Students, Community Partner Laud Board’s PSW Program

The first class of personal support worker (PSW) students is about halfway through Near North District School Board’s (NNDSB) unique program, which re-engages learners while assisting to close the gap in employment needs in the healthcare sector. The program sees students learn in living classrooms – they learn theory and often within hours are on the floor putting into practice what they’ve just learned…. Continue reading

By Kelly Hart. Reprinted from Muskoka411.com.

PHOTO: Arianna Poullas and Jillian Hewitt are two of the PSW students in the inaugural program running at Cassellholme.

The first class of personal support worker (PSW) students is about halfway through Near North District School Board’s (NNDSB) unique program, which re-engages learners while assisting to close the gap in employment needs in the healthcare sector. The program sees students learn in living classrooms – they learn theory and often within hours are on the floor putting into practice what they’ve just learned.

The program is running in Parry Sound and North Bay, with community partners Belvedere House and Cassellholme, which are providing the classroom space and mentorship of the PSW students.

The in-class sessions will wrap up June 30, then students will have to fulfil placement hours in both long-term care and community care settings.

In North Bay, instructor Nancy Corbett is no stranger to Cassellholme. She’s been a registered practical nurse (RPN) there for 25 years and has worked as a preceptor for practical nursing students.

She loves teaching in the living classroom, where students start to learn slowly with portering and feeding residents before they learn about hygiene and other aspects of care. Corbett says when students get to shadow PSWs, they learn by seeing others do the work, then get to try it themselves. She says living classrooms “are the way to teach. It’s the way to go,” because of the shortened timeframe between learning and doing.

The hands-on learning is what appealed to Arianna Poullas. The North Bay resident studied for a year at college but didn’t enjoy learning in a classroom from a textbook. The PSW program appealed to her because after theoretical learning, there is application of the knowledge.

“I like being able to do things with my hands,” says Poullas. “It makes things make sense to me.”

She says the small class size helps the group all feel like family, and says it’s been like that since the first day. The students are supportive of each other, and Poullas says this is the best program she’s ever been involved in. She says learning by reading “just doesn’t stick in my head”; she likes being out on the floor and is happy to not be learning solely by books.

PSW student Jillian Hewitt is also a part-time employee and single mom who enjoys the flexibility of the program.

She enjoys observing and learning from the PSWs, as she finds every person does things a little differently. Watching the others lets her find the best way for her to do the job.

Hewitt says the program is well-organized and the way it’s been taught has made the content “easy to absorb.” She feels supported by Corbett, her peers and staff at Cassellholme, and is confident in the skills she will have when she graduates after her placement hours.

Poullas loves working with Cassellholme’s residents and is hoping for a job in long-term care. She’s already been hired in the home’s Helping Hands program; Cassellholme Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jamie Lowery says it’s like a pre-PSW job position in which staff assist the PSWs.

Poullas is one of seven of the PSW students who have been hired as Helping Hands at Cassellholme. Lowery says the work that was done in vetting candidates has created a class of students who have “an inherent desire to be a PSW.” He says staff is “blown away” by the quality of students and of the course being taught.

NNDSB’s intake process is credited with successful inaugural classes.

Lisa Spencer, who facilitates specialist high skills majors and experiential learning for NNDSB says, “Our intake process consisted of an initial literacy assessment and interview where our team had the opportunity to meet and support each student individually. As a continuing education program, not all our students came to us with their high school diploma so really understanding the pathway for our students helped us to support the initiation process. We can see that our intake process is supportive, and we are very proud of all our students. They can earn their high school diploma while participating in a state of the art post-secondary program.”

Corbett says the interview process gleaned candidates who were best suited to the work of a PSW and who displayed the commitment needed to complete the course. Lowery says he was impressed with NNDSB and its flexibility in designing the program. Teaching learners to deal with difficult people is a skill that the PSW students can use in many aspects of life, not just at work.

