Supporting long-term care students, staff

A shortage of Personal Support Workers in the region has piqued Confederation College’s interest. Hospital beds are full or near-full in Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout, and long-term care facilities in the district are struggling to find staff to work in the PSW field. To improve the college’s PSW program in the hopes to attract more students and help graduation rates, Confederation College, Patricia Region Seniors Services Inc., ParaMed and the District of Kenora Home for the Aged teamed up to create a ‘living classroom’ in Pinecrest in Kenora last year, and now the program is expanding to Dryden…. Continue reading

Reprinted by permission from Kenora Online

A shortage of Personal Support Workers in the region has piqued Confederation College’s interest. Hospital beds are full or near-full in Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout, and long-term care facilities in the district are struggling to find staff to work in the PSW field.

To improve the college’s PSW program in the hopes to attract more students and help graduation rates, Confederation College, Patricia Region Seniors Services Inc., ParaMed and the District of Kenora Home for the Aged teamed up to create a ‘living classroom’ in Pinecrest in Kenora last year, and now the program is expanding to Dryden.

The ‘living classroom’ model combines classroom learning and hands-on experience to support students in completing the PSW program. Students will immediately be able to apply the theory they learn in the classroom by practising their skills in the health-care setting.

“We’re so pleased to partner with these organizations to help provide a solution to the shortage of PSWs being faced by the local community,” said Jim Madder, President of Confederation College.

Dryden’s Confederation College will host the program beginning this fall at the connected Princess Court and Patricia Gardens facilities.

“In the long term care field we are experiencing an increase in demand for personal support workers while at the same time the College is experiencing decreasing enrolment in the personal support worker program,” said Kevin Queen, CEO and District Administrator of District of Kenora Home for the Aged.

“This unique collaborative approach with four organizations brings the classroom into the workplace providing the student the ability to practice the classroom lessons in the workplace immediately. The result is a more confident and proficient graduate. We are very pleased to be part of this effective collaboration.”

Earlier this year, Queen’s Park announced it is investing $187 million in 2018-2019 to improve access to hospital beds and reduce wait times in hospitals across the province. Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care says they will also be investing in more home and community care services, as well as more long-term care beds across the province.

The 2018 Ontario Budget doubled-down on the initiative, announcing funding for another 30,000 long-term care beds being created over the next 10 years, adding 5,000 new beds by 2022.

‘Living Classroom’ Program Launched to Address Shortage of PSWs in Dryden

Confederation College alongside healthcare partners District of Kenora Home for the Aged (DKH), Patricia Region Senior Services Inc. (PRSS) and ParaMed announced the introduction of an innovative curriculum delivery model to the Dryden community…. Continue reading

Confederation College Partners with Local Healthcare Organizations to More Closely Align Education with Work Experience

Confederation College Community News, March 21, 2018

Confederation College alongside healthcare partners District of Kenora Home for the Aged (DKH), Patricia Region Senior Services Inc. (PRSS) and ParaMed announced the introduction of an innovative curriculum delivery model to the Dryden community. Together they launched the ‘Living Classroom’ Personal Support Worker (PSW) program, which will be offered by Confederation’s Dryden campus starting this fall. The model combines classroom and real-life experiences to support students in completing the one-year certificate program.

“We’re so pleased to partner with these organizations to help provide a solution to the shortage of PSWs being faced by the local community,” said Jim Madder, President of Confederation College. “We originally launched this delivery model at our Lake of the Woods Campus in Kenora and in expanding to Dryden, we are looking forward to supporting more students through access to this unique learning opportunity where they call home.”

Studying on-site at the connected Princess Court (DKH) and Patricia Gardens (PRSS) facilities, the inter-professional, interactive learning environment will help students gain the knowledge and confidence needed to succeed in a PSW career. They will immediately be able to apply the theory they learn in the classroom by practicing their skills in the healthcare setting. In addition, students may be provided the opportunity to gain meaningful part-time employment when not fulfilling program requirements, supporting students’ ability to earn income, while also supporting the collective need of the partnering organizations.

“In the long term care field we are experiencing an increase in demand for personal support workers while at the same time the College is experiencing decreasing enrollment in the personal support worker program,” said Kevin Queen, CEO and District Administrator of District of Kenora Home for the Aged. “This unique collaborative approach with four organizations brings the classroom into the workplace providing the student the ability to practice the classroom lessons in the workplace immediately. The result is a more confident and proficient graduate. We are very pleased to be part of this effective collaboration.”

