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Healthcare Assignment: Professional Workers Vs. Disabled People


Healthcare Assignment Task:
“Traditionally professional workers have defined, planned and delivered the services, while disabled persons have been passive recipients with little if any opportunity to exercise control …” (French, 1994, p.103)1

  1. Discuss the historical context against which professional workers came to be the ‘givers’ and disabled people the ‘receivers’.
  2. Analyse 1 (one) service that is offered within your profession, and critically discuss the factors that impact on the relationship between professionals/service providers and disabled people who make use of that service.
  3. How can the relationship between professionals/service providers and disabled people become always more ‘equal’?


Answer 1:
According to the research on healthcare assignment, in modern social settings there has been a widespread notion of the professional-workers being the “givers” and the disabled population as the “receiver” (Saur, & Sidorkin, 2018). It is the general belief of the society that disabled people cannot contribute towards the wellbeing of the society because of their disabilities and are only capable of “receiving”, in terms of support, care, services and others (Saur, & Sidorkin, 2018). Whereas, the professional workers are generally considered as the “givers”, who work towards “giving” back something to the society and contribute towards its wellbeing. This discrimination has been a common factor in all eastern or western societies, not just historically, but also in modern social settings (Clough, 2021). This misconception that the disable people cannot contribute towards the society and can only continue receiving doles has led to widespread discrimination, sometimes causing breaches of social and civil rights. This discrimination has roots in social and political discrimination all throughout western societies like in the United States of America, in European countries like the United Kingdom, Malta and others.

Currently, the redefinition and emergence of disability as an issue of civil rights has gained significant traction, due to widespread activism by various civil rights advocate. However, historically, the matter has been ignored due to various economic and socio-political reasons. Various historical contexts can be cited where the disabled people, whether born disabled or suffering from disabilities due to accidents, war and others, had to face severe discrimination and social ostracism. For example, caring and nursing was considered as a valuable professional service and the nurses and the professional caregivers were regarded as the “givers”. In the latter half of the 18th Century, two phenomena took place which solidified this notion, the “Nightingale influence” and the American Civil War. The soldiers suffering grievous injuries, facing amputation and others were cared for by nurses working for the Union in the US and famously by Florence Nightingale in the UK when she was caring for the wounded and disabled soldiers, inured during the Crimean War (Clough, 2021). The widespread adulation and appreciation that the nurses and professional caregivers got caused an opposite reaction too, the wounded and disabled people came to be regarded as receivers.

Since that time period, various civil rights advocates have been trying to change that dogma. In social settings, or be it professional settings, disabled people are discriminated upon and the fit and abled professional workers are regarded to be superior and provided much better pay and working conditions (Clough, 2021). For example, according to a case studyconducted in the North of England, it was revealed that disabled people face institutional discrimination (Farndon, 2021). The case study was known as the “GP Practice” and set in a building in the early 90s in England. There were no lifts to the upper-floors in the building which made it nearly impossible for disabled people to access the floors for personal or professional reasons. This might have been cited to be negligence on the part of the designers of the building if not for the fact some partial steps were taken to include some facilities for the disabled people, like automatic toilets and doors. However, the “partial” consideration was considered to be a discriminatory transgression, even in European countries like Malta. This highlights as to why the disabled people were regarded as “receivers” and abled workers as “givers”, despite the fact that the disabled people were not give fair chances to prove their worth.

2. Analysis of service and factors affecting relationship
One of the services that are provided by podiatrists is the treatment of the limbs of the foot. This is one of most complicated services as it is related to the walking and standing of the patients. It is important to focus on the different aspects of the patients and the injury. It is also essential to understand the complications that are being faced by the patients. This will help in improving the possibility of cure for the patients in the healthcare sector of Malta. This service includes the proper assessment of the condition of the patient and modification of the services on the basis of the impact on the patient. The service of taking care of the limbs helps the patients but for the same it is important to understand d the improvement of the patients. The progress of the patients will help in evaluation of impact of the services.

There are multiple deformities of the limbs which are needed to be focused on and understood before treating the same (Nester et al. 2018). The nature of the deformity is important to be understood and in addition to this the duration since when the deformity has been present is also to be taken into consideration. Often these deformities lead to acute pain and on other instances they are painless. However, they prevent the patients from walking or standing. These deformities and damages to the limbs can be since birth or due to certain accidents. It is the duty of the podiatrist to diagnose the injury and suggest proper treatment methods which can be exercises or development of casts that can help in healing the injured area.

Thereare major factors that impact the relationshipbetween the patients and the podiatrists. The relationship between the patients and podiatrist needs to be confidential which the primary target of the podiatrist is. Being a part of the healthcare system, confidentiality is the key to their profession. As per the professional ethics it is crucial to improve the trust of the customers or patients in the healthcare sector of Malta. This can lead to enhanced opportunities of success for the cure of the patients. In addition to this another major aspect is that there needs to be mutual trust between the podiatrist and the patients which will help in proper assessment of the conditions and increase the goodwill of the podiatrist in the healthcare departments. This allows in treating more patients and in the long run is likely to benefit the patients as well. Without proper trust it is not possible for the relationship between the podiatrist t and the patients. As the situation of the patients are critical in this situation and the conditions are related to the health and safety. It is important that they maintain a level of trust.

