Caring skills and techniques


Caring skills and techniques

Carers have an enormous influence over the outcome of the care that they give. Their actions can have positive or negative effects

Positive effects include: 

  • Carers can take an individual out of their felling of isolation - increase self esteem
  • Carers can reduce distress
  • Carers can empower individuals and help them feel valued - making them feel more positive

Negative effects include:

  • Carers can push people into further isolation and distress
  • They can increase the feelings of disempowerment and worthlessness
  • Carers can take away an individual's dignity and respect - reducing self esteem - feel belittled
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Caring skills and techniques

  • Creating trust
  • Gaining compliance
  • Social perception
  • Showing Approval
  • Disengagement
  • Working Alongside
  • Physical contact
  • Encouraging
  • Setting Challenges
  • Distraction
  • Modelling
  • Observation
  • Safe working practices

(Carers, Gain, Social, Skills, During,Working-alongside, Patients. Every, Single, Day, Making, Others, Smile)

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  • Tries to motivate and support the individual through difficult times and procedures
  • Encourage individuals to reinforce behaviour that increases their health. 
  • Priases and encouragement increases the chances that behaviour will be repeated.
  • Carers should not remonstrate with individuals when their behaviour is not likely to increase their well-being.
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Showing Approval

  • Gives a positive response by smiling and giving praise (Seek approval) E.g. "well done" or "You look lovely today"
  • An indivual who is vunerable needs to be treated the same and it doesn't mean that we can cease to value individuals as unique with wants, needs and hope of their own. 
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Creating Trust

  • Builds relationships, maintaining confidentiality and being consistent. 
  • The individual judges the care worker to be reliable because they behave consistently.
  • Trust is vital if caring is to be true partnership between the carer and individual in their care. 
  • Develop special relationships when the individual reveals confidence. 
  • Share their feelings with someone they feel they can trust
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Gaining Compliance

  • Means getting someone to agree to a recommended course of action - Needs to get the indivual to do what is required.
  • Carer should explain why the request is being made and offer choices so that the indiviual feels empowered.
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Social Perception

  • A carer should always be able to recognise accurately on individuals feelings, needs and intensions. 
  • Often shown by facial expressions, posture, tone of voice and what is said.
  • Communication effectively - Must be eye to eye. 
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  • Medical observation -

Collective information by taking measurements. E.g. Temperature, pulse rate, BMI, blood sample and blood pressure. 

  • Visual Observation -

Noticing changes in behaviour, food intake and wakefulness. 

  • Carers need to be pro-active (Having a plan B) in the care of individuals. Means that they are anticipating or thinking ahead about what might happen.
  • Retro active means responding to a situation that has already happened.
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  • Means breaking an exchange or contact for a short period of time, perhaps by going to call someone else or moving to different location. 
  • Often has power to calm down a heated exchange, it can be temporary withdrawal from the individual if they are hostile.
  • Carers should not storm out or slam doors, should walk calmly away. This enables an individual to calm down and gives them 'time out'.
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  • Used to manage temporary pain and anxiety. 
  • If individuals concentrate o discomfort then the feeling of discomfort increases. However, if their attention is focussed on something else, the pain decreases and stress is reduces. 
  • A care worker may also teach an individual to develop their own distration techniques
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Physical Contact

  • When appropriate, touching a hand or arm may convey a caring attitude providing comfort and support.
  • A direct look with a smile and a touch will also show you approve of the situation. 
  • A carer can touch a hand, an arm or cuddle. However, the actions can be misunderstood.
  • Physical contact provides appropriate phychological security or approval. 
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  • Means showing only socially acceptable behaviour in a situation in the hope that individuals will learn to act in a similar way.


  • carers always seem to be bright and happy. 
  • Parents with young children always use pedestrian crossing to cross the road
  • Carers always saying 'please' and 'thank you'.
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Working Alongside

  • This is where the care worker does the same activity as the individual in order to provide motivation and encouragement. 
  • By taking part in the activity the carer is considered more of an equal and less of a treat.
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Setting Challenges

  • Involves suggesting achieveable tasks and activities that will stimulate the individual to improve their abilities, skills and confidence. An individual's belief can restrict their activities. 
  • A carer's role is to set achieveable goals to overcome such beliefs. 
  • Targets should always have a purpose and they are more likely to be successful when individuals clearly understand the reasons for their benefits. E.g. A physiotherapist will set challenges to get someone walking again. 
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Safe Working Practices

Guidelines for safe working practices are found in:

  • The management of health and safety at work regulation 1999
  • The health and safety at work act 1974

Special Training for carers:

  • Training in lifting techniques.
  • Hygiene practices.
  • Maintaining own safety.
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