Direct Support Professional working with ID/DD individuals

  1. Hello all,

    I know that this is not a nursing topic, but I work with nurses on a daily basis so I figured this would be a good place to ask for help.

    Anyways, I've been working at a medical group home for a month now. As a Direct Support Professional, my responsibility is to help disabled individuals become as independent as possible. Part of this job is to help improve the behaviors of individuals. The facility that I am working at is understaffed and it is difficult to help every resident at once (such as when they soil themselves or need help eating). When residents don't get help immediately, they start doing self-injury behaviors, such as biting themselves until they bleed, banging their head, and hitting themselves. Other times they hit us staff members and other residents, throw things, scream, curse, and cry hysterically.

    During orientation, I was told not to take these behaviors personally and to follow the protocols of the individuals. I feel that the protocols are not working and I get easily stressed by these bad behaviors at work. It has come to the point where I am ready to quit the job because the stress is taking a toll on me. I have lost about 7 pounds this month from stress and my skin has broken out with acne. I feel that if I work this job any longer my health will continue to decline.

    My coworkers have told me that this job is not for everyone and there is a high attrition rate. Which is why my agency has orientation classes every two weeks. I hate to be part of the statistics, but I want to leave my job. Can anyone who has ever worked in this field give me some advice? Thank you
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    About swimmingfever00

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 32; Likes: 21


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from swimmingfever00
    Can anyone who has ever worked in this field give me some advice?
    First of all, you seem like a caring person if the job is affecting you personally.

    My advice is to not take the behaviors of the developmentally disabled clients personally. Most do not know any better. Most will never attain a higher functional level than the one they've already achieved. Once you accept these realities, you will be able to realistically work within their limitations and perhaps make small strides.

    In addition, learn to compartmentalize effectively while providing competent care. Good luck to you!
  4. by   swimmingfever00
    Thanks for your help! There are aspects to my work which I enjoy. For instance, a few days ago I successfully helped a man urinate into his urinal without wetting himself. Up until that point, he would wet his underwear and my gloves, and it was an accomplishment that both of us shared. I guess this field of clients has its ups and downs and I am going to give work another try. Thanks again!
  5. by   hope3456
    Are you not able to request PRN medication (for example, lorazepam)for the clients when they are having behaviors? How many clients are you caring for at one time?