I think I have mentioned about a million times that I work with DD adults at Job #1. Last night, I had a situation arise with a staff that I just couldn't believe really happened.
We have one client at our house that doesn't really "fit" with the other guys. Three of our guys are very dependent on staff for their every day needs, and this Client #4 is just the opposite. He is very independent and needs very little intervention in his daily activities.
Anyway, this staff had been doing one-to-one time with this particular client in a manner that another staff questioned. Since I am senior staff, they both came to me for a decision on who was right on the issue. I could see both sides of their story, and tried to explain each staff's position to the other, suggesting to the staff in question that they talk to Big Boss Lady about what she wanted. During our discussion, I mentioned that a concern I had was that (since he is verbal and much more independent) this particular client was being treated as if he was better than the other three.
The staff in question actually looked at me and said "But he is!"
My jaw hit the floor. Almost literally.
I have seen that quite a few of the staff are treating our new client differently than the other three, and this confirmed my worst fears.
It took me about .5 seconds to recover from my shock, and I let the staff in question have it. To my surprise, there were three staff there all arguing the point that since this particular client is better socially adapted, that makes his needs more important than the others'.
This is why I still work as a grunt in direct care. Seriously. .
The fact that THREE of our new staff honestly believe that just because someone is able to verbalise their needs and desires to you they are somehow more worthy just blows my mind. What ever happened to sticking up for those who really NEED our advocacy?! Just because this guy can play a game with you, and likes to tease and laugh, he is more important than the guys who can't tell you if they are sick or lonely or angry?! If my clients were my family members, and I found out that their caregivers thought that way, I would be terrified for their well~being. And I would be comforted to know that there was at least ONE staff taking care of my loved one who didn't think they were somehow less important than everyone else.
Ooh, just thinking about it now makes my blood boil.
We are having a staff meeting this coming Thursday, and you can bet whatever you hold most dear that I will be bringing up this incident.
It will not be pretty.