He adds that for some, working as a PSW may be only the first step in a healthcare career. Cassellholme has a training budget for its staff which can help people meet their career goals.

There are plans to run the PSW program in September in West Nipissing and Mattawa, too. People interested in taking the PSW course can visit this page for more information. It contains links to an information session, information about the literacy assessment, and a fillable form to register interest in the program. Spaces are limited so potential students are urged to register as soon as possible.

School board’s PSW program helps fill ‘acute’ need in community

The Near North District School Board (NNDSB) launched a program this past October to help train personal support workers (PSWs), and the response has surpassed expectations…. Continue reading

By David Briggs. Reprinted from BayToday.com

Program provides hands-on training within a ‘living classroom’ setting

The Near North District School Board (NNDSB) launched a program this past October to help train personal support workers (PSWs), and the response has surpassed expectations.

The first cohort has been accepted, with 18 students taking part in North Bay with another 12 in Parry Sound. “We have created a wait list for September,” explained Lisa Spencer, the board’s coordinator of student success, “in the chance that we’re able to offer the same program again.”

Ideally, the program will once again receive funding from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, who paid the $2,000 tuition fee for each accepted student. The ministries also offered up to $5,115 for each student in the program to help offset living costs while they completed their training.

If similar funding can be arranged, and if there is interest from students, the plan is to extend the program and expand it to other areas, like Mattawa.

Interest was high for this intake, Spencer explained, noting that some of the new students “are graduates of the nursing program” and some are “re-engaged students” working to achieve a secondary school diploma. Some applicants came as “far as Moosonee” for the interviews. It is a “very wide-reaching program with a very wide variety of candidates,” she said.

The program is unique in that it allows students to earn up to six secondary school credits while they attend. For those without a diploma, this can help them reach that goal. The teaching method is also unique, focusing on hands-on learning, what Lucio Pavone calls “a living classroom.”

Pavone was the principal of Chippewa Secondary School in North Bay. Now retired, he is helping the board oversee this PSW program. “We started in mid-October,” he said, “and we are very pleased with the outcome as to where we’re at right now.”

He mentioned “one of the challenges of the pandemic is to find qualified instructors, and I think we’ve secured two amazing instructors,” one of whom holds a PhD in nursing, and the other is an RPN currently working at Cassellholme.

Cassellholme is one of the facilities where students will be placed, “learning the theory and application” of the job “right at the long-term care home,” Pavone said.

As the students advance “they are strategically placed with other PSWs in community placement, so it’s not necessarily restricted to those sites offering the learning,” Spencer explained. For instance, after gaining skills within a long-term care home, students may want to work with disabled adults or children with pervasive needs.

They will be “able to translate their skills to other places in the community,” Spencer said, and the additional workers will fill a need for PSWs in the area, a shortage that Pavone has heard referred to as “an acute crisis.”

The board is “happy to support” the PSWs entering the workforce through this program, noting it leads to “a solid career path with solid employment opportunities in our region.”

Pavone and Spencer are also working on Phase 2 of the program, which would help interested high school students stream directly into the PSW program upon graduation.

Feedback has been positive, the organizers said. One student mentioned to Pavone “that this is a life changing program for him,” and testimonials like that “really hits to the core of why we do what we do.”

For those interested in the program more information is available on the board’s website. Applications are open for a September 2022 start.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

West Nipissing General Hospital, Algonquin Nursing Home Partner with Near North District School Board on PSW Program

As a testament to the value of the program it is offering, Near North District School Board (NNDSB) has just created its third and fourth Memorandum of Understanding in two weeks. West Nipissing General Hospital (WNGH) in Sturgeon Falls and Algonquin Nursing Home in Mattawa plan to provide living classrooms in order to train Personal Support Workers (PSWs).

WNGH and Algonquin Nursing Home are the two most recent organizations to commit to working with NNDSB to provide a living classroom, in which students will learn theory in an on-site classroom, then apply those skills on the floor of the hospital. Students will do their clinical work on WNGH’s long-term care and complex continuing care units, and in the long-term care home in Mattawa.

