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3 Tips for Memorizing Medical Terminology After Medical Office Administration Training

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Medical office administrators play an essential role within health care teams, making sure that the administrative side of clinics and hospitals run smoothly so that patients can reliably receive the care and services they need.
In doing so, they draw on a broad range of skills and competencies – including a general knowledge of medical terminology. For some, learning complex and unfamiliar terms like xerosis, epistaxis, and fasciculation can seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right methods and some practice, anyone can master the vocabulary of the medical field.

If you’re interested in training for a rewarding office administration career in a clinic, hospital, or government health agency, here are some helpful tips you can use to memorize medical terminology.

1. Knowing the Roots Will Help When You Become a Medical Office Administrator

Many medical terms are derived from Greek and Latin roots. Although medical terminology can sometimes seem complicated, becoming familiar with these basic roots can help make it easier to understand and easier to memorize. By knowing the roots of a word, you can also guess the approximate meaning of unfamiliar terms, by looking at which roots have been combined to create them.

Take the medical term hepatitis, for example. Hepatitis is formed from the combination of two roots: hepato, which refers to the liver, and itis, which is Latin for inflammation. By familiarizing yourself with these roots, you can guess approximately what the term refers to – an inflammation of the liver – and more easily understand and remember related terms, such as hepatic artery (the artery that supplies blood to the liver) and dermatitis (inflammation of the skin).

2. Flashcards Can be a Great Way to Learn New Vocabulary

Another great way to learn the vocabulary you’ll need when you become a medical office administrator is through the use of flash cards. If you’re not familiar with the flashcard method of memorization, it generally involves using index cards, with a term written on one side and its definition on the other. You can then either flip through terms, guessing at the correct definition, or flip through definitions, guessing at the correct term, always checking your answers as you go. This method can be very effective for learning full medical terms or common roots, as it provides instant feedback and can be done anywhere. With new dedicated mobile apps, you can even practice with flashcards on your phone.

Flashcards are an effective and portable way to practice new vocabulary

Flashcards are an effective and portable way to practice new vocabulary

3. Experiment with Different Methods to Learn What Works Best For You

It’s useful to remember that each person has a different learning style, and one of the best things you can do when memorizing new medical terminology during medical office administration training is to find the specific method that works best for how you learn.

Auditory learners, for example, learn best by using sound. If this describes you, then you might consider recording yourself sounding out vocabulary so you can listen back to it throughout the day, or creating tunes or jingles to help remember unfamiliar words. If you’re a visual learner, on the other hand, coming up with memorable mental images to associate with each new word might work better.

If you experiment with different methods, you’ll eventually find which ones work best for you. After that, it’s just a matter of practice!

A strong grasp of medical terminology will help when you become a medical office administrator

A strong grasp of medical terminology will help when you become a medical office administrator

Are you ready for a new career in the medical field?

Contact KLC College today to learn more about our career training in medical office administration.

Helping Senior Clients Stay Hydrated After Your PSW Training Program

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Ensuring clients stay hydrated is one of the many important duties that personal support workers (PSWs) are responsible for. Hydration is especially vital when caring for seniors because many seniors are more susceptible to dehydration. For example, some may have decreased sensitivity to feeling thirsty, some may have reduced kidney function, and others may be taking medications that can cause dehydration.

Once you become a PSW, you will need to come up with ways of ensuring your senior clients get their necessary fluid intake. Here’s a look at what you should know about keeping senior clients hydrated after your PSW training.

Grads of PSW Training Programs Should Watch for Signs of Dehydration in Seniors

As a PSW, you will need to be able to recognize the signs of dehydration so that you can prevent it from happening in the first place. Mild dehydration in seniors can present as dry mouth, headaches, decreased urination, thirst, dry skin, sleepiness, irritability, or feeling unwell. In more serious cases, seniors may experience fainting, a quick—but weak—heartbeat, low blood pressure, severe cramping, lack of sweat or tears, and rapid breathing.

