Human Factors or Human Performance Limitations is an integral part of Aviation, an industry I am very familiar with and spent most of my adult life in before starting my new journey helping people find their perfect live-in carers with Access Care. I would like to share this knowledge and apply the benefits to the live-in care industry to help our carers be the best they can be and continuously deliver excellent service to our clients.
Despite the advances in technology and engineering human error, rather than mechanical failure, is still the cause of most aviation accidents and incidents. This statement also rings true for most other industries.
The term ‘Human Factors’ refers to the “application of scientific knowledge, mostly from the human sciences of psychology, anthropology, physiology and medicine, to the design, construction, operation, management and maintenance of products and systems”. This principle has also been adopted by the healthcare industry which “focus on optimising human performance through better understanding the behaviour of individuals, their interactions with each other and with their environment. By acknowledging human limitations, Human Factors offers ways to minimise and mitigate human frailties, so reducing medical error and its consequences.”
The question is, how is this relevant to me as a live-in carer?
Performance Limitation Elements
Let’s look at some of the elements used in aviation and equate it to the day to day activities in live-in care work:
Fatigue - Fatigue can be either mental or physical in nature and reduces alertness and often reduces your ability to focus and hold attention on the task being performed as a live-in carer. Being exposed to an environment which asks you to be on-the-go most of the time, will cause fatigue. Disrupted sleep patterns, which causes physical fatigue, can occur when a live-in carer starts with a new client or needs to get up several times a night to take care of the client. Make sure you are getting enough rest and are taking regular breaks so you are not at risk of being tired or worn out when it comes to looking after your live-in care client.
Lack of communication – Not communicating, language barriers or accent. This could lead to frustration and holds the potential for misunderstanding between a live-in carer and your client. Our friendly team of advisors at Access Care is here to support all our live-in carers and keep an effective open line of communication between you and your client will help us providing the best service to both of you.
Complacency – “I have always done it this way” is not always the best way to do things. Being openminded to new care techniques, recurrent live-in carer training and research will keep you competent and efficient in doing your work.
Lack of knowledge – This is quite self-explanatory, you cannot do something if you do not know how to do it. Caring for someone is a big responsibility and cannot be done if you do not have the skills, knowledge or attitude to do it. We have live-in carer training courses available for you to attend whether you are new to live-in care, or need a top up on your knowledge. Find out more about our live-in carer training courses here.
Distraction - Distractions can also be mental or physical in nature. A distraction can range from something as simple as a mobile phone call while you are busy to a personal issue such as finances or family matters. Communication in this instance is crucial - let our team know and we will be there to support you.
Stress – is ever present in normal life and we have learned to deal with daily challenges. Stress levels however increase with change which in the case of a carer can be quite significant. Being in a different country with dissimilar cultures and language is already a considerable change which exponentially increases when living in someone else's home. Any of the other factors that affects human performance limitations will further increase stress.
Dealing With The Elements
The benefit of using this knowledge as a live-in carer is to attempt to reduce the probability of human error and therefore the likelihood of negative consequences while providing care for a client.
Client safety is an essential part of live-in care and all effort should be made to prevent avoidable errors. Being aware of the elements that can affect you and how to deal with them will make the systems of live-in care more reliable and increase the quality of live-in care provided for your client.
We are always on the lookout for kind, caring, warm-hearted individuals who are looking to work as a self-employed live-in carer. If this sounds like you, call our Recruitment team on 0800 980 3958 (freephone) or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org