Student costs of this program will be subsidized; tuition is covered by NNDSB.

Cynthia Dèsormiers, President and Chief Executive Officer of WNGH, says the hospital is eager to partner because, “there is a critical shortage of Health Human Resources (HHR) throughout Ontario and in our community as well. This is a program that allows us to think outside the box while fulfilling a need at WNGH and in our community. This program will provide a great opportunity for people in our community to kick start a new career in health care, and with the tuition being waived in the first year, it is like a gift for those who may have financial difficulties.”

NNDSB’s Director of Education Craig Myles says the board has worked hard to bring this hands-on learning opportunity to learners 18 years and older. “We’re excited to offer this training, which is accredited through the Personal Support Worker Professional Association. NNDSB will be training PSWs who will be ready to begin work upon completion of the course.”

The PSW program is a collaborative effort of the board, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and community organizations. The other partnerships will see living classrooms set up in Cassellholme in North Bay, and Belvedere Heights and Lakeland Long-Term Care in Parry Sound. (Hyperlinks are to media release about those partnerships.)

Dèsormiers says the program and partnership “is a win-win for both the hospital and the students. This is an opportunity for us to grow our own PSWs, which usually leads to recruitment and improved retention when they are from the community.”

Jay Aspin, Chair of the Board of Trustees of NNDSB, says the PSW initiative is a great way to re-engage adult learners while addressing a critical shortage of healthcare workers. “NNDSB is proud of its role in helping to educate and train skilled PSWs that are in high demand in all areas of the board. This innovative program serves so many purposes in our communities, including marvelous opportunities for our students.”

Dèsormiers says WNGH is “grateful for the opportunity to partner this year and in future years to fill a huge need in healthcare, while providing great employment opportunities and careers for people in West Nipissing and surrounding areas.”

Spaces in each program are limited. Anyone interested should plan to attend the information session on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. online. (Meeting is hyperlinked.)

Students who do not yet have their Grade 12 are eligible to apply. They can earn up to six credits towards their diploma while taking this training.

NNDSB is seeking partnerships with local long-term care homes in all regions of the board to re-engage learners who are 18+ interested in training to become a PSW. Any long-term care home interested in partnering should contact Liana Blaskievich, NNDSB’s Officer Corporate Affairs at 705-472-8170 ext. 5056 or liana.blaskievich@nearnorthschools.ca.

NNDSB Expands PSW Opportunity in Living Classroom Program to Belvedere Heights, Lakeland Long-Term Care in Parry Sound

Near North District School Board (NNDSB) is excited to announce the expansion of the Personal Support Worker (PSW) training opportunity and a promising partnership in the Parry Sound region. The partnership with Belvedere Heights and Lakeland Long-Term Care are welcome news in an area where PSWs are in high demand.

NNDSB will provide PSW training on site at Belvedere Heights and Lakeland Long-Term Care in a living classroom environment. Participants in the program will do their theoretical learning in a classroom at Belvedere Heights, then be able to apply those skills on the floor of both long-term care homes, without having to wait for theory work to end before experiencing placement.

NNDSB hopes to help fill a growing demand for trained PSWs across the Near North region and to provide people 18 years of age and older with an exciting career path. NNDSB will work closely with community partners to establish a hands-on program, inclusive of placements, in partnered long-term care facilities.

A female PSW stands behind an older woman sitting in a wheelchair
PSWs are often referred to as the backbone of healthcare. Halle Stringer is a recent PSW grad working at Lakeland LTC, seen here with resident Dorothy O’Rourke.

A PSW looks after the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of someone who is not able to do so themselves, frequently in the elderly population. The main responsibilities of a PSW include ensuring the patient has healthy and nutritious meals, helping with daily tasks and working with an interdisciplinary team to ensure the best quality of care.