If dehydration becomes chronic or goes unaddressed, it can cause extremely serious health conditions, like kidney failure, seizures, swelling in the brain, and coma. Keeping your clients well hydrated when you work as a PSW should be high on your list of priorities, since the consequences of dehydration can be quite serious.

Use the Skills Gained in PSW Training to Help Senior Clients Stay Hydrated

In your PSW training program, you will learn about hydration, and you can put that knowledge to use towards helping your older clients stay hydrated. Getting your clients to drink more water is the simplest and most obvious way of ensuring they consume enough fluids. Some of your clients may have mobility issues which can prevent them from getting their own water. In such a case, you may want to ensure that they always have a glass of water within reach. Some seniors have a less acute sense of thirst, don’t rely on your clients to tell you when they’re thirsty. Instead, make sure they always have adequate access to fluids.

PSWs can help senior clients stay hydrated by ensuring they have access to water

PSWs can help senior clients stay hydrated by ensuring they have access to water

Think of Creative Ways of Ensuring Your Clients Drink Enough Fluids

Some seniors may refuse to drink water, such as if they are battling a serious medical condition like Alzheimer’s disease. In such a case, you will need to find ways of coaxing them into consuming more fluids. Not all fluids need to come from water. If your client doesn’t enjoy water itself, try alternative sources of fluids that they may prefer. Your client may be able to meet their daily fluid intake requirements by drinking fruit juices, teas, and sweetened beverages, for example. Many fruits and vegetables also have high water content.

As a PSW, you can help senior clients stay hydrated by providing them with fruits and vegetables

As a PSW, you can help senior clients stay hydrated by providing them with fruits and vegetables

During your PSW classes, you will learn about the various health conditions that your clients could have. While it’s important to ensure they are drinking enough fluids in any form they can, you will also want to be mindful of any health conditions that could make some foods and beverages unsuitable for your clients. For example, foods or liquids that have high sugar content may be inappropriate for somebody with diabetes, while drinks high in sodium should not be given to clients with high blood pressure.

Are you ready to pursue a new career?

Contact KLC College to learn about our personal support worker college program.

5 Myths about Physiotherapy Debunked for Students Interested in Physiotherapy Assistant Training

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Physiotherapists (PTs) and occupational therapists (OTs) play an important role in a client’s physical rehabilitation – the ultimate goal is to help them improve their physical capabilities as well as their overall confidence. As a physiotherapy assistant, you may meet with some clients who aren’t familiar with exactly what a PT or OT does, and may be nervous about starting a physical therapy session.

Whether you work in a private clinic, hospital, or home-care, you can help dispel some of the more common myths a client may be aware of, and make them feel more comfortable with the idea of physiotherapy as well as prepare them for their journey through PT or OT.

Read on to find out how your training can help you debunk some of these popular physiotherapy myths.

Myth #1: Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are the Same Profession

Although both involve similar aspects and common goals, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are actually two separate career options.

While physiotherapy aims to improve a client’s strength, mobility, and range of motion, occupational therapy focuses on improving a client’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs). They are simply two different steps of the healing process, where PT treats the actual impairment and OT helps clients process and integrate their impairment in a way that keeps them engaged, capable, and independent in their own daily life.

Myth #2: Occupational Therapists Are There to Help Clients Find a Job

While the word occupational is generally used in the context of a profession, you should tell clients it’s best to leave the resume at home.

In occupational therapy, the word is used to signify a common activity that a person is engaging in – this can be anything from standing to lifting to even buttoning a shirt. It’s used in the profession because occupational therapists are there to support clients in performing these daily activities, and re-learning how to do them independently, without assistance.

Myth #3: Grads of Physiotherapy Assistant Training Only Treat Injuries

The idea that therapy exists to treat injuries is common, but physiotherapists actually do much more than that. Physiotherapy assistant training includes important lessons on anatomy and physiology, so you can better understand how the body operates as a whole, including when it’s injured. An injury, in fact, doesn’t have to be necessary for PT or OT – some clients may simply be facing challenges as they grow older, and may need help improving their mobility or staying active.

