Veronique M. Boscart, Josie d’Avernas, Paul Brown, and Marlene Raasok
Canadian Geriatrics Journal, Vol 20, No 1, March 2017
Evidence-informed care to support seniors is based on strong knowledge and skills of nursing assistants (NAs). Currently, there are insufficient NAs in the workforce, and new graduates are not always attracted to nursing home (NH) sectors because of limited exposure and lack of confidence. Innovative collaborative approaches are required to prepare NAs to care for seniors.
A 2009 collaboration between a NH group and a community college resulted in the Living Classroom (LC), a collaborative approach to integrated learning where NA students, college faculty, NH teams, residents, and families engage in a culture of learning. This approach situates the learner within the NH where knowledge, team dynamics, relationships, behaviours, and inter-professional (IP) practice are modelled.
As of today, over 300 NA students have successfully completed this program. NA students indicate high satisfaction with the LC and have an increased intention to seek employment in NHs. Faculty, NH teams, residents, and families have increased positive beliefs towards educating students in a NH.
The LC is an effective learning approach with a positive and high impact learning experience for all. The LC is instrumental in contributing to a capable workforce caring for seniors.