Promoting Integrity and Responsibility Among DSPs

by | Jan 28, 2021 | News

Sarah is a direct support professional who works with several other direct support professionals in a residential setting. Sarah works 3pm to 11pm shifts and is responsible for many aspects of supporting household maintenance and community living skills with the five people who live in this home. Obviously, this has been a challenge since the onset of the COVID19 pandemic.

Sarah was irritated one afternoon when she arrived and witnessed that one of her co-workers who works the morning shift was not wearing a face mask. Sarah asked her co-worker where her mask was, her co-worker responded that she can’t wear it because she gets dizzy and it makes her feel lightheaded whenever she wears it. Sarah’s co-worker also responded that she had asked the people they support if it was ok that she did not wear a mask. She indicated that everyone said they did not mind if she went without a mask.  

Sarah has an ethical dilemma and has several options to address it; ignore the situation and say or do nothing, share her concerns directly with her colleague who refuses to wear a mask, or take her concerns and alert this situation to her supervisor so proper protocols for COVID-19 can be followed. What should Sarah do? 

The NADSP Code of Ethics can help Sarah to understand and reflect on the ethical issues she is encountering in this situation. 

Code of Ethics Preamble Vision

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who support people in their communities are called upon to make independent judgments on a frequent basis that involve both practical and ethical reasoning. The people who assume this complex role must examine their own values and beliefs while honoring those of the people they support.

Code of Ethics: Integrity and Responsibility

As a DSP, I will support the mission and vitality of my profession to assist people in leading self-directed lives and to foster a spirit of partnership with the people I support, other professionals, and the community.

Furthermore, as a DSP, I will:

  • Be aware of my own values and how they influence my professional decisions.
  • Maintain competency in my profession through learning and ongoing collaboration with others.
  • Assume responsibility and accountability for my decisions and actions.
  • Advance my knowledge and skills through ongoing professional development and life-long learning.
  • Actively seek advice and guidance on ethical issues from others as needed to inform ethical decision-making.
  • Recognize the importance of modeling valued behaviors to co-workers, people I support, and the community at-large.
  • Practice responsible work habits.

Register For Our Webinar

How should Sarah navigate this ethical dilemma? Join us for a webinar on February 4th, 2021 from 2:00pm ET  – 3:00pm ET to gain insight into the role of integrity and responsibility in the work of direct support professionals.

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