A physiotherapy assistant isn’t limited to only working with injuries, although this may be a common part of the job

A physiotherapy assistant isn’t limited to only working with injuries, although this may be a common part of the job

Myth #4: A Physiotherapy Session Has to Involve Pain in Order to Work

Many clients may be worried that their physiotherapy will be painful. While pain is something that is associated with the injuries physiotherapy addresses, the treatment itself shouldn’t actually be painful.

As a PT or OT assistant, you should work within the comfort zones of your clients, so it’s a good idea to check in, ask questions, and encourage them to communicate during a session. The goal is always pain-free movement, and you should revise your techniques according to your training from an occupational therapy assistant program anytime a client experiences pain.

Myth #5: Students in Occupational Therapy Assistant Programs Focus on Exercise

Because of its focus on the movement of the body, some clients may assume that PT or OT may involve exercise. While it’s certainly a component than can help improve body movement as a whole, the amount of exercise can vary from client to client, depending on the nature of their injury or individual needs.

Students at KLC College can use their training to tailor exercise techniques to each client

Students at KLC College can use their training to tailor exercise techniques to each client

A client with a knee injury, for example, won’t need the same types of exercise as a client who has a shoulder strain. It’s important to remember that clients will have different problems that need different solutions, and exercise should be approached on a dynamic, one-on-one basis, not prescribed generally.

Are you interested in a hands-on career helping others?

Contact KLC College for more information about our physical therapy assistant training program.

Using the Gentle Persuasive Approach When You Become a Personal Support Worker

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Advances in medical technology and treatment means that more Canadians are able to live longer and enjoy a higher standard of care than in the past. While this progress is certainly good news, it also means that more Canadians will need caregivers who have the right training and qualifications to help them enjoy their golden years to the fullest extent possible.

The Gentle Persuasive Approach (GPA) is a unique, person-centred curriculum that was created in order to help personal support workers (PSWs) provide more effective care for clients affected by dementia or delirium. GPA explores and addresses the underlying behaviours influenced by dementia, as well as how to proactively respond to and manage these behaviours.

If you’re interested in becoming a personal support worker, read on to find out how GPA can help you in your future career!

A Person-Centred Model of Care Is Growing Among Personal Support Workers

There have been a few noticeable innovations arising in healthcare in recent years, including what’s known as a person or patient-centred model of care. This is an approach that emphasizes the personhood of each client, and takes their individual needs into account when planning and managing their care.

Person-centred care is at the heart of the Gentle Persuasive Approach because it helps PSWs better understand the individual motivations that influence the behaviour of each client. This can be useful when you have a client living with dementia, which manifests differently between each person and may necessitate more personalized care that fits specific needs, schedules, and preferences. In fact, this approach is so useful that more than 300,000 Canadians to date have enriched their caregiving skills with GPA training.

A Gentle Persuasive Approach Can Improve Positive Behaviour Management

Providing a supportive environment is important when you become a personal support worker because your client has just as much of a right to respect, safety, and comfort as anyone else. This can be complicated, however, when a client is living with dementia, because this disease often involves unpredictable or sudden changes in behaviour.

Students at KLC can use their training to create a supportive environment for their clients

Students at KLC can use their training to create a supportive environment for their clients

GPA emphasizes the idea that each behavioural display has meaning behind it, and a majority of these can simply come from unmet needs. Describing behaviour as ‘aggressive’ or ‘challenging’ is unfair to the client, whose behaviour can often stem from complications of their disease. Their disease means they may not be able to fully access the standard methods of expressing their wants or needs, which can lead to frustrated or upset behaviour.

A Gentle Persuasive Approach promotes positive behavioural management techniques such as validation, collaboration, celebration, and accommodation, which encourages your clients to redirect their attention to positive aspects rather than negative ones.

Compassion Is Important When You Become a Personal Support Worker

GPA is featured in a personal support worker course because it emphasizes compassionate care. Although it may seem obvious, compassion can actually go a long way in your PSW career, including improving your work and your client’s quality of life.

