Any advice for working with people who have a DD?

  1. Hello,
    I have next to no experience working with people who have developmental disabilities.
    I am going to start in a group home next week. The clients are adults with pretty severe disabilities. I would really like some words of wisdom before I start training.
    I am scared that my fears and drawbacks may show through. I really want to help these people. The experience will be great. I am just hoping I can deliver the best client care I can and that this fear with in myself will dissolve.

  2. Visit MissMcCoy profile page

    About MissMcCoy

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 154; Likes: 34
    Stay at home wife and mother; from CA


  3. by   HeartsomeRN
    I too had no experience with DD nursing before I started, and it has been a year and a half and all is well. I do a lot of paper work and delegation. My suggestion to you would be to get on the floor as much as possible. I often procrastinate my paper work so I can interact with the clients. I even try to give medication as often as possible (in my state unlicensed staff can give meds). I'm sure you will be just fine.
  4. by   virgo,student nurse
    It may benefit you, to find out what disabilities your clients have. I have clients who don't talk, but can follow verbal direction VERY well.

    Always talk to them even if u think they can't hear you. Remember if a client is showing behaviors that they normally don't show, they may be sick or in pain. Non verbal clues are key sometimes. Best of luck.
  5. by   goats'r'us
    have a sense of humour.
  6. by   Evalina
    I have a lifetime of experience with DD, as I have an older brother with Down's. That was what led me into DD nursing. This thing that can seem so odd to others, so uncomfortable or unfortunate, is life as I and my family have always known it. Pre-nursing, I worked in a group home with the severely impaired. Some were non-verbal, none were ambulatory. I remember walking in the first day thinking "I know what to say to people who can talk, but what am I supposed to do with this?" I quickly learned that sincerity and unfailing politeness and respect are the real keys.

    As someone pointed out, humor also counts for a lot. It's difficult to take yourself so seriously when you work with people who often don't take you seriously at all.

    If you're still at this job, you should be a few months in. I hope you've found your way. I love my clients, I love the weirdness of the job, and the way it highlights how human all of us are. Please, tell us how it's going if you get a chance.