This is a sample of the reflective diary kept during my work placement with Viridian Housing. The experiences accounted in this sample reflect those used in support of my critical review. A reflective diary is a private record of experiences throughout work placement. It is very important to use this diary to report thoughts, feelings and opinions rather than reporting on the factual events of the day. A reflective diary is also important for keeping a record of both the positive and non positive experiences, as well as the achievements.
The purpose of reflection is a means to be able to think things over or to visualize. Reflection involves complex mental processing that discovers new ideas or inter-relationships between ideas. Accurate reflection will help us improve our decision-making, deal with issues in everyday work and social situations, discover new ideas and help understand ourselves better.
There is a recurring theme with the tenancy checks and inspection visits that is very frustrating. I spoke to another tenant who is a long term tenant of Viridian. Invariably with the visits there will be small maintenance issues that need to be sorted out, however generally they have not been reported because they are minor and often aesthetic. In this case it was the issue of a window that was stuck shut. The tenant proceeded to tell me that there was a maintenance history, but that he would call one of the housing officers to sort it out, because that is the person they usually dealt with. Professionally this has no impact what so ever, as these things are recorded and can easily be dealt with. I found it frustrating however, because despite my position with Viridian, I feel that the tenants doubt my abilities and professional expertise. In this situation I remained calm and collected, as I suspect that this is a personal insecurity which will resolve itself with further experience in the field. I am also sure that there was no intention to undermine my position. I was proud that I was able to keep my composure despite feeling rather frustrated at the time. I spoke to one of my colleagues about it later that day and found out that this is a common thing with all housing officers. I was happy to learn this and am not dreading doing inspection visits as I was earlier in the day.
An elderly lady came for a consultation after going to a number of housing organizations to attempt to get into a care facility. By the time she arrived in our offices she was at her wits end. Although the issue of finding accommodation for her is relatively simple and routine, I discovered that she really needed to just talk to someone that understood what she wanted and what she did not want. A lot of what she was complaining about had to do with housing organizations wanting to put her into a type of frail care facility, however this isn’t what she wanted. I feel like the respect that Viridian is always reinforcing in this industry really does have a place, as this lady clearly hasn’t been shown much respect and even though we have not helped her yet, she was incredibly happy and grateful at the end of the meeting. I am finding that so much about this position has to do with an attitude of respect towards to client. I do not think that one could succeed in this position without the ability to build rapport with people and be friendly. I was proud to be a member of Viridian as the assistance that we can offer people in her situation, although not particularly unique, can make a huge difference in the lives of the elderly and disabled.
I performed a tenancy check and inspection visit and was let into the property by who I assumed was family of the tenant. This was after significant problems in trying to gain access to the property and eventually after harassing the tenant for over a week, I was able to secure an inspection date and time. After having a look around the property it started to look a bit suspicious as it was clear that this family member was living in the property. After some questioning it became clear that the property had been informally sublet to this family member and that the actual tenant was now living somewhere else. Obviously illegal subletting has to be reported and the family member of the tenant will most likely be evicted from the property. I had mixed feelings about this, because she seemed like a very nice person who was going to bear the consequences of the mistake of the tenant. I felt very sympathetic towards her and going forward, I felt sad in having to report this to the housing officers. The matter was taken over by the housing officer that manages the property, however in subsequent reporting I found out that the matter has been settled. I was proud of my ability to be perceptive in this situation and follow my instincts. Although emotionally it was difficult to follow the rules, professionally this was a triumph as I followed my gut and in doing so discovered an illegal tenancy.
There was an incident with an elderly couple that was occupying on the properties that had about three stairs throughout. Whilst in the office, I received a phone call from the husband informing me of the unsuitability of the housing for them because of the problems that the stairs caused. He then demanded that we find another house for them or see to it that there are the requisite ramps installed in the housing immediately. To that point I had not dealt with an issue like this, however I treated the matter as urgent and reported it immediately to one of my colleagues. The next day I received a phone call from the same man who was now irate that there had been no action taken as of yet and he shouted over the phone at me, not allowing me to speak. Whilst I understood his concern, I did not appreciate the disrespect shown towards me, especially since we had given him feedback on the issue and all things considered it was not urgent. I managed to stay calm during the whole conversation and tried to be as compassionate and understanding as possible. I calmly explained to him that we needed to get approval to install ramps in the property and there would be some delay. I was proud of myself for staying calm during that time as I was getting more frustrated as the man continued to rant at me. Moving forward, I learnt that when dealing with homes, people are always going to be upset, but as the professional you need to stay calm and do your job without getting angry or upset.
There was an issue with a tenant that had a leaking roof that had allegedly been reported to the maintenance team. I checked the records and nothing was reflected. As there was staff training that week, I was alone in the office and the weekend was approaching. Not wanting the tenant to suffer any further water damage to her property, I went about organizing a repair team to go to the house to fix it the next afternoon, however got a call from the contractor who was at the house saying the tenant had said that someone had been around earlier to fix the problem from Viridian. This was incredibly frustrating as now the contractor would be paid for nothing and it was a waste of my time, the tenants and the contractors. I cross checked with the maintenance team the following Monday when training was over and discovered that they had organized for the roof to be fixed, however due to training they had been unable to update the records to reflect this. I was very embarrassed that I had not first checked with the relevant housing officer, although at the time I felt that I was showing initiative. I feel like I learnt a valuable lesson through making this mistake that although showing initiative is encouraged, one must have all the facts of the situation before executing a plan. I had to explain the situation to the housing officer, who understood my mistake. I do feel however that there is some responsibility on the housing officer for not having updated the record, as it was clearly within my duties to have the maintenance issue sorted out and it is important to always update the files with the correct information at all times as these systems exist for exactly this reason. Although I was not formally reprimanded, I do feel that I was only part responsible. Nonetheless, I learnt a valuable lesson about communication between the different teams in Viridian and moving forward I shall ensure that I follow all protocol accordingly.
Nolan, Y.,Moonie, N.,Lavers, S. (2005) Health and Social Care (Adults): S/NVQ Level 3, Essex, Heinemann
Nolan, Y. (2005) Health and Social Care (Adults): S/NVQ Level 2, Essex, Heinemann.
 Nolan, Y.,Moonie, N.,Lavers, S. (2005) Health and Social Care (Adults): S/NVQ Level 3, Essex, Heinemann