Compassion can help PSWs better connect with and understand their clients

Compassion can help PSWs better connect with and understand their clients

Compassion begins with understanding that the person is separate from the disease that affects them; having compassion for your clients means that you are able to sympathize with them, and want to help them in the best way possible. GPA teaches PSWs to ask themselves compassionate questions before they respond to client behaviour, such as whether or not the client may be hungry, tired, or thirsty, and are simply having trouble expressing it. The compassionate answer may in fact be the simplest one—a meal, a nap, a drink of water—and this kind of consideration can help relieve your client’s discomfort before it escalates into problem behaviour.

Do you want to find a PSW private college that can prepare you for a career in caregiving?

Contact KLC College for more information about our programs.

How You Can Help Clients Living with Neurological Disorders After Physiotherapy Assistant Training

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Among the topics you’ll cover if you study physiotherapy or occupational therapy assistant training are the fundamentals of neurological disorders. Neurological disorders are any condition that affects the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and multiple sclerosis, for example. These disorders can cause a wide range of challenges for patients, but physiotherapy and occupation therapy can help to improve their quality of life.

The training you’ll receive in physiotherapy and occupational therapy assistant courses can prepare you to work with clients with neurological disorders. Here are just a few of the ways you can make a difference.

Physiotherapy Helps Patients with Degenerative Diseases Preserve Functions

Recovery is not always a viable option for people with neurological disorders. Specifically, if a patient is battling a degenerative disorder, like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or Alzheimer’s disease, then recovering lost functions may not be possible or realistic. Instead, the focus of physiotherapy is often on helping the patient preserve the movements and functions they still have and compensating for functions that have been lost.

For example, people with Parkinson’s may have trouble maintaining balance. A physiotherapist can devise a treatment plan for the patient that includes exercises which are designed to help patients learn how to maintain their sense of balance using their current abilities. Under the direction of the physiotherapist, you can use your physiotherapy assistant training to assist the patient through completing these balance exercises.

Physiotherapy can help patients suffering from neurological disorders improve their balance

Physiotherapy can help patients suffering from neurological disorders improve their balance

Help Stroke Victims Recover When You Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant

Strokes are very common, and currently, about 400,000 Canadians are living with long-term disability due to stroke. Stroke often leads to neurological disorders that require both physiotherapy and occupational therapy. The specific type of disorders vary widely from one stroke patient to another, but some common disorders include weakness on one side of the body, cognitive decline, and problems walking. These challenges can make performing daily activities a challenge.

Broadly speaking, physiotherapy focuses on helping stroke patients regain physical movement, while occupational therapy focuses on helping them participate in and complete activities. If you become an occupational therapy assistant, you can help stroke patients find ways to re-train or compensate for these lost activities. For example, many stroke victims have trouble with short-term memory, which can make daily tasks difficult. An occupational therapist will devise strategies that can help the patient compensate for these memory deficits, such as using memory aids like notice boards and wristbands. As an occupational therapy assistant, you will be able to help patients learn how to use these aids and report their progress back to the occupational therapist.

Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Can Help with Peripheral Neuropathy

Neurological conditions are not confined to just those that affect the brain. Instead, they are any condition that affects the nervous system. This includes the central nervous system, which is the brain and spinal cord, and the network of nerves located throughout the body called the peripheral nervous system. When the peripheral nervous system is damaged, it is called peripheral neuropathy, which can cause pain, numbness, loss of motor function, increased sensitivity, and many other issues. Peripheral neuropathy is especially common in patients with diabetes.

Physiotherapists may develop a range of exercises for patients with peripheral neuropathy that are designed to increase strength and improve motor functions. Physiotherapy assistants, under the supervision of the physiotherapist, help guide the patient through these exercises. Occupational therapy assistants, meanwhile, may—again under the supervision of the occupational therapist—teach patients how to overcome safety issues during daily tasks, like how to avoid falls while walking.

Physiotherapy can help those with peripheral neuropathy regain strength

Physiotherapy can help those with peripheral neuropathy regain strength

Are you interested in a fulfilling new career?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our occupational therapist assistant course.