Martin MacKinnon, Chairperson of Patricia Region Senior Services Inc. echoed the sentiments. “We are excited about this education opportunity with Confederation College and our community partners,” he said. “The Living Classroom is a unique learning experience that will benefit anyone interested in pursuing the Personal Support Worker career. We recognize that value of hands-on learning and are pleased to invest in this initiative, as we see a true success story for our seniors as well as our community.”

For more information about the ‘Living Classroom’ PSW program, contact the Confederation College Dryden Campus at drydencampus@confederationcollege.ca or (807) 223-3035. Options for tuition assistance – interest-free loans may be available for students.

Breaking barriers in long-term care

It’s a bit of a frustrating situation. While the province is looking at funding more long-term care beds, there may simply not be enough staff to look after any new residents. Michelle Spencer from the District of Kenora has been looking for solutions for a number of years now. While there’s space at Pinecrest for more residents, a lack of staff means more seniors aren’t accepted into long-term care. … Continue reading

Reprinted by permission from Kenora Online

It’s a bit of a frustrating situation. While the province is looking at funding more long-term care beds, there may simply not be enough staff to look after any new residents.

Michelle Spencer from the District of Kenora has been looking for solutions for a number of years now. While there’s space at Pinecrest for more residents, a lack of staff means more seniors aren’t accepted into long-term care.

“You can give us all the money and the hours in the world, but if we don’t have those people, who are interested in doing that job, we’re no further ahead,” she said.

At Pinecrest in Kenora, they’ve developed what they call a living classroom. It allows staff to learn theory in class, then go down the hall and apply it. One of the students enrolled in the training program through Confederation College is Todd Norlen.

“With the Baby Boomers getting older, we’re going to need more PSWs. So, I think it’s a growing industry. Hopefully, the government and everyone involved realizes that, and we can have enough support workers to give the proper care,” he said.

Norlen is actually part of a bumper crop. Usually, two or four students a year would enroll in the personal support worker courses at Confederation College. However, Norlen’s one of seven students, in this year’s living classroom at Pinecrest in Kenora.

“It’s very rewarding,” he said. “Working with our older clients is fun to do. They have a lot of knowledge. They were once young like us, and they need care, as well.”

Michelle Spencer’s the human resources manager at Pinecrest. She says allowing new students to pay off their tuition by working shifts at the long-term care home is helping.

She would also like to see more people brought into the home at an earlier age, so they get used to the idea that it’s not a scary place.

“They build those relationships and see that, you know what, this is good work. This is giving back, and this is something that might interest me, as opposed to ‘Hey, become a PSW.” Well, what is that, and what does that mean?”

Spencer noted the starting wage of $19.09/hr. and benefits package are quite competitive. Still, there’s a shortage of staff in long-term care homes across the province.

Over the winter months, hospitals in Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout have been looking for more space. The lack of long-term care beds in the district has created a backlog, which means it can be harder to admit new patients into local hospitals.

First Group of Students Graduate from New PSW Program

There’s a new program on campus and its first set of students just graduated. The first wave of personal support worker (PSW) students who were in the newly integrated program just graduated in January 2018. The eight-month program offers the original program’s in-class learning alongside additional hands-on experience at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre…. Continue reading

Reprinted from Algonquin Times

PHOTO: Jennifer Munoz is the co-ordinator for the PSW programs at Algonquin. She is very passionate about the new program that allows students to get hands-on training at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. Photo credit: Natalie Oattes

There’s a new program on campus and its first set of students just graduated.

The first wave of personal support worker (PSW) students who were in the newly integrated program just graduated in January 2018. The eight-month program offers the original program’s in-class learning alongside additional hands-on experience at the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre.

The students start the hands-on work at the Perley and Rideau within the first month.

PSW co-ordinator and Algonquin grad, Jennifer Munoz, was approached by her managers to help with a new project at the Perley and Rideau. The students get to practice resident care in a newly renovated classroom at the centre with four beds and four mannequins to practice their skills.

“The students are able to learn their role as a PSW. They learn how to provide safe and competent care to their resident,” Munoz said.

Each student is paired up with a staff PSW at the Perley and Rideau. The staff show the students the skills on how to care for residents.

