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A Learning Exercise for Aged Care Workers “Dorothy’s Story” Next.

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Presentation on theme: "A Learning Exercise for Aged Care Workers “Dorothy’s Story” Next."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Learning Exercise for Aged Care Workers “Dorothy’s Story” Next

2 Instructions This exercise presents a common type of complaint that you may encounter as an aged care worker. The exercise is a “choose your own adventure” presentation designed for you to complete at your own pace and in your own time. Some slides will ask you to STOP and think. Some slides will ask you to choose your response to a situation or describe the next step you would take. Move from slide to slide by clicking your mouse or using the arrow keys on your keyboard. Next

3 Dorothy’s story Dorothy is 82 years old and lives at your service. At a client meeting, Dorothy complains that a number of her laundry items are being returned not ironed. At your meeting, you seek to clarify the issues concerning her. You find out that she wants her underwear, singlets, nighties and socks to be ironed. Next

4 Dorothy’s Story You discuss Dorothy’s concerns with other staff members. Your colleagues express concerns that they are: expected to make individual judgement calls on the preferences of individual clients expected to remember which items are to be ironed, and how clients like those items to be ironed. You clarify and document Dorothy’s ironing preferences and instruct staff to iron her clothes accordingly. You decide to clarify the ironing preferences of all residents. What is your next step to address Dorothy’s concerns?

5 Dorothy’s Story After clarifying Dorothy’s concerns, you document her ironing preferences in her care plan and ask staff to follow these instructions. This means staff will not have to make a decision on how to iron Dorothy’s clothes. Dorothy is happy that her clothes are being ironed according to her preferences. She feels respected and is happy that her concerns are taken seriously by the service. Next

6 Dorothy’s Story While Dorothy is satisfied, staff members continue to stress about having to make judgement calls about which clothes to iron for other residents. Another resident complains to the service that they are unhappy with some of their clothes not being ironed. The service now has to deal with another complaint. Some staff members have also complained about being stressed to their supervisor. Refer to the Better Practice Guide to learn about effective communication skills for complaint handling, including the management of stress of parties involved (page 15). Next

7 Dorothy’s Story As part of your approach to resolving concerns, you think it’s a good idea to raise the issue of ironing at the next monthly service meeting. This approach allows you to find out if ironing is an issue affecting other residents and presents a good opportunity to involve residents and staff in identifying a resolution. You talk about Dorothy’s concerns at the next service meeting to find out everyone’s preferences. You decide to talk to Dorothy first about your idea and the approach you want to take to resolve it. What is your next step?

8 Dorothy’s Story You raise the topic with staff members and residents at the meeting to find out everyone’s preferences. During the meeting, you mention that Dorothy has made a complaint and that you would like to find out other residents’ preferences. Residents express their ironing preferences, which are documented in care plans. Staff members receive a list of preferences and are relieved that they don’t have to make judgement calls. How do you think Dorothy will react? Next

9 Dorothy’s Story A follow-up survey reveals that almost all residents are happy about the facility’s improved ironing services. The staff members are also happy that they are involved in the process of deciding on an approach to satisfy the residents. What about Dorothy? Do you think she’s happy with this resolution to her concerns? Next

10 Dorothy’s Story Dorothy was not told that her complaint would be discussed at a meeting. She feels betrayed and is worried that she is now seen as a ‘troublemaker’. Dorothy’s family lodges a complaint to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme (the Scheme) and warns other residents that your service doesn’t respect confidentiality. The Better Practice Guide highlights the complainant’s right to confidentiality and privacy (page 9). It is important that these rights are respected. How could you have discussed Dorothy’s concerns at a meeting without disrespecting her confidentiality? Next

11 Dorothy’s Story You assure Dorothy that her complaint will remain confidential and she agrees for you to raise this issue at the monthly service meeting. You raise the issue and facilitate an open discussion where residents and staff can share their views. All residents express their ironing preferences and these are documented for staff. Staff are relieved that they won’t have to guess or make judgment calls anymore. How do you think Dorothy may feel about this approach to resolve her concerns? Next

12 Dorothy’s Story One month later, you conduct a follow up survey with residents that reveals everyone’s happy with the new arrangements. Staff also confirm that they are less stressed. You suggest to the facility manager that ironing preferences are added to information collected at intake for new residents to minimise opportunities for similar complaints to be made in the future. The Better Practice Guide highlights: the importance of confidentiality during an investigation (page 9), the need to follow up with complaints and seek feedback to ensure they are happy (page 11), and opportunities to consider systemic improvements (page 24). Next

13 Thanks for completing this learning exercise. This learning exercise is part of the Better Practice Guide to Complaint Handling in Aged Care designed to support aged care workers. Find the guide at

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