In addition to having trust another major factor that helps in the development of relationship between the patients and the podiatrist is the level of knowledge that the podiatrist has in the medical services sector in Malta. It is important that the podiatrist has the knowledge relate to the work that is conducted by the podiatrist. Without having adequate knowledge the podiatrist will not be able to diagnose and provide suggestion or cure to the patients. Every patient wishes to get treated by an expert who has knowledge of what is being done by them (Halford & Cohen, 2018). The knowledge of the podiatrist will help them get more goodwill and attract more patients to them. It is important that the podiatrist have experience related to the work that is being done by them. With more experience they are likely to gain the faith and trust of the patients. In addition to this it will also help them in improving their operations and the diagnosis that is being conducted by them.

Regards and loyalty are other factors that help in developing a strong relation between the patients and the podiatrist. It is important to focus on the proper understanding of the needs to the patients and target the same. The podiatrists need to focus on the paying attention to the needs and demands of the patients this helps the patients develop a sense of trust and feel comfortable in the presence of the podiatrist. The regards that is provided by the podiatrist for the patients is absolutely essential for developing a strong relation. In addition to this the loyalty of the podiatrist towards their patients is developed by comfortable approach of the podiatrist and the regards received by them. The key to a strong connection is developed by proper communication. It is the key to any relation and the services that are provided by the podiatrist.

The podiatrist needs to focus on understanding the mindset of the patients and also assess the level of discomfort that is being faced by them. Based on the same the communication needs to be done. The approach of the podiatrist helps in proper assessment of the conditions and allow in developing a sense of trust between the patient and the podiatrist. The podiatrist needs to be careful while dealing with the multiple patients and their varied way of communication. Some patients might be introvert while other might be extrovert. The podiatrist needs to help them in gaining confidence and trust in the services (Farndon, 2021). This will allow the patients to open up. This is important for gaining essential information that is required for the services provided by the podiatrist. The services of the podiatrist required them to know about the daily routine of the patients and the discomfort that is being faced by the patients. The level of pain and the other related issues that are faced by them are needed to be understood.

The factors including, trust and knowledge of the podiatrist helps in developing a strong relation that is important to address the issues that are aced by the patient it is important that the patients feel a sense of loyalty in the approach of the podiatrist ad this will help in a long term connection. This connection will allow the podiatrist to instigate the patients in performing the exercise and the other tasks that will improve their disabilities and damaged of limbs.

Answer 3:
The relationship between disabled people and professional workers is a complicated one. Despite the financial payment received by the caregivers, a common notion is that the professional workers are doing a social service. The notion can be argued for or against, but the most worrying side-effect of the notion was that discrimination that started taking place between the abled workers and the disabled people. The disabled people came to be regarded as just “receivers”, not capable of giving back something to the society or the community, and the professional workers came to be regarded as the “givers”, individuals who were giving back to the society by caring for the disabled people, despite getting paid to do so (Clough, 2021). This also tends to affect the relationship between the disabled people and the service providers in that it can result in the service providers to look down upon the disabled people. This can cause inequality and discrimination. This can be changed and more equality can be brought in the relationship between the disabled people and the professional workers. Some of the steps which create equality in the relationship are:

Viewing the disabled people as valued consumers
The disabled community should be looked at as a valuable consumer group. This will increase their economic and social significance and bring equality in the service providers and the disabled people, especially in countries like Malta, where the disabled people need more representation (Adams, 2017). For example, the garments and clothing sector has started developing customized products for disabled people as they are the largest minority population in the world. Apart from the economics involved, this will help in bringing equality between the service providers and the disabled people.

Employing people with disabilities
The service providers can start employing more disabled people for encouraging equality (ELBASAN et al.,2018). This will provide a chance to the disabled people to showcase their talents and aspirations. They will be able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge, which in turn will help in bringing equality in the relationship between disabled people and service providers. This will allow the service providers to see an individual and his disability as not being a liability but an asset.

Increasing the representation of the disabled people in political settings
The disabled people can be given more political representation in political settings. This will help in setting up their case for equal rights to live, to employment, to vote and others. This will help in bringing equality in the relationship between the disabled people and the service providers (Herring, 2020). More political representation of the disabled people will also result in the propagation of their civil and social rights, which in turn will be integral for reducing the discrimination.

Adams, R. (2017). Choosing Disability, Visualizing Care. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 27(2), 301-321.

Clough, B. (2021). Disability and care: Theoretical antagonisms revisited. In Disability, Care and Family Law (pp. 13-30). Routledge.

Clough, B. and Herring, J. eds., 2021. Disability, Care and Family Law.Routledge.


Farndon, L. (2021). Role of the podiatrist and common foot problems. British journal of community nursing, 26(Sup3), S30-S33.

Halford, V., & Cohen, H. H. (2018, February). Professional and organizational factors in podiatric medicine affecting health risk. In Contemporary Ergonomics 2007: Proceedings of the International Conference on Contemporary Ergonomics (CE2007), 17-19 April 2007, Nottingham, UK (p. 441). Healthcare assignment Taylor & Francis.

Herring, J. (2020). Ethics of Care and Disability Rights: Complementary or Contradictory?. Spaces of Care, 165-182.

Nester, C. J., Graham, A., Martinez-Santos, A., Williams, A. E., McAdam, J., Newton, V., ...& Walker, D. (2018). National profile of foot orthotic provision in the United Kingdom, part 2: podiatrist, orthotist and physiotherapy practices. Journal of foot and ankle research, 11(1), 1-12.

Saur, E., &Sidorkin, A. M. (2018).Disability, dialogue, and the posthuman. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 37(6), 567-578.


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