Working with Keyworkers of Elderly Patients
Shortly after starting at the hospital a few of the long-stay patients were referred to me by the consultant physician or the care group manager. I proposed taking up the referrals by working with the patients’ keyworkers as a form of some in-service support and training for the keyworking system. The keyworker was the member of care staff designated as responsible for a particular patient, particularly for getting to know the patient and for working with the patient whenever the staff member was on duty. My proposal to work with the keyworkers was welcomed by management and staff. I saw the task as thinking with the keyworker about their patient’s emotional experience of being in long-stay care. I aimed to offer support to the keyworkers by giving some space for them to talk about their own feelings and by helping them understand that some of the feelings they experienced could be unconscious communications from their patients.
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