Keeping Social Workers safe during COVID-19
Around Australia, we are starting to see the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdowns easing. Life is slowly but surely returning to normal. But it’s not the same ‘normal’ we knew before the pandemic.
So what changed for Social Workers during COVID-19? And what has the allied health industry learned about safeguarding Carers and Social Workers in tough times?
Why Carers and Social Workers must be supported
Social Workers and Carers play a vital role in ensuring the health and welfare of Australia’s most vulnerable people:
- Elderly in residential care or independent living
- Disabled and mobility impaired
- At-risk young people
- Recovering drug and alcohol addicts
- Victims of domestic violence and abuse
The coronavirus pandemic shone a bright light on the dedication, ingenuity, and diligence of workers in these sectors. It also highlighted how stretched Aged Care and Home Care workforces are. With new rules limiting the number of people who could be together, and important health and hygiene guidelines changing the way we interact, there were a few unforeseen challenges for people working in residential care and community roles.
After COVID-19 Social Workers, Aged Carers and Counsellors are needed in greater numbers than ever before. As the allied health industry looks ahead, what can we expect from the coronavirus fallout?
How life will look from now on
Only 6 months ago, you might have been forgiven for being flippant about personal space or things as minor as handwashing. But now we all know how to look after our health:
- Regular hand washing
- Wearing face masks in public
- Maintaining 1.5 metres distance
- Limiting large social gatherings
- Restricting travel to essential movement
But what about those people in residential or home care situations, for whom regular contact is necessary for healthcare? Things like massage therapy, medical attention, physical support, medication, home visits and travel for specialist appointments must all continue.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Aged Carers and Social Workers during COVID-19 led the way in safe and effective treatment, working with Doctors and medical staff to make the necessary adjustments without compromising the patients’ health.
And for those Social Workers providing community programs, the pivot to online delivery was both swift and admirable.
So in the future, we are likely to see more telehealth programs rolling out around Australia, as well as an added layer of health protection for people in care environments.
One thing that won’t change, however, is the dedication of Social Workers, Aged Carers and other allied health professionals to the well-being of the people who rely on them.
Interested in becoming a Social Worker after COVID-19? TrainSmart Australia offers industry-leading online courses to give you a head start on an exciting new career path. Browse our Health and Community Services courses or contact us to request more information.