A key element of the RIA's collaborative practice model is professional development programs for staff working with seniors. Motivated by an interest to enhance the skills of Personal Support Workers in providing care that is resident-centred, a working group led by Kristie Clark completed a needs assessment, reviewed the literature on best practices, then developed and implemented this innovative training approach for PSWs. Using a peer-led, train-the-trainer model, ten 45-minute modules helped PSWs hone their care skills and carry out their tasks in a resident-centred way. Each module enhanced practical skills in an active learning format and within a resident-centred framework in specific areas such as restraint use, continence care, wound care, oral care, infection control, nutrition and hydration. This program received the OLCTA's Quality Improvement Innovation of the Year Award in 2010.
This program was delivered in nine LTC homes, and approximately 70% of the 800 PSWs were trained to date. A change in culture towards more resident-centredness is evident and confirmed by evaluation results. Evaluation results also showed that it's more than enhanced skills of PSWs that have made this program a success. Equally important wa embedding this program into the fabric of daily life for staff in the LTC or retirement home. A sustainability plan accompanied the training program, including an organization-wide policy promoting resident-centredness across all departments, incorporating elements of this program into orientation for new staff, ongoing professional development across all departments, using the train-the-trainer approach with PSWs delivering the modules to their peers onsite.
The training program is now available to PSWs across Ontario through Conestoga College. Contact us to learn more.
The RIA has collaborated with Conestoga College to develop a Leadership Training model and course that includes education about management skills and knowledge, but puts a greater emphasis on “leading” as opposed to “managing”. Resident-centeredness is embedded throughout, as are leadership philosophies that focus on “people”. Training program content is based on 6 “capabilities” each codified by a single word: aligning, serving, mobilizing, connecting, stewarding and improving. Principles of serving leadership and transformational leadership underpin the content and learning activities. Students learn collaboratively in small groups with their co-workers, where participants share their own experiences and work through real-life case studies to build on the group’s combined expertise. A mix of on-site and on-line components optimize learning and access in this 120 hour course.
This post-degree/diploma program is offered through Conestoga College and provides the specialized skills, knowledge and attitudes required to manage recreation programs for older adults, and to provide leadership in the field of leisure services for older adults. This new and innovative program addresses the need for experts in the expanding field of management and leadership in recreation programs for older adults. For more information. visit Conestoga College's Website: Recreation Managment for Older Adults Certificate Program.