People who do not currently possess their Grade 12 are also eligible. This unique program allows NNDSB to support students in completing their OSSD in tandem with this program. If you are interested, you can request an educational assessment by contacting Trina Nelson in student services at Parry Sound High School, 705-773-7979 extension 8438.

NNDSB Director of Education Craig Myles, who has been instrumental in seeking opportunities for the board to provide this innovative programming states, “NNDSB is thrilled to expand this opportunity to the Parry Sound region. The program contributes to an emergent and vital need for the Near North region. We are proud to offer a program that supports adults (18+) to find a rewarding career path in the health care industry and respond to a community need.”

Supported by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, the student costs of this specialty program will be subsidized. Successful students of this program will become fully qualified as PSWs. The PSW program can be only the beginning of a journey into many healthcare opportunities. PSWs are employed in many care sectors such as homecare and assisted living and in various care facilities.

NNDSB’s partners in this program, are “excited by this awesome opportunity,” says Belvedere Heights Home for the Aged Administrator Kami Johnson.

“Our homes in Parry Sound are incredibly fortunate to work with a partner like our local high school,” says Steve White, administrator of Lakeland Long-Term Care. “Kami and I believe the Near North District School Board is not only going to make a difference in the lives of adults learning a new career, but in the daily lives of our seniors and most vulnerable.”

NNDSB is in the process of hiring qualified instructors for North Bay and Parry Sound. Instructors will be RNs or NPs with experience working in this field. Please refer to www.nearnorthschools.ca and select Join Our Team in the top right corner for employment information. NNDSB is excited by the expansion and still aiming for the new year to begin both programs. Registration is planned for January with an expected start of February 2022.

Spaces are limited. Anyone interested should plan to attend one of the two following information sessions: Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. online or Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. online. (Meetings are hyperlinked.)

NNDSB Chair Jay Aspin says, “The partnership in Parry Sound and the expansion of this programming is exactly what we aimed for. The alignment with the Board goals of excellence in innovation and excellence in building relationships is clear. We are eager to work in partnership with Belvedere Heights and Lakeland Long-Term Care on a sustainable pipeline of PSW students choosing highly rewarding programming in Northern communities.”

NNDSB is seeking partnerships with local long-term care homes in all regions of the board to re-engage learners who are 18+ interested in training to become a PSW. Any long-term care home interested in partnering should contact Liana Blaskievich, NNDSB’s Officer Corporate Affairs at 705-472-8170 ext. 5056 or liana.blaskievich@nearnorthschools.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Deb Bartlett
Communications Officer
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170, extension 5010
E. Deb.Bartlett@nearnorthschools.ca

NNDSB Launches Innovative PSW Living Classroom Program at Cassellholme North Bay

Near North District School Board (NNDSB) is excited to announce the first of what it hopes will be many sustainable partnerships with long-term care facilities in all regions of the NNDSB.

NNDSB is proud to partner with Cassellholme in North Bay to provide Personal Support Worker (PSW) training in a living classroom environment at Cassellholme. Participants in the program will do their theoretical learning in a classroom at Cassellholme, then be able to apply those skills on the floor of the long-term care home, without having to wait for theory work to end before experiencing placement.

NNDSB hopes to help fill a growing demand for trained PSWs and to provide people 18 years of age and older with an exciting career path. NNDSB will work closely with community partners to establish a hands-on program, inclusive of placements, in partnered long-term care facilities.

A PSW looks after the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of someone who is not able to do so themselves, frequently in the elderly population. The main responsibilities of a PSW include ensuring the patient has healthy and nutritious meals, helping with daily tasks and working with an interdisciplinary team to ensure the best quality of care.

People who do not currently possess their Grade 12 are also eligible. This unique program allows NNDSB to support students in completing their OSSD in tandem with this program. If you are interested, you can request an educational assessment by contacting Vice-Principal Sarah Spence at Laurentian Learning Centre, 705-472-5419.

