality in care.”

Open Communication

“I encourage open communication with the individuals I support. By actively listening to their preferences and needs, I ensure that my personal views do not overshadow their voices.”

Ethical Supervision

“I regularly discuss challenging situations with my supervisor. This practice helps me gain insights and maintain professional boundaries, ensuring my personal views don’t influence my care decisions.”

Providing care that respects individual choices is pivotal in health and social care. As care workers, we must remain impartial, setting aside personal views to support the autonomy and preferences of those we care for. This approach not only upholds ethical standards but also fosters trust, respect, and enhances the well-being of individuals.

These examples illustrate how care workers can navigate the delicate balance between their personal views and their professional duty to support the choices of those in their care.

Conclusion

Health and social care workers must provide support and care that respects individuals’ rights and choices. Allowing personal views to influence these choices undermines autonomy, professional ethics, and legal principles. By focusing on person-centred care, respecting professional boundaries, and engaging in self-awareness, care workers can ensure they provide the best possible support to those in their care, free from personal bias or influence.

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