The scope of services provisions do not extend to services provided to non-audit clients.
Other Hazards Because social workers are employed in such a variety of settings, they are exposed to many of the hazards of the workplace discussed elsewhere in this Encyclopaedia.
When funding is scarce, maintenance of physical plants suffers and risk of exposure increases. The high percentage of social workers in hospital and out-patient medical settings suggests vulnerability to infection exposure.
Social workers see patients with conditions like hepatitis, tuberculosis and other highly contagious diseases as well as human immunodeficiency virus HIV infection.
In response to this risk for all health workers, training and measures for infection control are necessary and have been mandated in many countries.
The risk, however, persists. It is evident that some of the problems faced by social workers are inherent in a profession which is so centred on lessening human suffering as well as one which is so affected by changing social and political climates. At the end of the twentieth century, the profession of social work finds itself in a state of flux.
The values, ideals and rewards of the profession are also at the heart of the hazards it presents to its practitioners. Additionally, it allowed for more personal assistance at a time when nursing homes were perceived as impersonal and uncaring.
It also provided entry-level employment to unskilled individuals, mostly women, many of whom were recipients of welfare. The workers are categorized as home makers, personal care workers, health aides, home care attendants and housekeepers, depending on their levels of skills and the kinds of services they provide.
Such low earnings represent significant economic hardship to the survey respondents: As a group, their financial status will inevitably worsen as cuts in government funding force curtailment of the amount and intensity of home care services being provided. Home Care Services The services provided by home care workers depend on the needs of the clients being served.
A most appreciated service is companionship and assisting the client to participate in recreational activities.
Many clients and the workers as well live in poor neighbourhoods where crime rates are high, public transportation often marginal and public services substandard.
Many live in deteriorated housing with no or non-functioning elevators, dark and dirty stairwells and hallways, lack of heat and hot water, dilapidated plumbing and poorly functioning household appliances.
Many of the clients may have very low levels of functional capacity and require assistance at every turn. Mental difficulties such as senile dementia, anxiety and depression and difficulties in communication because of memory loss and language barriers may also magnify the difficulty.
Finally, abusive and demanding behaviour on the part of both clients and their family members may sometimes escalate into acts of violence. Home Care Work Hazards Work hazards commonly encountered by home care workers include: Stress is probably the most ubiquitous hazard.
It is compounded by the fact the worker is usually alone in the home with the client with no simple way to report trouble or summon assistance. Stress is being exacerbated as cost-containment efforts are reducing the hours of service allowed for individual clients.
Prevention Strategies A number of strategies have been suggested to promote occupational health and safety for home care workers and to improve their lot.
Videotapes may be developed and used for skills demonstrations.
The meetings may be supplemented by telephone networks through which workers may communicate with each other to exchange information and alleviate any feelings of isolation.
Educational and training sessions should be conducted during working hours at a place and time convenient for the workers.
They should be supplemented by the distribution of instructional materials designed for the low educational levels of most of the workers and, when necessary, they should be multilingual. He was not regarded as having violent tendencies. After a few days he escaped from his secure ward. The hospital authorities were informed by his relatives that he had returned to his own house.
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