Did you know that this week is Direct Support Professional Recognition Week? We’re so excited to introduce you to just a few of the folks working as DSPs at Service Alternatives! The work of a DSP is very unique and in these next few interviews you can gain a glimpse into what a day in their life looks like. Stay tuned for more later this week!
Name: Rokiyatou “Ruki” Diko
Program: 30 – Coal Creek/North Gate House
Job Title: Direct Support Professional (DSP)
Can you explain your job title a little more in-depth? What does a Direct Support Professional do?
“Direct Support Professional is not just somebody who is there to do things for the client. It is a person who supports the clients with their Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) from sunrise to the sunset (nighttime as well!). DSP’s are one of the most important people in the client’s life. You should be there for the client and not for yourself. Apart from the boundaries set up by the company, there should not be any other boundaries between you and the clients. These required boundaries are there to help support the client, to make sure you meet the client’s needs and by the end of the day the client has completed his goals and all necessary items to keep them going with their best foot going forward.”
What did you do on yesterday’s shift?
“Yesterday was a quiet and relaxed shift. I worked at Coal Creek House with three, male clients. One of the clients had decided to spend time in his room, and the other two were just sitting in the living room enjoying TV. The only movement we had was the evening routine; dinner, meds, and teeth brushing, which always takes time. Other than that, it was very quiet.”
How common is that?
“It depends! We had one client who said he wanted soda and to encourage him, we asked him if he wanted to walk to Safeway, and he said no. This happened 2 more times, with the same result and that is okay. We always want to support our clients, but with this client in particular, it is in his goal plan that if he wants soda, we need to walk to the store to get it. We are never denying him, but he needs to work with us to fulfill his wants.”
Out of everything that happened yesterday, was anything normal or typical?
“Normally on Sundays, nobody wants to do anything. The clients were able to rest and be home, and watch TV with family and friends. I would say it was just a normal day for them.”
Was there anything uncommon about yesterday? And if not, can you think of the last time that something uncommon did happen while on shift?
“It was pretty normal shift. We have only one person who can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. From the impression he gave me, it was a happy day for him. He had a huge stack of magazines, so he was happy. It might have actually been the first time I’ve seen him sitting down and watching TV with his roommates, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do that! Even when I was in the kitchen, I forgot he was there because he was just sitting in the living room. That was the most uncommon thing of day.”
How do you show a deep profound respect towards the clients you work with?
“By respecting their choices, their boundaries, and respecting them with their personal decisions. We have all the policies in place, and all the trainings we need for us to protect ourselves if anything might happen. The clients need to know that this is not about us, but about them and making sure we do everything to make them feel comfortable and to feel at home. We are all human beings and just because someone is a little bit different, doesn’t mean that they need to be treated any differently than you or I. When you are in their house, you need to respect it. If someone doesn’t want you in their living room, you don’t go in there. You always respect their wishes.”
If I could talk to some of your clients, what would they say are the ways that you show respect through the SA Values?
“I’m not a client, but I can do my best! The clients are their own people, I’m not sure but I would hope they would say, “She lets me make my own decisions and lets me do my own things, as long as it is in the realm of being safe.”
That’s all for now! Anna
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