The staff went through mentorship training with Munoz to help the students adapt to the work life of a PSW.

“They learn how to work as a contributing member of the health care team,” Munoz added.

Valerie Little, a graduate of the PSW program with the Perley and Rideau, knows the hands-on experience is just as important as learning from a textbook.

“You learn it from a book, then go to the classroom and execute it perfectly,” Little said.

Little, who was in the sales industry for 30 years, picked this program after gaining skill and experience from looking after her ailing mother for years. This program was all she needed to gain knowledge in the medical field.

Munoz explained there is a need for personal support workers in our community because of the large aging population. Several home care agencies and long-term care homes have contacted Munoz asking for more PSW graduates.

Munoz is very passionate about this new program.

“Personal support workers don’t only provide direct care, for example daily living, but they are also advocates for residents. They can pick up on emotional needs and physical needs and are a companion to the residents.”

Algonquin College, Perley Rideau unveil ground-breaking new classroom

Algonquin College Media Release

(OTTAWA) — Algonquin College and The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre are proud to unveil a ground-breaking new health-care classroom and learning environment.

The classroom, which is on site at the Perley Rideau, allows Algonquin’s Personal Support Workers to take part in a full work-integrated learning environment, experiencing their field in a professional setting with experienced mentors.

“There is no substitute for hands-on, experiential learning,” says Algonquin College President Cheryl Jensen. “This classroom provides an unparalleled opportunity for our students to prepare for their careers. Together with our Perley Rideau partners, we are preparing these healthcare workers of the future by setting the highest standards in education and training.”

A year ago, the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlined their joint plans to create and consult on the delivery of educational programs, clinical services and research initiatives. Under the new agreement, the College’s Personal Support Worker students work with the Health Centre’s senior clients and have access to its expertise and resources.

“This enhanced relationship with Algonquin College immerses students in all aspects of the Perley Rideau Village to help improve the lives of residents while supporting volunteers and staff,” says Perley Rideau CEO Akos Hoffer. “It is this type of innovation with a strong partner that helps to ensure future healthcare workers acquire the skills needed to benefit the larger healthcare system.”
The Algonquin College Personal Support Worker program prepares students to work in a health-care setting with individuals who require assistance to remain as independent as possible.

The Perley Rideau is a long-term care home with a long and honoured tradition of serving War Service Overseas Veterans, and that also welcomes seniors from the community. The motto, “Together, we improve the well-being of the people we serve,” reflects a commitment to providing safe, top-quality care for all.

Media Contacts

Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre
Jay Innes
Director of Communications
Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre
613-526-7171 ext. 2207
613-608-3497
jinnes@prvhc.com
Algonquin College

Ruth Dunley
Communications Manager
Algonquin College
613-727-4723 ext. 6452
613-406-0970
dunleyr@algonquincollege.com

Hands-on training gives PSW grads home advantage

A hands-on training program for personal support workers that embeds students in an Ottawa nursing home has graduated its first class. … Continue reading

Algonquin College’s personal support worker program embeds students at Ottawa long-term care facility

Laurie Fagan, CBC News

A hands-on training program for personal support workers that embeds students in an Ottawa nursing home has graduated its first class.

The eight-month Algonquin College program began last May, and is the first of its kind in the city. Twenty students worked with residents at The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre on Russell Road in Ottawa’s east end.

“As much as we teach students important aspects from our textbooks and videos, it’s so different when you come into the real-life environment,” said Jennifer Munoz, Algonquin’s personal support worker (PSW) program co-ordinator.

Their classroom was a former dining hall that underwent a $100,000 renovation, including hospital beds with mannequins for the students to train on before they got to work with living patients.

Once they mastered the difficult job of safely manipulating the mannequins, the students moved out into the centre’s wards to practise what they’d learned under the supervision of their instructors.

Practising skills right away

The students spent one-quarter of their time working directly with residents, including two weeks unsupervised.

“We could practise our skills right away,” said graduate Ashley Yutronkie, 32, a mother of three who’s eager to return to the workforce after eight years.

Yutronkie said helping residents with such intimate needs as dressing and bathing allowed her to improve her communication skills, and taught her the importance of helping those under her care retain their dignity.

“I talked to them like a human being, exactly how I’d like to be treated or how I’d want my family to be treated,” said Yutronkie. “I treated residents with that respect and dignity.”

