Any advice for working with people who have a DD?
- 0Aug 4, '11 by MissMcCoyHello,
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.
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- 4Aug 7, '11 by HeartsomeRNI 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.
- 3Aug 7, '11 by virgo,student nurseIt 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.
- 3Dec 5, '11 by EvalinaI 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.