NNDSB Director of Education Craig Myles has been instrumental in seeking out opportunities for the board to provide innovative programming. He stated, “Providing this type of opportunity is extremely important to the Near North community in that it serves adult students who need that leg up to a diploma and a rewarding career with many opportunities for growth. The program supports an emergent and vital need for the Near North region. We are proud to offer programs that support students and respond to a community need.”

Supported by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, the student costs for this specialty program will be subsidized. Successful students of this program will become fully qualified as a PSW. The PSW program can be only the beginning of a journey into many healthcare opportunities. PSWs are employed in many care sectors such as homecare and assisted living and in varied long-term care facilities.

NNDSB’s partner in this program, Cassellholme, has engaged employees in continued opportunities to learn as they earn and seek certification as Registered Practical Nurses (RPN), Registered Nurses (RN) or Registered Nurse Practitioners (NP). “Cassellholme is always looking for ways to be a community partner. By working with NNDSB, we can help foster a new generation of healthcare professionals which may very well be someone’s first step to a rewarding career,” said Cassellholme Chair Chris Mayne.

NNDSB is in the process of hiring a qualified instructor who is a RN or a NP with experience working in this field. Excited to start, NNDSB is aiming for the new year to begin this program. Registration is planned for January with an expected start of February 2022.

Spaces are limited. Anyone interested should plan to attend one of the two following information sessions: Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. online or Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. online. (Teams meeting information is hyperlinked.)

Near North District School Board Chair Jay Aspin said, “This is another proud moment for Near North District School Board in supporting our community. This innovative new program aligns with the Board goals of excellence in innovation and excellence in building relationships. We are enthused to work in partnership with Cassellholme and Ontario Health on what looks like just the beginning of highly rewarding programming in the North.”

“This partnership is a good example of increasing the accessibility of PSW training and education – a focus area of the North East Ontario Regional PSW Workforce Steering Committee,” said Michel O’Connor, Ontario Health North Eastern Region. The committee has come together to identify and to socialize some of the challenges affecting the retention, the recruitment and the sustainability of the PSW workforce. “We hope that the success of this collaboration will be sustained in the future and that the area will benefit from the investment in health human resources required to deliver healthcare services,” he said.

NNDSB is seeking partnerships with local long-term care homes in all regions of the board to re-engage learners who are 18+ interested in training to become a PSW. Any long-term care homes interested in partnering should contact Liana Blaskievich, NNDSB’s Officer Corporate Affairs at 705-472-8170 ext. 5056 or liana.blaskievich@nearnorthschools.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Deb Bartlett
Communications Officer
Near North District School Board
P. (705) 472-8170, extension 5010
E. Deb.Bartlett@nearnorthschools.ca

Seniors’ Care Enriched by Living Classroom Model

Reprinted from Impact Stories, Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging.

Personal support workers (PSWs) provide hands-on care for more than 80,000 long-term care residents across Ontario. Their role in our healthcare system is vital to the well-being, health and quality of life of older adults.

In early 2020, a report from the Ontario Health Coalition drew attention to the escalating issue of PSW shortages in the province, which are now at crisis-level. The report raised daunting concerns for resident care and safety.

The Living Classroom partnership model addresses these challenges and profiles long-term care (LTC) and senior living as a rewarding career opportunity.

The Living Classroom partnership model was first implemented in the province in 2009 through a collaboration with Conestoga College, the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and Schlegel Villages. Stemming from a shared vision to improve quality of life and care for LTC residents by training work-ready PSWs, the Living Classroom brings employers, educators, students, and residents together. Training takes place directly in LTC homes, providing real-world experience for students and mentorship opportunities for residents, while enabling employers to hire new graduates who understand the sector and are more confident about working with older adults.

The Living Classroom partnership model has been tested and evaluated in long-term care and retirement homes in both Guelph and Waterloo, with a recent publication in the journal Educational Gerontology providing evidence to support its success.