4 Ways Education Assistant Training Can Help You Keep a Classroom Organized

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Working in special education means providing a supportive classroom, and that includes organization. Organization is more than making sure paper and pens are put away and everything is in order before the next day – it can also help prepare you to meet the individual learning needs of your students and provide a more structured classroom environment.

Whether you want to provide students with visual aids or reduce potential distractions, there are a variety of organizational methods you and your fellow educators can use to help your students learn and participate in and around the classroom.

If you’re interested in starting a career as an educational assistant, read on to find out how your training can help you and your classroom become more organized.

1. Positive Student Behaviour Support Begins with Good Organization

Supporting positive behaviour in the classroom is an important part of your work when you become an educational assistant. Although there may be days when positive behaviour seems to be the last thing on your students’ minds, staying organized can actually help you keep your class on the right track.

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may have trouble understanding how they are expected to act in the classroom. An organized room with physically defined spaces can help them better separate each setting, and even anticipate what a certain activity in that space means. Encouraging a deeper understanding of the current activity or lesson can cultivate a more positive response in students as they learn how to interact with and prepare for the context of each separate space.

2. Organization in the Classroom Can Reduce Student Distractibility

Many special education learners can be easily distracted. Educational assistant training emphasizes the important role that behaviour management plays in the special education classroom, and that includes reducing any auditory or visual distractions.

Educational assistants can use organization to minimize distractions in class

Educational assistants can use organization to minimize distractions in class

General clutter and even walls crowded end to end with posters or information can be a distraction to students with ASD because all of the unorganized elements are competing at once for their attention. Reducing excessive visual input can help minimize the stimulus students receive from their classroom environment, so it’s a good idea to only include the most relevant visual materials on the walls or desks, and put all the extra materials or supplies neatly away out of sight.

3. Educational Assistant Training Can Help You Organize Individual Learning Styles

Individualized learning is a core element of your educational assistant program and your classroom. Children with special needs often learn in very different styles, and organization can help you ensure they are learning in the best way possible.

Students at KLC can use organization to support individual learning styles

Students at KLC can use organization to support individual learning styles

Organization in the classroom can be as simple as labelling items with words and even pictures. Labelling each student’s materials, assigned seat, or personal items can help them tell which objects are theirs, and encourage them to have a more independent perspective of these items, as well as how they relate to themselves as individuals. “David’s chair,” for example, tells everyone in the room – David included – that this is his personal space to use during class.

4. Use Your Educational Assistant Training to Provide Visual Organization

Special education learners often rely on visual cues to better understand their classroom environment, and it’s important to make sure everything is organized in a way that provides plenty visual support.

If you choose to label areas of the classroom, you can also include pictures to help students understand where things are supposed to go as well as what they look like. This kind of visual cue gives them easily-accessible information that helps make abstract concepts more concrete. Visual aids such as a schedule or first-then board can provide students with a sense of structure, and encourages them to follow multi-step directions in order to achieve something they want.

Are you interested in starting a rewarding career in the classroom?

Contact KLC College for more information about our educational assistant course.

Appetite Stimulation: What You Need to Know if You Want to Become a Personal Support Worker

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Practising good nutrition can be difficult at any age, especially if appetite is compromised. Appetite is our body’s gateway to healthy living and nourishment, but it has a complex relationship with our bodies—it can be stimulated by our central nervous system to regulate our energy levels, and even by exterior factors such as our surroundings or meal schedules.

Our sense of appetite can change as we grow older, but maintaining proper nutrition is always important to help guard our personal well-being. For personal support workers (PSWs), good nutrition is a key component of making sure clients are healthy and happy, but a low or nonexistent appetite can sometimes make this goal seem like an uphill battle.

If you’re interested in becoming a PSW, read on to find out what you should know about stimulating your clients’ appetites.