Then there are the more practical skills that can only be perfected with practice on real patients: “I learned how to put a man’s briefs on without removing his pants,” Yutronkie said.

Great job prospects

Pawan Aggarwal, an international student from India, completed his first term at Algonquin’s Woodroffe Avenue campus before completing his final semester at The Perley and Rideau.

“I love to care for old people,” said Aggarwal, who wants to become a doctor like his father, who advised him that training as a PSW is a good starting point.

“You know exactly what’s going on at the ground level and you experience what it’s really like to be a patient,” Aggarwal said.

According to Jennifer Plant, director of clinical practice at The Perley and Rideau, job prospects for the graduates are excellent: the facility currently has 20 openings, though not all are full-time.

“It’s such a great advantage having the program here in respects to recruitment and retention” Plant said. “We’re challenged a little bit with recruitment because there’s not enough PSWs in the field.”

Ashley Yutronkie said she’d love to land a job at The Perley and Rideau, where she already knows many residents.

Pinecrest welcomes students

A new collaboration between Kenora’s Confederation College and Pinecrest is beginning in the fall. A new classroom is being built to give students hands-on experience to help them become personal support workers. The Living Classroom is a concept where students will learn theoretical aspects of the job, and then put them to use in Pinecrest, and help residents while they’re at it…. Continue reading

Reprinted by permission from Kenora Online

With a shortage of Personal Support Workers in the region, Pinecrest is opening its doors to students.

A new collaboration between Kenora’s Confederation College and Pinecrest is beginning in the fall. A new classroom is being built to give students hands-on experience to help them become personal support workers.

The Living Classroom is a concept where students will learn theoretical aspects of the job, and then put them to use in Pinecrest, and help residents while they’re at it.

Laura Christie, Director of the Lake of the Woods and Red Lake Campuses of Confederation College, spoke about the program.

“It’s a unique education experience. Students learn, and then put it to practice very quickly. We’ve been offering the PSW program for a while, but the living classroom is a new concept. We’ve only heard of it being offered in one other school in Southern Ontario. So it’s a really exciting concept,” she said.

Christie noted the shortage of PSWs in the region, and said introducing this program will help bridge that gap.

“There definitely is a shortage. This is an opportunity for people to learn, and work while they go to school. There will be an opportunity for them to be hired by Pinecrest part-time, before the program wraps up. It’s a great opportunity,” she said.

Fourteen seats are available for the program, that will be starting in the fall. Christie noted that Confederation College is happy to help.

“It’s a very important thing for us to continue to partner with the community, and organizations and businesses, to be able to provide education and training to help them fill their work force,” she said.

Christie says that if you are interested in learning more about the program, you can contact Pinecrest or Confederation College directly.

‘Living Classroom’ Program Launched to Address Shortage of PSWs

Confederation College and the District of Kenora Home for the Aged have partnered to bring an innovative curriculum delivery model to the community, by launching the ‘Living Classroom’ Personal Support Worker program in Kenora. The model combines classroom and real-life experiences to support students in completing the certificate program. Studying on-site at Pinecrest, the inter-professional, interactive learning environment will help students gain the knowledge and confidence needed to succeed in a career in long-term care. … Continue reading

Confederation College Media Release

Confederation College and District of Kenora Home for the Aged Partner to More Closely Align Education with Work Experience

KENORA, Ont – Confederation College and the District of Kenora Home for the Aged have partnered to bring an innovative curriculum delivery model to the community, by launching the ‘Living Classroom’ Personal Support Worker program in Kenora. The model combines classroom and real-life experiences to support students in completing the certificate program.

“The goal is to provide students with a unique, hands-on learning opportunity to facilitate their completion of the PSW program, while also working to address the shortage of PSWs in our community,” said Laura Christie, Director of Confederation College’s Lake of the Woods Campus. “Students will be able to immediately apply the theory they learn in the classroom, by practicing their skills at Pinecrest Home for the Aged. They’ll also gain meaningful part-time employment at Pinecrest when they’re not fulfilling program requirements.”

Studying on-site at Pinecrest, the inter-professional, interactive learning environment will help students gain the knowledge and confidence needed to succeed in a career in long-term care. Someone who knows what it takes and what it means to be a PSW is Dannielle Planes. She graduated from the accelerated PSW program at Confederation College’s Lake of the Woods Campus in 2013, and was an employee with DKH before she even enrolled.

