Professional Boundaries - please fence me in

20 Mar 2018 9:08 PMJen Fitzgerald
Professional Boundaries - please fence me in

We must know our scope of practice and stay within our limitations. There are two types of boundaries that a personal support worker should know. Learn more.

 

In aged care, boundaries are very important. We must know our scope of practice and stay within our job boundaries. There are two types of boundaries that a personal support worker (PCW) should know. 1. Your job role and 2. Your professional boundaries.

 

1.Your job role – it is clearly stated in our job description document. It is learnt and practised over and over throughout your Cert 3 course. Scope of practice is also clearly defined and a PCW must stay within its boundaries. An example –we cannot touch wound dressings, we must use all equipment provided and follow care plans. Also documentation, like incident reports, procedure manuals etc. are in place to give us boundaries. These guide us in our jobs so everyone is safe.

2.Profesional boundaries – these can get blurry and are easily crossed by students or inexperienced staff. Social media (SM) is an example – you may think its ok to talk about your workplace and residents on SM but noooo. Every workplace has a social media policy and it must be followed. Another boundary blurring may be getting too chummy with residents and then they start offering you gifts or money or asking for an extra hug or more!!! It happens because newbies don’t know the boundary and what is appropriate. Your buddy should give you guidance- if not ask.

Good boundaries make you feel: an equal part of a care team, understood, safe and in control.

Bad boundaries can make you feel overwhelmed, confused and frustrated.

Always say no when you are asked to step outside your boundary – you will be looking after yourself and keeping your resident and buddy safe.

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