A health care worker tells their story of first encountering Shared Care.
I looked upon shared care with a very negative attitude when I first heard about it. I didn’t want to take part or know anything about it. It would not work! It will be a waste of time me learning it. So I avoided it. I also felt left out because only certain staff appeared to be privy to what was happening, so I had the attitude of well if they can’t tell me, then I don’t want to know
After we started shared care in one bay, the bay became a no go area! For staff that didn’t know or didn’t regularly in that area. I certainly didn’t want to work in there. I didn’t know how to train a patient to care for themselves. The bay was also developing Button hole needle sites which is the complete opposite of what I had been taught for 15 years of my working life. I felt like an outsider when I was placed in this bay to work. In working life we have to do things on a professional basis and just GET ON WITH IT. I tried my best.
I slowly learned the Button hole technique but still found allowing patients to share my work difficult and time consuming. Eventually I was asked if I wanted to attend the study days all about shared care. I thought oh finally I might get to know a bit more and still not think it was a good thing, but at least I could make an informed decision. It did not happen that way.
I was not dragged kicking and screaming, we had a mini bus to take a group of us to Leeds (an adventure day out) We had different speakers of varying backgrounds. We had a patient that did shared care. He talked to us about his experiences and how shared care had improved his health and made his illness his and bearable. We had homework to do with our patients when we got back to the unit. This homework along with the 3 study days and working with patients who are in shared care has completely turned me around. To see the difference it makes to a person to be allowed to do as much or as little toward their care is quite astonishing. You see confusion, happiness, pride and better health in these patients. I feel pride and feel wanted in my workplace now. I freely speak to staff and patients about shared care.
I can tell you all proudly that I was a Non- Believer but now I Believe. I hope everyone has the experience I have had and that I can continue to work well with both my shared care patients and my non shared care patients, as they are both equally as important in my unit.