With support from the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care at the RIA, the Living Classroom model is being shared across Ontario. In 2020, the model was adopted by the St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.

“We were looking for creative solutions to address space constraints and to enhance the learning experience,” says Tammy Cantin, Program Manager of PSW Training at St. Louis.

“I heard about the Living Classroom through network meetings. It seemed like the ideal approach to meet both the needs of St. Louis and the community. We worked through the Implementation Guide provided to us by the RIA and then began looking for care partners who might be ready to try out this model with us.”

After eight months of exploring potential partnerships, St. Louis identified local care providers interested in adopting the model. Fairview Seniors Community in Cambridge, Ontario was ready to collaborate.

St. Louis and Fairview partnered and worked to transform unused space at the seniors community into a new classroom, complete with equipment to build hands-on skills, as well as a kitchenette and break room.

The first cohort of St. Louis students began their learning experience in October 2020.

“We wanted to explore innovative ways to encourage people to get involved in the rewarding field of caring for seniors,” says Elaine Shantz, CEO of Fairview and Parkwood Seniors Communities.

“The Living Classroom allows students to experience the incredible privilege of working with older adults. Not only are they learning practical skills to work in their field, they’re also fostering rich interpersonal skills – building relationships, evaluating how this work fits with their career goals, and gaining real-life experience so they can hit the ground running after graduation. It’s a unique learning opportunity.”

The partnership and adoption of the Living Classroom model also benefit residents and employers.

“Our residents enjoy connecting with younger adults; they benefit socially and mentally from the rewarding interactions with students,” says Shantz.

“From a workforce standpoint, we get to know students and can hire directly out of the program. The transition into employment is smooth and comfortable for students. The process is efficient for us. When the experience is mutually beneficial, we see higher retention rates. And that’s exactly what Ontario needs right now.”

While COVID-19 has affected the program’s enrollment capacity and interactive features for 2020-2021, both St. Louis and the Fairview Seniors Community expect that the Living Classroom experience will only get better.

“We’re excited to see how this model will look without pandemic restrictions,” says Tammy Cantin.

“But already we’re seeing meaningful impact for everyone involved. If we could run all of our classes this way, we would.”

The Living Classroom model is a prime example of how the RIA drives innovation to solve real-world problems and enhance quality of life and care for older adults.

To learn more about the Living Classroom, click here.

Immersive Courses Bring Professionals and Students Together in Long-Term Care

Over the course of the past year, frontline health care workers have been a vital support to the long-term care sector. Whether personal support workers, nurses, allied health professionals, or support staff, these roles serve our residents and their loved ones each day.

The devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have shown the challenges faced by the sector and the need for greater capacity in these roles. By the end of 2020, the Ministry of Long-Term Care launched a call to prioritize the education and recruitment of health care workers to strengthen long-term care and invest in a better future for the sector’s workers and residents.

Bruyere, La Cite and CLRI logosIn response, La Cité, in partnership with Bruyère’s Saint-Louis Residence, launched a Living Classroom designed to accelerate the training for new personal support workers in our community. The partnership integrates practical education sessions directly into the long-term care home to support workforce development in the sector through a culture of shared learning and real-life experience. The Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI), which has been an integral support in the program’s launch, brings knowledge and expertise to support improvements to quality of life and care in the sector through applied research, education, and training.

“Saint-Louis Residence is thrilled to be part of this collaboration with La Cité to launch a francophone living classroom within our home,” says Melissa Donskov, VP of Residential and Community Care Programs at Bruyère. “Learning from staff within a long-term care setting is a fantastic way to prepare future personal support workers for a career in the sector. It is also engaging for our current long-term care heroes, offering them opportunities to develop in their careers and to share all of their knowledge and expertise.”

With dozens of students enrolled in the first spring training cohort, Bruyère expects to see more than 20 additional students benefit from an education directly embedded in the workplace before the end of summer. Covering many of the basic techniques for residential care, including supporting mobility and transfers, students are gaining skills firsthand and stepping into careers with confidence. In this experiential learning environment, students are learning side-by-side with our dedicated Saint-Louis Residence’s frontline staff who have stepped up as teachers and supported the program.