PSWs Know that Loss of Appetite Is Common with Senior Clients

Our appetites are influenced by a complicated combination of factors inside—and out—of our bodies. As we age, our taste buds can dull, and food can begin to seem bland and unappetizing. Our appetites, like with our sense of taste, are similarly linked to our ability to smell and see; an impairment of these senses means our bodies can no longer access the same visual or olfactory cues to stimulate our appetite.

PSWs should watch out for the side effects of their clients’ medication

PSWs should watch out for the side effects of their clients’ medication

Medication also plays an important role in appetite. One of the most common side effects when taking medication—as well as a common issue for many seniors in general—is dehydration. Dehydration can lead to a decrease in appetite, sometimes simply because a client’s body is less sensitive to feelings of thirst. Medication can also lead to dry mouth and reduced saliva production, which can make chewing or swallowing difficult, so it’s always a good idea to make sure clients are properly hydrated.

These Simple Solutions Can Help PSWs Boost Their Clients’ Appetites

PSW classes introduce you to important concepts like nutrition, which help keep your clients healthy. Serving balanced, nutritional meals on a regular schedule establishes a consistent routine, which can help adjust your client’s body and mind to a set period of eating or drinking. You can also encourage healthy snacking throughout the day to keep their metabolic systems active between meals.

Students at KLC can help improve their clients’ appetites

Students at KLC can help improve their clients’ appetites

Retirement, reduced mobility, and health complications can mean a client may feel isolated or depressed, and view mealtimes as a chore rather than something to enjoy. If possible, try to suggest that your clients eat meals with others, which can make it a more social activity and give clients something to look forward to every day.

Think Outside the (Lunch) Box When You Become a Personal Support Worker

Sometimes when you feel like you’ve exhausted all your options, it’s best to get creative.

If your client has trouble swallowing or chewing, try to include blended drinks or smoothies in their menu. If they feel that mealtimes aren’t special, break out the nice tablecloths or make a meal you know they enjoy. It may be frustrating to work with a client who doesn’t have a strong appetite, but sometimes going the extra mile when you become a personal support worker can show them that someone cares, which encourages them to make an effort.

Some seniors may feel that they don’t have much control over what or when they eat. If possible, try to involve them or a loved one in their menu-planning, or ask them to help out if you need a hand in the kitchen—even something as simple as setting the table can make them feel more empowered and personally involved in the process, and thus more invested in their meals.

Are you interested in learning more about starting your career as a PSW?

Contact KLC College for more information about our personal support worker college program.

3 Places You Could Work When You Become an Occupational Therapy Assistant

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If you’re looking for a career where you get to make a positive difference in the lives of people every day, you may want to consider becoming an occupational therapy assistant (OTA). Working alongside occupational therapists, OTAs help individuals who have injuries, disabilities, and physical or mental impairments develop or recover the skills they need to participate in everyday activities.

OTAs play an essential role in our healthcare system and they can be found working in a wide variety of healthcare settings. If you’re training to become an OTA, you’ll be qualified to work in a variety of settings once you graduate. Read on to learn more.

1. OTAs Assist with Stroke Rehabilitation at Hospitals & Rehabilitation Centres

OTAs assist individuals who are on the path to recovery after a traumatic event or injury. Often, OTAs work in hospitals and rehabilitation centres helping to rehabilitate patients. Working with individuals who have suffered strokes is especially common in such settings, with some hospitals having dedicated facilities just for stroke patients. Rehabilitation centres also often focus extensively on helping stroke patients recover.

Such patients will usually see a team of specialists, including occupational therapists and OTAs. The occupational therapist will develop a plan for the patient, which the OTA will help to put into action. For example, while every person who has had a stroke will have different goals and care needs, as an OTA, you will assist with such things as helping the patient learn how to dress, bathe, eat, and stay mobile.

Occupational therapy assistants often assist with rehabilitation for patients at hospitals

Occupational therapy assistants often assist with rehabilitation for patients at hospitals

2. You Can Assist People in Community Living as an Occupational Therapy Assistant

Some individuals have intellectual disabilities that allow them to live somewhat independently, while still requiring occasional assistance for certain tasks. For such people, community living provides an ideal mix of independence and support. Community living can take many forms depending on the person’s individual needs and challenges.

