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Nurses need to consider residents’ dignity in personal care

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Nurses need to think about intimate and personal care as more than just a physical activity according to Julie ClarkPhD student at Thames Valley University.

Ms Clarke presented some of the results of an ethnographic study into personal and intermediate care for people with sever and profound intellectual disabilities at the Association of Continence Advice annual conference.

She identified a failure to maintain privacy and dignity, for example, care staff talked about residents continence problems in front of other and used inappropriate language to describe elimination. A possible explanation is that staff perceive continence care as a job that has to be done with performance measured in terms of the quantity of the work completed rather than the quality.

She suggested that continence care for people with severe learning disabilities could be improved if staff understood how to make intimate and personal care a positive and pleasurable experience rather than focus on physical aspects of care and getting the job done.

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