“This is a good opportunity for personal care work students to gain valuable knowledge at Saint-Louis Residence,” said Jesule Balmir, a student in the first classroom cohort. “This program that leads to a certificate will open the door to other related training that may be useful in the future. Our teachers are highly qualified. They give us training based on years of experience so that we are well prepared for the personal support worker profession.”

Despite still navigating the challenges of COVID-19, the outpouring of engagement and interest to train the next generation of health care workers has been overwhelming among staff members. The response from staff at Saint-Louis Residence to foster a space for compassionate and integrated learning once again shows the incredible generosity and strength of our teams that continues to ripple through the community.

Students and instructor in the Living Classroom
“It is a privilege to be able to share the knowledge I have gained in my 40-year career as a personal care attendant. The live class not only teaches the theory, but also allows for direct practice with the students and validates if the different approaches and methods have been understood. For example, when working with a resident who has dementia, there are tips and tricks that make the experience better for the resident. Being able to directly relay these different nuances to them is great!

I love my experience as a living lab teacher at Saint-Louis Residence. We’re training the next generation of attendants, the heartfelt people who make all the difference, especially with our residents who are so vulnerable!”

—Monique Van Den Akerboom, personal support worker

“It is very motivating to take up this challenge as a living classroom teacher,” says Mireille Nduami, RPN at Saint-Louis Residence and former student at La Cité. “It is a great opportunity to bring my contribution during such a difficult time when the demand for health care workers is really a priority. By training the next generation, I too am growing and strengthening my knowledge. I am so grateful to be part of this innovative program!”

“It is truly a lesson that inspires the whole life. We had very good teachers,” said Hortense Mugandakazi Cikwanine, another student in the program.

La Cite students practicing at the bedside
“I find this experience very dynamic as we interchange our ideas and experience the theoretical lessons with practice which allows for a more direct and easy assimilation.

It will help us better understand the functioning of patients, their physical and psychological environment, to define our relationship with them and our responsibilities towards them.

I learned how to use the different tools necessary for the comfort and transfer of patients; I also understood the best attitude to have depending on the condition of the client to facilitate and embellish his daily life.”

— Nicole Bernisse Nkakanou Tchokotcheu, student

The Living Classroom partnership model was first implemented in Ontario through a collaboration with Conestoga College, the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and Schlegel Villages. Conestoga and the RIA, with support from the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care, are working to spread the model and support workforce development for the senior living sector.

John Noble Home partners with Grand Erie Learning Alternatives to open new Living Classroom

John Noble Home in Brantford, Ontario, has partnered with Grand Erie Learning Alternatives to deliver a new Living Classroom within the home to nurture the growth and professional development of Personal Support Workers. … Continue reading

John Noble Home in Brantford, Ontario, has partnered with Grand Erie Learning Alternatives to deliver a new Living Classroom within the home to nurture the growth and professional development of Personal Support Workers.

Registration for the January 2021 class is now open. For more information, visit https://www.granderie.ca/schools/gela/student-services/interested-becoming-personal-support-workerpsw.

Fairview Seniors Community and St. Louis launch a new Living Classroom

Fairview Seniors Community has partnered with St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres to offer a progressive Living Classroom experience for 22 PSW students, who will receive their training in the newly constructed 1,000 square foot classroom at Fairview Mennonite Home in Cambridge, Ontario…. Continue reading

Fairview Seniors Community has partnered with St. Louis Adult Learning and Continuing Education Centres to offer a progressive Living Classroom experience for 22 PSW students, who will receive their training in the newly constructed 1,000 square foot classroom at Fairview Mennonite Home in Cambridge, Ontario. The inaugural part-time St. Louis PSW class began on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.

Read more about the new Living Classroom: