When dealing with service users it can be helpful to remember these few points:
· We all live in anxiety: awareness of breathing is the only proven remedy. Everybody can behave differently in different or unfamiliar environments. As a paid professional, YOU WILL NEED TO TAILOR YOUR BEHAVIOUR to suit the individual’s needs to deliver excellent service.
Speech and tonal qualities vary based on cultural andenvironmental norms, so be aware of space and touching. Body language and tone give us a great insight into the international language of EMOTION.
DIVERSITY& DISABILITY ISSUES
Some conditions, illnesses and syndromes can cause people tonaturally appear aggressive (i.e. hearing impairments may cause a person to have a louder speaking voice) or behaviour could be caused by a person’s coping mechanisms (fatigue or anxiety) when in a public environment.
Many impaired service users are mistakenly (and regularly) assumed to be drunk, having substance abuse issues or unable to understand/comprehend simple information. Speak directly to the person (not the carer and/or the random stranger standing next to them) when offering assistance e.g. “Does he need me to write this down for him?”
If in doubt, always offer extra assistance and/or inform securityto help the individual (as well as their carer) to have some time and space where they can organise themselves.
ANGRY& AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOURS
When angry, a service user generally sees themselves (even if itis briefly) as THE VICTIM. Check into yourself to make sure you are not getting defensive or angry back. When we get angry and demonstrate it to the other person…you have immediately lost the argument…even IF YOU ARE RIGHT!
· Being neutral as possible will help to alleviate their anger quicker
· Set boundaries and limits (ifnecessary)
· Under-promise and over-deliver
USE PACR FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE SITUATIONS:
· PAUSE: to breathe and plan your next steps
· ACKNOWLEDGE THE KNOWN FACTS
· CLARIFY POSITIONS: get them to acknowledgetheir position
· RESPOND (avoid REACTING using fight or flight)