g) WorkersNext h)

i) Workers

A key to working with a person with an ABI is building a relationship with them.

As noted earlier it is important to not make assumptions. Working with people with acquired brain injury can be difficult.

  • It can be hard to get to know them.
  • It can take time to get to know them.
  • Behaviours can be difficult to deal with.

As one worker put it.

Everyone is different. Everyone has got different problems and everyone has got different attitudes and you never try and make any judgment. Basically you try to accept them as they are and deal with it.

At first it takes a while for them to trust you. That's the biggest issue. They tend to become a bit aggressive at first, or shy away from you, don't want to know. Sometimes they don't even want to listen to you. And that's a big problem because that kind of puts you on the back step to try to help them... especially if you are new.

Working with people with ABI can be challenging. Workers have to understand what pushes their buttons so they can develop strategies to respond appropriately.

As one worker put it:

I think the biggest challenge for me at first was when they become abusive. And sometimes it becomes very personal. And it is hard to kind of ignore it because there are a lot of bad words thrown around at you, they might become more aggressive and push you or they might decide to ignore you or yell at you or even in public is another big issue where they have become very aggressive in public and they might even embarrass you.

And it makes it very hard to deal with. You have to not take it personally. I think it is basically that you just kind of click off and just accept he's got a brain injury and don't worry about what other people think, just focus on him, and it usually goes all right.

Rules of thumb

  1. Take time to get to know the person and their uniqueness.
  2. Understand the connections between the injury, effect on their brain and effect on their behaviour.
  3. You don't have to take behaviours personally.
  4. Understand what pushes your buttons and develop strategies for dealing with this.
  5. Understand your role with the person with ABI.
  6. Identify your professional support network.

 

ii) Clip 1 : Andrew's Support Worker : Challenges. (1min)

The challenges of being a support worker.
(This video clip is also included in Module 1)

     

iii) Clip 19 Scott's Worker : Role & What Others See (1 min 45 sec)

Scott's worker talking about his role and how other people see Scott.

     

iv) Clip 9 : Ian's Support Worker : Not Personal (1 min 45 sec)

It is important not to take things personally when working with people with ABI.
(This video clip is also included in Module 1)

     

v) Clip 21 Wassa's Support Worker 2: Tips for new workers (1 min)

Wassa's support worker suggesting tips for new workers.
(This video clip is also included in Module 1)

     

vi) Questions

Answer the following questions:

You have a group of workers who are working with people with acquired brain injury. This group seems to be more stressed than the group of workers you have working with people in other areas of your service.

You are running a discussion with the staff members.

What questions might be useful for starting the discussion?
What are some of the points you might want to make during the course of the discussion?

Check your answer here: What questions might be useful for starting the discussion?


1. How are ABI clients different from the other clients our service works with?

2. Pick one of your clients and talk about how you are getting to know them.

3. What behaviours do you find difficult? What strategies are you using? What else might be useful?

4. What gains have you seen? What gains are you expecting?

5. What pushes your buttons? How do you deal with this?

Check your answer here: What are some of the points you might want to make during the course of the discussion?


1. Take time to get to know the person and their uniqueness.

2. Understand the connections between the injury, effect on their brain and effect on their behaviour.

3. You don't have to take behaviours personally.

4. Understand what pushes your buttons and develop strategies for dealing with this.

5. Understand your role with the person with ABI.

6. Identify your professional support network.