Some individuals live at home with their families, for example, with occupational therapists and OTAs visiting occasionally to provide assistance. Others may live in a group home with other people who also have intellectual disabilities. When you become an occupational therapy assistant, you can play an important role in assisting individuals in community living. For example, you can help them with developing their fine motor and socialization skills, and with learning daily tasks, like grooming, eating, and cleaning.

3. OTAs in Retirement and Nursing Homes Can Help Address the Needs of Older Individuals

OTAs frequently work with older patients, especially in retirement and nursing homes. As part of your occupational therapy assistant program, you’ll learn about gerontology, which is the study of old age, aging, and issues that are particular to seniors. The knowledge you gain from your gerontology course can help you better understand the challenges that older clients who live in retirement and nursing homes face.

For instance, senior patients are at an elevated risk of a number of health conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease, which may require the assistance of an OTA. As an OTA, you can help such clients better manage their health conditions, such as by helping them with routine exercises, preparing food, and communicating, all of which can improve their overall quality of life.

Occupational therapy assistants use their knowledge of gerontology to work in nursing homes

Occupational therapy assistants use their knowledge of gerontology to work in nursing homes

Are you ready to begin your new career?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our occupational therapy assistant course.

Nutrition and Dental Health: Advice to Give Your Clients When You Become a Dental Assistant

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The common saying ‘you are what you eat’ applies to more areas of your personal health than you may think. Good oral health is affected in part by your diet, because the food you eat gives you the nutrients your body needs to renew tissues and fight infection in your bones, teeth, and gums.

Intra-oral dental assistants work closely under the supervision of a dentist to maintain, treat, and ensure their client’s good oral care. They may also serve as a form of infection control, which means that they must be familiar with which personal behaviours influence a client’s oral health, including their diet. Sugary foods, fad diets, starches, and even supplements can all have a negative effect on oral health, and it’s important to understand how this can lead to a client frequently (or infrequently) coming in for treatment.

If you’re interested in entering a new and rewarding career as an intra-oral dental assistant, read on to find out what you should know about the role nutrition plays in oral health.

Dental Assistants Know Good Nutrition Helps Prevent Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common dental problems you may see as an intra-oral dental assistant. Our gums—or gingivae—are tissues which help our teeth stay in place.

Foods which are high in carbohydrates, sugars, and starches can contribute to the buildup of bacterial plaque in our gums, which weaken the enamel of our teeth as well as the tissue of our gums, and can lead to cavities or infection if left untended.

Intra-oral dental assistants help clients take good care of their teeth

Intra-oral dental assistants help clients take good care of their teeth

In order to reduce the risk of periodontal disease, clients should try to limit the amount of sugary snacks, carbonated or fruit drinks, and acidic foods or beverages they consume, as these can all lead to plaque and tartar buildup.

It’s also a good idea to visit the dentist once every six months, as professional cleanings can help keep plaque under control and remove it from places which may be hard for a client to reach on their own. If you’re interested in learning the best techniques to tackle plaque and prevent periodontal disease, dental assistant training covers the finer points of good oral care, such as anatomy, physiology, infection control, and preventive dentistry.

Dental Assistant Training Can Teach You Which Foods to Recommend

The food a person eats has such a direct effect on oral health because the mouth is the first point of contact for the food and drinks they consume. Preventive dentistry is an important part of the job if you want to become a dental assistant, and practicing proper nutrition is one of the key aspects which can help clients avoid experiencing recurrent or frequent problems with their oral health.

Students at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral healthStudents at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral health

Students at KLC College know that nutrition is an important part of oral health

Empty calorie foods may be fun to eat, but they don’t offer much nutritional value. Candy, sweets, and fast food often contain high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates, and fats, which—as we’ve learned before—can cause the buildup of bacteria in the teeth and gums. Drinks like soda, lemonade, and sweetened coffee can create a sugar bath over your teeth as you drink them, which can hasten tooth decay as the sugar and acids weaken the enamel and surrounding tissues.

