Engaging With Vulnerable People In Mental Health Social Work Essay

In this essay I am going to write about vulnerable adults, how I could demonstrate professional values and how I could empower vulnerable people demonstrating respect and maintaining dignity. I will demonstrate an understanding of legislation and policy guidance, noting the strengths and weaknesses in accordance to NMC code of conduct. I will also briefly give the history of abuse, bringing in various Department of Health documents as clarification to demonstrate the need for current legislation regarding the protection of vulnerable adults. I will discuss how the ability to support my chosen case study and careers is seen as the key skill of the nurse, which requires a non judgmental approach which is essential to working in an anti oppressive practice. Definitions of vulnerability and anti discrimination will also be included as it is a comparison of NMC code of conduct.

Vulnerable people all are very sensitive to the need of their independence and they can be vulnerable very easily for instance if they are in pain. So nurse should always understand how the impact of loos, change or grieving processes can affect the individual. I have chosen adult case study two which is Mamoun. He is vulnerable because, he has had an operation and he is in a lot of pain. Mamoun doesn’t talk about the pain or ask for painkiller but if offered, he will take them.

VULNERABLITY – Vulnerability is people when support is required to enable or promote independent living and safe and active participation in the Community. To a certain extent some people or groups may be vulnerable because they perceive they are vulnerable e.g. if they believe they live in a high crime area when that is only a perception and not a fact. Iliffe.s et al (1998). Social exclusion is a process in which social, economic and cultural factors can combine to exclude individuals, groups and communities from participating in society and gaining access to economic, cultural and social resources. When combined, they create an acute form of exclusion in particular neighbourhoods. Having identified those groups who might be vulnerable the next stage is to decide the best means of helping them. The Evaluation Panel believes the primary aim should be to give vulnerable people as much control over their lives as possible to mitigate the circumstances that make them vulnerable. Parker.J. (2006)

A vulnerable adult is any person aged 18 or over who is or may be in need of community care services because of disability, age or illness, and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves, or is unable to protect themselves from significant harm or abuse. Vulnerable adults could include older people, people with a visual or hearing impairment, physical disability, learning disabilities or mental health problem, and people living with illness. Vulnerability can also be described as “unprotected, unguarded, open to attack, helpless and weak” Oxford. (2002). in another way if anyone walks at night in dangerous area we all tend to be vulnerable or able to be hurt.

Mamoun is a sixty two years old Muslim man who is based on in so much pain after his operation and he is vulnerable because he is isolated from his religious or cultural activities. He may have nobody to talk to or no family to visit him as well as language and culture problem. Mamoun may experience from a very limited health care service or he may not happy the way he treated which can make him more vulnerable. So even though he doesn’t answer questions politely and never ask for PRN pain relief, it is the responsibility of nurses to give full attention and see his reaction of his pain. When I am on my duty, I must make sure that he is in a good condition by checking him all the time. If he is in pain, it shows when looking at him so it is impossible to wait for him to ask for pain relief. Mamoun may has no idea about medicines and he is unable to talk it may be lack of communication skills or language problem. Having said that I could look in different way for example, get interpreter, being nice, friendly, kind, understand his pain and make sure that he trusts me.

According to NMC cod of conduct the following professional values will inform and guide all work with vulnerable adults: “Treat people as individual” – avoid discriminatory in any way against the patients, treat kindly and act as an advocate NMC (2008). Work effectively with a team – able to be flexible within teams, respect and support each other. Privacy – the right of individuals to be left alone or undisturbed, and free from intrusion or public attention into their affairs. Dignity – all people will be treated with respect. Each individual’s unique characteristics and intrinsic value will be recognised. Independence – the right to act and think without reference to another person. Choice – the opportunity to make both small and more significant life choices, with assistance as appropriate to understand context and options; the opportunity to make choices in the individual’s own interest, exercising the choice to take risks Laverack.G. (2005). . Rights – the maintenance of all entitlements associated with citizenship, including full participation in the life of the community Iliffe.s et al (1998).

Abuse against vulnerable adults has been noted since the 1960’s, although certain types of abuse would have taken place before then, society has changed and what is acceptable now is certainly different to what was acceptable back then. People became quite vocal in the 60’s, more open minded and speech and opinions flowing freely an example of this would be the topic of sex and drugs. Iliffe.s et al (1998). Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person. It may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be planned or unplanned. It may be the result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance. It may happen when a vulnerable adult is persuaded to enter into a transaction to which they have not consented or cannot consent.

