My name is Conor and I am a support worker at our domiciliary services in Claudy, just outside of Derry/Londonderry. When I first started to work for Potens, I was uncertain as to how I was going to perform as a Support Worker or if I was going to make a positive impact on people’s lives. This was my first support worker role and I was nervous! After working in Claudy for the last year, all of that nervousness and anxiety has left, I love my job!
There are 8 permanent members of staff in our team, who on a day to day basis take care and support an individual with complex needs. The care we provide is 24 hours per day and there is a set routine for staff to follow in order to fulfil the care that is required.
Each day staff complete a staff handover sheet so that staff beginning their shift, which is at 2 pm, are up to date on what has happened the day before. There are always 2 members of staff available – this includes sleeping in hours too. This allows the individual to feel safe and know that there is always someone there if he needs any help or assistance during the night.
When I begin my shift I usually familiarise myself with what needs to be done for that day and make sure the person we support is in a comfortable environment. The individual has two conditions which can be challenging in his daily life; these are Autism and Fragile X. We strive to ensure he is comfortable by reducing stimulus and anxiety, through the use of T.E.A.C.H program. Basically T.E.A.C.H is a schedule which plans day to day routine through the use of visually aided cards.
The term Autism has lots of different characteristics associated to it. For the person we support it is all about structure and making sure he knows what is next on his schedule – helping him through the day – as the unknown can cause him anxiousness and uncertainty.
The person we support also has difficulties with decision making so, as a team, we help him make choices – ensuring his needs are paramount at all times. This could be anything from, washing clothes, grocery shopping, buying new clothes, and medication management. This process is methodical and is structured for staff so our client receives the best care.
Potens have given me the essential knowledge and training required to fulfil my job to the best I can do. I have learned so much over the past 12 months, and now believe I am making a real difference in people`s lives. This is through the help and support from Potens and I am thankful for this and always will be.
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