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Care Worker Wellbeing

May 1, 2018

Care workers across the aged and disability sectors support our most vulnerable community members with compassion and skill. Justine Evesson and Sarah Oxenbridge from Employment Research Australia have compiled an excellent report and practice guide for workers and managers to better understand how they can support each other and prevent undue stress and burnout for carers. By taking better care of their employees, organisations also reduce staff turn-over, additional time and resources spent on recruitment & training and can provide more consistent quality of care for their clients.

The most commonly experienced stressful impacts on care workers include:

  • Emotionally demanding and complex clients
  • Poor worker management such as insufficient and variable work hours, rostering issues or lack of open and responsive communication
  • Compromised quality of care for clients due to insufficient staff numbers or time allocated for the client’s needs
  • Low pay rates
  • Lack of respect and recognition for the valuable care work undertaken

Employer practices that can mitigate these impacts and improve job quality and satisfaction include:

  • Supportive and receptive management and administration staff with an understanding of what care workers do on a day-to-day basis
  • Ongoing respectful and responsive communication
  • De-briefing sessions for staff post stressful client encounters
  • A buddy-system for care workers to support each other
  • Team self-rostering
  • Better use of available technology to facilitate transparent communication and organisation
  • Rosters that are responsive to both client and employee needs
  • Equitable distribution of work hours across care workers
  • Encouraging care workers to take leave and have time to renew their natural capacity for caring
  • Above award pay rates
  • Bringing care workers together for paid meetings and important connection time with each other
  • Encouraging and acting on client care improvement suggestions from care workers

The full report and excellent guide for reducing care worker stress can be found here Report and Guide.

 

 

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