There are some foods, however, which promote good oral health. Dairy products such as plain yogurt and cheese have high amounts of calcium, and protein-rich foods like meat, poultry, and eggs contain good sources of phosphorus—two minerals which can protect and strengthen tooth enamel. Fruits and vegetables provide water and fiber, which can help clean the teeth by stimulating saliva production that washes away bacteria and neutralizes acid.

Are you ready to take the next steps towards your future career in dental health?

Contact KLC College for more information about our dental assistant diploma program.

Interested in Education Assistant Training? Here’s What You Should Know About Positive Behaviour Supports

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Education assistants support teachers in the classroom by understanding students’ behavioural characteristics, assisting in developing individualized student programs, and much more. To help them accomplish important tasks like these, education assistants help carry out behavioural interventions for students who exhibit problem behaviours or who are struggling academically.

One type of behavioural intervention that’s frequently used in schools is called positive behaviour support (PBS), which is designed to promote good behaviour in students. Because PBS is so widespread in education, it is important for education assistants to understand the theory behind it and how it is applied in the classroom.

Positive Behaviour Support Helps Encourage Good Behaviour in Children

PBS is a type of behaviour management system that is widely used by schools as a way of reducing problem behaviour and encouraging good behaviour in students. According to non-profit research organization Child Trends, problem behaviour can include externalized behaviours like “aggression, disruptive behaviour, and oppositional defiance” and internalized behaviours like “withdrawal, anxiety, or depression.” PBS is based on the assumption that problem behaviour occurs because something in the student’s environment rewards or encourages such behaviour. PBS focuses on identifying the root cause of problem behaviour and developing a plan to discourage it while also encouraging alternative, positive behaviours.

Schools utilize PBS using a three-tiered model: at the primary level the focus is on school-wide interventions, such as encouraging all students to walk rather than run in the hallways. The secondary level focuses on groups of students who are at risk of behavioural problems and who require short-term interventions. Lastly, the tertiary level focuses on interventions for individuals who have a persistent pattern of behavioural problems and require individualized attention. Tertiary level PBS typically applies to just 1-5% of the student body for whom primary and secondary level interventions are ineffective. For students who require tertiary intervention, an individualized behaviour plan is developed and implemented.

Tertiary level PBS focuses on individualized behavioural intervention strategies

Tertiary level PBS focuses on individualized behavioural intervention strategies

Educational Assistants with PBS Training Work to Identify the Root Causes of Problem Behaviour

If a child exhibits problem behaviour, PBS encourages first identifying if that student is being inadvertently rewarded for behaving badly. For example, many young children act out because they know that they will get attention by doing so. As a result, yelling at a child who is exhibiting such behaviour actually ends up rewarding them since the “punishment” draws more attention.

By utilizing the PBS strategies you learn during education assistant training, you can identify why a child is behaving poorly and what the best response to the behaviour may be. While PBS does allow for consequences for problem behaviour, such as through requiring the student to complete unfinished homework during recess, such consequences are not the final goal. Rather, PBS is focused on replacing problem behaviours with positive behaviours.

Education Assistant Training Will Show You How PBS is Applied in Schools

If you become an education assistant you will not only learn about PBS during the theory component of your training, you will also see it put into action during your career. That’s because PBS is used in most schools in one form or another. For instance, receiving a sticker or gold star for doing well on an assignment is an example of a primary level intervention that is applied at many schools.

In your education assistant career, you can also use PBS to replace problem behaviours with positive ones in individual students. For example, if a child is looking for attention, you may want to speak quietly to that child and calmly explain why their behaviour is inappropriate. Talking calmly removes the reward (i.e., getting more attention) that the child is seeking. With the reward removed, you can then ask them to complete the assignment. When the student completes the assignment, he or she can then be rewarded for doing so by being praised in front of the class. Praise satisfies the child’s desire for attention, but in a way that encourages him or her to seek that attention through positive behaviours.

At KLC College, our education assistant courses cover positive behaviour support

At KLC College, our education assistant courses cover positive behaviour support

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