A Community Health Worker (CHW) has so much to offer his or her clients. There is a great deal of knowledge to obtain and then distribute to clients, coworkers, partner organizations, etc. Resources are not only the bread and butter of a CWHs work, they are the CHWs secret weapons.
CHW are well connected in their communities with services, programs and individuals that can best serve their clients, therefore it is essential to have an organized, accessible system in place. In order to be proficient at resource and service navigation, a CHW must know his or her client population, their specific needs, and the resources available to them.
Most resources will fall under general categories that are applicable to most clients. These include housing, food, transportation, baby supplies, etc. However, as a CHW, there will be times when you will need to tailor the resources that you provide to the clients you work with. Maybe your patient needs language services, access to rehab facilities, or information support groups and specialized counseling. As each patient is unique, so will the resources be in your resource arsenal. You can never have too many resources. In fact, it is better to have a resource and not need it, than come across a client that needs a specific resource and not have it.
No two clients are alike. Each will have his or her own strengths, weaknesses and learning styles. It is vital to consider these when choosing how to utilize, organize and present resources for client access. Assess if your clients seem to be visual or virtual thinkers and organizers. Are they asking you to email or print out paperwork? Here are some other considerations when gathering resources and making referrals for your clients or here are a few tips to keep in mind when navigating services for your clients.
One of the most important things to remember when creating or organization resources is to keep in mind that the people can be your greatest resource. You never know when you might need a favor. Make it a general practice to network, be kind and get to know people. Stay in contact with those connections. Be sure to follow up and speak with your clients after they utilize a resource. Quality is better than quantity, giving a client a resource that isn’t resourceful can reflect poorly on you and will not be an effective step on the journey to resolving your clients' problems.
Never underestimate the power of resources....They really are the CHWs secret weapon! A well fed stock of resources can truly make your job easier and enable your clients to gain self-sufficiency, confidence in their situation and show you to be the superhero that you are.
I hope you have found these tips helpful. For more tips on this topic, check out the full Professional Development Forum here. Be sure to be on the lookout for our next PDF. Connect with us on social media to stay up to date on all of the happenings with Umemba Health LLC.
Umemba Health, LLC equips front-line health workers though continuing education and professional development training. Our interactive and engaging virtual learning environment allow learners to quickly achieve results that are easily replicated in the real world. We believe investing in front-line health workers is a win-win for everyone producing positive results for workers, employers, and communities. Find out more about Umemba Health, LLC by visiting us at www.umembahealth.com
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