People often experience great pleasure when helping others achieve their potential in any area of their lives. To observe someone’s journey, watch them grow, develop and improve partly as a result of your input, is something to be proud of.
Typically, the people who will fulfil these roles include teachers, sports coaches or those in the care sector. Whichever category they fall into, it is vital for them to remember that at the centre of all action should be the person who that action is focused on These will be their students, athletes or the person being cared for
At Positive Positioning we very much work to a ‘person-centred’ ethos. The therapies our practitioners give are adapted for individual clients based on their needs and requirements, their limitations and abilities.
Similarly, when we offer training we have to be aware of the needs, requirements, limitations and abilities of the individuals who are receiving that training.
Let’s now focus on manual handling training of care staff to see how this can be applied in practice.
To effectively train a team of personal assistants the trainer needs to understand the abilities of the individual they will be supporting.
We would ask specific questions:
- what are the needs of the client? What specific issues do they have that have an impact on their day to day life?
- what are the requirements of the client? What can be implemented to enhance the client’s life on a day to day basis?
- what are the client’s limitations? In what ways will their condition affect whether an action can be put into place?
- what are the client’s abilities? What can the client do and what action can support or enhance this?
These points must be considered before and during the training so that the training is relevant for the trainees.
A misconception about manual handling training is that it focuses on the health and safety of the personal assistants (PAs) and the individual. But it is more than this.
Effective manual handling training should enable and encourage the PAs to think dynamically about what they are doing and how it affects themselves as well as the individual they support. By considering the effects of their actions the PAs will in turn enable their clients to be more involved and more independent in their own care.
When assisting someone to move it is important to think about their abilities in the moment; their pain levels, the impact of their medication, their willingness to work with their carer.
Effective manual handling training will teach PAs to make these observations and identify the impact they will have on the client at that time. Consequently, the PA will be able to support their client in the most appropriate way.
The PA would need to make an assessment every time they are required to assist their client. There are many influencing factors that can determine different outcomes and therefore different methods or levels of support may be required.
At Positive Positioning we ensure that individuals are considered as such and this is carried through into our training. Ultimately, by being ‘person-centred’ in your approach to support like manual handling, the results for the individual being supported are far more beneficial in many ways.