- 10. Promote and Sustain/Expand Value
10. Promote and Sustain/Expand Value
Investment and opportunities do not stop once the LC is up and running.
- 7. Identify and Connect Post-Secondary Education Faculty and Long-Term-Care Teams
7. Identify and Connect Post-Secondary Education Faculty and Long-Term-Care Teams
People are the greatest asset in Living Classrooms, as in many other businesses and collaborations.
- 8. Integrate Curriculum and Long-Term-Care Activities
8. Integrate Curriculum and Long-Term-Care Activities
A curriculum is the heart of any given educational program.
- 9. Define Communication and Coordination Mechanisms
9. Define Communication and Coordination Mechanisms
Open and ongoing communication is encouraged and valued.
- 4. Formalize the Collaboration
4. Formalize the Collaboration
A business relationship focused on collaboration is optimal for our Living Classroom.
- 5. Commit to the Physical Space for the Living Classroom
5. Commit to the Physical Space for the Living Classroom
There are many items that go into making the LC an inviting and interprofessional working
- 6. Create Standard Operating Protocols and Formal Agreements
6. Create Standard Operating Protocols and Formal Agreements
There are many Standard Operating Protocols that have to be considered between both organizations when
a Living Classroom is developed, but only two formal agreements are recommended.
- 1. Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
1. Agree on the Living Classroom Definition
This is an important first step to promote a full and shared understanding of the Living Classroom.
- 2. Determine Operational Viability
2. Determine Operational Viability
Operation viability involves the “make or break” elements that determine if a Living Classroom is possible.
- 3. Identify Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
3. Identify Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
The Living Classroom offers many opportunities for both a Long-Term Care home and a Post-Secondary Educator.
- Living Classroom
Unlock the potential. Open the door to the living classroom.
Explore the Potential for the Living Classroom: (1) Agree on the LC Definition, (2) Determine Operational Viability, (3) Identify the Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
Identify the Win-Win Opportunities and Develop Shared Values
The Living Classroom offers many opportunities for both a LTC home and a PSE. Table 4 below presents an overview of the joint opportunities for PSEs and LTC homes embarking on a business relationship.
Starting the Discussion
With Table 4 as a guide, you can identify your own win-win opportunities that can be gained in a PSE-LTC collaboration and assess your compatibility for such a joint venture.
Some of the questions you will want to discuss with potential collaborators include:
- Do both organizations feel comfortable with the Living Classroom aims of improving quality through education and clinical learning to prepare a competent workforce in long-term care? What program do you agree to collaborate on, and why?
Example: The collaboration between Schlegel Villages and Conestoga College agreed to focus first on PSW education before expanding to education of other groups. Experience offering Practical Nursing (PN) at Riverside Glen also made it clear that PN needs more program support and specialized learning resources.
- What will both organizations commit towards the ultimate goal of improving resident outcomes? Discuss specific skills, resources, finances and time commitments. Will both organizations invest time and resources to support research that demonstrates the impact of the Living Classroom on resident outcomes?
Example: In our collaboration, we created a to-do list outlining the major skills, resources, finances and time frames needed and listed who would be responsible for these, and financial resources and in-kind resource committed by each.
- How will the Living Classroom foster research and research integration designed to improve care?
Example: In our collaboration between Schlegel Villages and Conestoga College, we both agreed on the value and importance of research, but also to contain the research agenda initially. Our LC research focuses on development and evaluation of PSW education, optimizing the role of PSWs in LTC, and impacts on resident outcomes.
- Do both organizations believe that a collaboration model – between a Post-Secondary Educator and a Long-Term Care home – is the preferred way of working together? Why or why not?
Example: In our collaboration model, Schlegel Villages ensures that physical space is barrier free and signage meets AODA requirements. Conestoga College ensures that students have all required vaccinations, as well as a vulnerable sector police check, before coming in contact with residents and families in the LTC home.
As you can see from the discussion questions above, shared values help define the LC, what the LC can achieve, and how to make it successful. If desired, these shared values can be put forward in a formally stated mission statement.
A mission is the motivator and the driver to any business organization.
It is something to work for and toward. If there is no mission, then there is nothing that binds the collaboration. There is no director, no destination, nothing to work toward. When a mission is created, it should be used as the basis for all decision-making in the collaboration (Rinehart, Laszlo, and Briscoe, 2001).
Sample Mission Statement for a Living Classroom
“The Living Classroom aims to develop a competent and caring workforce for long-term care, by bringing the organizational values and expertise of Schlegel Villages and Conestoga College together, and by locating learning on-site in a long-term care home, as well as integrating learning and practice.”
During our discussion on the LC collaboration, we developed three goals for the LC that built on the missions of the respective organizations to guide development and implementation. A banner hangs in the LC as a reminder of these goals and the mission statements of the collaborating organizations.