Abuse besed on many forms some of them that more comenly knowen are include: Physical Abuse – for example, hitting, pushing, and shaking over medicating or otherwise causing physical harm. Sexual Abuse – for example unwanted touching, kissing or sexual activity. Or where the vulnerable adult cannot or does not give their consent it mayt be. Psychological / Emotional Abuse – including verbal abuse, humiliation bullying or the use of threats Iliffe.s et al (1998). Financial Abuse – the illegal or improper use of a person’s money, property, pension book, bank account or other belongings. Neglect – the repeated deprivation of help or care that a vulnerable adult needs which, if withdrawn, will cause him or her to suffer. Institutional Abuse – abuse, neglect, withdrawal of rights or continually poor care in a care home setting. Discriminatory Abuse – Including racist or sexist abuse, and abuse based on a person’s disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.

Abuse can take place in their own home, by familly or any other visitor, or in someone else’s home, by a relative, friend or neighbou, in a residential or nursing home, by a paid or volunteer carer, in a day centre, adult education centre or other establishment, by an occasional visitor or service provider, in a hospital or GP surgery, mayt happen by a professional worker.

ANTI-DISCRIMINATERY – Anti-discrimination practice is a positive action to avoid discrimination. It is abut being presenting positive image of people equal opportunities policy in all aspect programs that take place and also challenging any discriminatory or oppressive language and behavior Parker.J. (2006). There are different tyeps of discrimination, such as more commonly known, racism, disablism and ageism. One of the things we do when meeting people is to make assumptions about them which can make them more cnfortable. Discriminatory language often betrays assumptions that have not been based on accurate knowledge or on cultural stereotypes. Often it emphasises the superiority of the speaker or the groups that she/he represents. This need not be conscious for it to be offensive and exasperating. Non-discriminatory language promotes exclusivity by the deliberate attempt to ensure that the language used promotes the equality of all people Parker.J. (2006).

The role of training is always to ensure that the maximum number of people possible have access to the information they need.  Particular intention must be given to avoiding the use of technical language and jargon. Workers have an obligation to ensure that everyone who can benefit from their service has an opportunity to access it, and whilst they are using it, to be treated in a way that accords their need for decency and self- respect Laverack.G. (2005). As a trainer to model good practice, I have to be serious about my responsibility to ensure that the patients have an opportunity to participate in the event and achieve their maximum learning potential. I also need to have good practice how to speak in appropriated language and behaviour. It is very important to make an action plan for acceptable language and behaviour as a professional. All trainers must avoid using language or behaviour that is in any way discriminatory. 

Mamoun may be increased risk due to the unaware of his rights, socially isolated, not know how to complain and has communication difficulties. He may also has difficulty understanding certain decisions or transactions and may have limited life experience and find it difficult to anticipate. In this case, there are different kinds of things to think about such as development of social networks – keeping in contact with family, friends, and neighbours as he is isolated. I will encourage him to access to social groups which may help him to make friends. Access to support groups I will get interpreter for him if he has language problem. Support and advice, I will support him in caring for him and I will advice him to tell as his problem in order to improve and maintain his health. Assessment of needs, as I mention on the above for client who is unable to talk I will assess by psychologically understanding for example, watching the patient if any behaviour or act change think about his food and asking of his needs.

REFLECTING – From this essay, I have learnt a value of social work for instance philosophical and academic thinking in order to assess client’s needs and circumstances. I have also learnt the role of NMC code of conduct and I have developed skills and professional knowledge to work effectively with vulnerable people. The NMC code of conduct helped me to understand how the laws and policies were applied to these such good example cases. Adult Case Study 2 was a unique case for me as although the service user did not have any mental health needs he required help with foll servisce. This essay teaches me the aspect of nursing I can reflect on, the use of the word experience in nursing, how self awareness is central to reflection and how the development of other skills will aid reflection.

In the future I believe that I will be able to demonstrate and work closely with both service users to support them, by assessing their needs, reviewing risks, policies and procedures that apply to them. This essay will help me make my work clear to service user and also more open to review so I can improve my practice in the future.

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