A stern face is off-putting. A person who is moody and unpredictable is difficult to approach. The approachable person smiles, doesn’t over react to situations or exaggerate, use harsh words or sarcasm. He/she is ready and willing to listen without judgement and talk through the issue with you.
One of the characteristics necessary to work as a HCA is to be approachable, another way of expressing this is to have good interpersonal skills. Being able to interact with people, to glean from them their worries and concerns and to be able to comfort and reassure them as necessary.
People in hospital are in an unfamiliar environment. They may be anxious; the approachable HCA or Nurse who can ease their anxiety by communicating with them, explaining the treatment process, relieves the anxiety making the situation bearable for the patient who is now more likely to co-operate.
In the residential care centre the new patient, with or without a cognitive disability, will be feeling lost, out of their comfort zone. To be greeted and welcomed by a warm smile and friendly demeanor will mean a lot. This is a person the new resident will feel they can approach without hesitation.
It is often more important to take the time to answer a question or to comfort a person than to complete a task. An unhappy, lonely patient doesn’t care if the sink is not cleaned or the bed isn’t properly made. That doesn’t give the HCA a license to be sloppy, this is where good judgement comes into play. The tasks can be done around the emotional care of the patient.