This quote has gained so much popularity recently that it almost seems cliché in business boardrooms. The increased emphasis on improving quality in long-term care has led to a greater focus on effective staff development and thus produced the same question in our homes. If we invest a larger portion of our limited resources on staff development what is to keep staff from leaving our home? Honestly? Nothing. However, the benefit that a well-prepared caregiver has on the quality of care provided to our elders far outweighs any risk.
Although we have always had excellent people providing outstanding care in our homes new initiatives, guidelines and regulatory processes have compelled a change in the culture of staff development. This change requires the use of practical and relevant staff development techniques and approaches. When choosing fresh methods for staff development, consider methods that produce skills and knowledge that staff can apply immediately. Staff development that inspires caregivers to apply it to what they do every day has the most benefit for our elders.
Wanda Bryant, LPN from Magnolia Health and Rehabilitation attended Dementia training provided by the Arkansas Quality Partners. Wanda has incorporated the “hand under hand” technique in the dining room. She stated that one of her more independent residents has not been eating as well. With the “hand under hand” technique, the resident feels as though she is feeding herself and has been eating much better.
Wanda tells of another resident who has more advanced dementia. The resident will cry when she comes to the dining room because she does not understand what she needs to do. Wanda has applied this “hand under hand” technique to assist with eating. The resident has a sense of being involved in the care and providing assistance “with” the resident rather than “to” the resident has helped this individual have an improved dining experience.
Wanda agrees that when using an unfamiliar care technique, you will need to develop your skill and comfort level with the technique by starting with the less challenging individuals and practice, practice, practice.
The Arkansas Quality Partners is focused on providing additional tools and techniques that will aid in connecting the individual providing the care with the individual receiving the care.