How might professional workers misuse power in ways that are harmful to clients? Describe ways that the potential for power misuse could be minimised.

Essay by sophia_nicholUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, September 2004

download word file, 7 pages 4.3 1 reviews

Downloaded 92 times

"Carers tend to hold various kinds of power and those being cared for tend to be vulnerable to misuse of that power" (Unit 20, p123).

In this essay I shall explain how professional workers may misuse power in ways that could harm clients or service users. I will use relevant course materials to identify a range of examples of power misuse and look at ways in which to minimise this and demonstrate how they would operate.

Misuse of power can happen when a professional person takes control of a situation. People on the receiving end of power misuse feel powerless. Brown and Turk (Offprint 26) suggest that children and vulnerable adults can be subject to sexual abuse because of an abuse of power. These vulnerable people are usually in care and because of their special needs, the carers have access to their bodies beyond what would be considered typical (Offprint 26, p114).

One example of power misuse could be when a professional makes judgements about a client sometimes without looking at their personal life. If someone visits their doctor about feelings of unhappiness for example, the doctor would be inclined to look at the medical, model otherwise known as the biomedical model, to diagnose what is wrong with their patient rather than looking for reasons why their patient is feeling this way. This can lead to medication being prescribed, as the medical model would imply that there is a chemical disturbance in the brain (p150). Therefore many women who are suffering from Post Natal Depression feel that medical help is inappropriate and that it can lead to them being labelled 'mentally ill' or even their baby being taken away. (Unit 20, p137) When a person visits their doctor they are not treated as an individual hence why situations like these...