Home Care Dangers and Risks
I have been a homecare therapist off and on for almost 9 years. During those years I have experienced a wide variety of interactions with people from varied communities. I've treated children in homes and childcare facilities in affluent, middle class and impoverished areas. Recently, there has been an increase in gun violence during daytime hours in one of the areas where my co-workers and I treat on a daily basis. Concern is rising not only at work but within our surrounding communities. At our last staff meeting our supervisor and the staff took time to problem-solve how to hopefully prevent being caught in the throes of a violent outbreak.
Here are some of the ideas we came up with and discussed:
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings - This is essential and can definitely help prevent dangerous situations from happening. Look around and take note of suspicious activity, people arguing or anything that looks like it could be a potentially treacherous scenario.
- Trust Your Gut - If a situation feels unsafe or your instincts are kicking in and telling you to flee the scene or avoid it all together, it is important to listen. Although we are there to perform a service, we are not expected to risk our lives to complete this task.
- Keep Your Phone Handy - Keep your phone on your person so that it is always with you in case an emergency situation should arise.
- Co-Treat with Other Therapists/Special Instructor - As my mother used to say, there is often safety in numbers. The challenge here is to make sure the therapeutic model remains intact and therapy is still beneficial to both the child and the family.
- Add Social Work to the Team - This is appropriate if the family desires the added service and is concerned about their own safety as well. A social worker can help provide a wide variety of resources for a family, including helping them look for a safer place to live.
- Attend Additional Trainings - Knowing how to handle a dangerous work environment will be instrumental if faced with a hazardous and even deadly situation. Attending trainings and seminars that educate service providers about such issues can really make all the difference.
Would love to hear from readers about this issue and if you are faced with this challenge in the workplace.
Please write in and share your experiences and advice!