“I wanted to work with seniors because of their life experiences and the respect they have for people,” said Planes. “I enjoy the interaction that I have with the residents – whether it’s the intimate care we’re giving, offering some reassurance and support when they need it, or indulging in a quick waltz in the hallway with a resident who loves to dance – it’s all very rewarding.”

Planes is the perfect example of the impact a PSW can have on the life of a senior. Her passion for what she does and her love for the residents is incredibly evident. She was even tearing up when sharing her experience.

“What you get out of this job is probably more than you put into it,” she said. “It’s not just wiping noses and feeding people, it’s about bringing comfort and companionship to people in need. The residents hold quite a spot in our hearts.”

It’s people like Planes who make it easy for the District of Kenora Home for the Aged to hire so many Confederation College graduates; in fact, the majority of employees are alumni.

“Confederation graduates have a solid educational foundation and great hands-on experience,” said Michelle Spencer, Manager of Human Resources at DKH. “Being able to learn within their community, they become more invested and once hired, are quick to understand that our organizational culture at DKH is to treat our residents as family. The residents don’t live in our workplace, we work in their home. Confederation alumni get that.”

Spencer noted that the new ‘Living Classroom’ model will further that understanding even more. “We have a longstanding partnership with Confederation College and this new collaboration will take that to a new level. It’s truly win-win for all involved, most importantly the students and our residents.”

In addition to providing the opportunity to work part-time while completing the program, the District of Kenora Home for the Aged will also be providing options for tuition assistance – interest-free loans may be available for students.

For more information about the ‘Living Classroom’ PSW program, contact the Confederation College Lake of the Woods Campus at kenoracampus@confederationcollege.ca or (807) 468-3121.

– 30 –

Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has eight regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Geraldton, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Wawa.

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 7,800 combined full and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 805 full and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $411.2 million annually.
Confederation College is proudly celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2017. For more information, visit www.confederationcollege.ca.

For more information, please contact:

CONFEDERATION COLLEGE
Nikki Silva, Professor, Personal Support Worker program
Ph: (807) 464-0546, E-mail: Nikki.Silva@confederationcollege.ca

Ashleigh Quarrell, Communications Consultant
Ph: (807) 475-6565, Cell: (807) 632-5296, E-mail: aquarrel@confederationcollege.ca

DISTRICT OF KENORA HOME FOR THE AGED
Michelle Spencer, Human Resource Manager
Ph: (807) 468-3165, etc. 222, E-mail: Michelle.Spencer@kenoradistricthomes.ca

Personal support worker program available in Dunnville

A unique partnership between Grandview Lodge retirement home in Dunnville and Niagara College Canada is allowing area residents to learn how to become personal support workers without having to travel out of Haldimand County…. Continue reading

Partnership between Grandview Lodge, Niagara College Canada gives area resident unique opportunity

By Tamara Botting. Reprinted by permission from The Sachem/Metroland Media. Photo: Tamara Botting/Metroland Media.

A unique partnership is allowing area residents to learn how to become personal support workers without having to travel out of Haldimand County.

In November 2015, Grandview Lodge retirement home in Dunnville hosted an open house for any healthcare professionals who might be interested in working at the facility.

Also, representatives from Niagara College Canada were invited to come so they could take information back to their nursing students.

That put Grandview administrator Joanne Jackson in contact with Angela Butt, registered nurse and manager of the international nursing post graduate studies and clinical education for NCC, and from there they worked together to bring the PSW course to Grandview.

“The students still take all of the courses, but it’s condensed to two days a week in our auditorium,” Jackson explained. Also, students will do their training hours at Grandview and in the community.

“What’s nice is, people can still have a job, look after their family, etc., because classes are just two days a week,” Jackson said.

Continue reading at sachem.ca

Changing the Impact of Nursing Assistants’ Education in Seniors’ Care: The Living Classroom in Long-Term Care

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. The Living Classroom is an effective learning approach with a positive and high-impact learning experience for all. The Living Classroom is instrumental in contributing to a capable workforce caring for seniors…. Continue reading

Veronique M. Boscart, Josie d’Avernas, Paul Brown, and Marlene Raasok
Canadian Geriatrics Journal, Vol 20, No 1, March 2017

https://doi.org/10.5770/cgj.20.238

Abstract

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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.

Conclusion

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.

Read the full text of the study.