Category: News

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

occupational therapy assistant program

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

dental assistant diploma program

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

education assistant training

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

Are you interested in pursuing a new career?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our education assistant school.

Want to Become a Pharmacy Technician? Here Are the 5 Most Important Skills You’ll Need

pharmacy technician college course
Pharmacy technicians play an essential role in helping pharmacies meet the important and varied medicinal needs of their patients. Responsible for the technical aspects of both new and refill prescriptions, they ensure that each patient, dosage form, dose, and doctor is properly recorded and that prescriptions are quickly and accurately filled.

Pharmacy technicians prepare prescription products by compounding, counting, measuring, and labelling. They gather patient information for the pharmacist to review, and sometimes perform routine data entry. For many people, being a pharmaceutical technician offers a deeply rewarding career path, performing a valuable and necessary service for pharmacies and their customers.

If you’re considering training for a new career as a pharmacy technician, you might be wondering what kind of skills and qualities would make you suited for the role. Here are five of the most important.

Pharmacy Technicians Depend on Good Communication Skills

Communication skills are very important for pharmacy technicians. In any situation where medications are being dispensed, having strong written and verbal communication skills can be essential in ensuring that people are taking the correct amounts of the right medications, and that they have all the information they need to do so safely. Whether speaking with pharmacists or other co-workers, pharmacy technicians need to know that they’re being understood.

Attention to Detail is Important When You Become a Pharmacy Technician

Attention to detail is one of the most important skills to have for anyone working with medications. When they’re updating patient records, preparing prescriptions, counting out tablets, and labelling medications, pharmacy technicians need to make sure that they pay attention to every detail. If you enjoy detail-oriented tasks and often find yourself double- or triple-checking your own work, then you might just excel in a pharmacy technician college course.

become a pharmacy technician

Attention to detail is one of the most important skills for anyone working in a pharmacy setting

Strong Math Skills Will Come in Useful

Many of the common tasks performed by pharmacy assistants, such as rationing medications and converting measurements, involve working with numbers. While pharmacy technicians don’t need to be math-whizzes, at least some degree of mathematical aptitude will be very helpful in ensuring the accuracy of customers’ medications and doses.

Computer Skills Will be Helpful in Your Career

Like many jobs today, pharmacy technicians can expect to use computers regularly during their day-to-day work. When you become a pharmacy technician, you’ll use special computer programs to keep track of important, and often highly sensitive, information, like patient histories and current prescriptions, as well as details regarding the composition of specific medications, so some familiarity with computers will come in handy.

pharmacy technician diploma program

Pharmacy technicians should be comfortable working with computers

Pharmacy Technicians Need to Stay Well-Organized

The work of a pharmacy technician can be fast-paced at times. Having strong organizational skills will go a long way in staying on top of the various tasks you’ve been assigned and making sure that each customer receives the correct prescription. If you enjoy multi-tasking, excel at managing your own time, and are able to stay organized even when things get hectic, then these skills will serve you well as a pharmacy technician.

Are you interested in training for a career as a pharmacy technician?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our pharmacy technician diploma program.

Ready to Start a New Career? 4 Reasons to Enrol in Our Personal Support Worker Course

personal support worker course

If you’ve already decided that becoming a Personal Support Worker (PSW) is the right career choice for you, you now have another big decision to make: which PSW program should you choose to pursue your studies?

Selecting a program that provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the role is crucial, however, you may also want to consider a school that offers career support after graduation. A quick search online will tell you there’s no shortage of PSW programs available, so how do ensure you make the right decision?

Not all PSW programs are created equal and KLC College’s stands above the rest for a number of reasons, including our hands-on education, small class sizes, and career services.

To assist you during your search, here are a few reasons to consider PSW training at KLC College.

1. KLC’s PSW Program is by the National Association of Career Colleges

Our PSW program is by the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), which means you can rest assured that our program meets requirements set by the NACC. The NACC is Canada’s largest organization representing private career colleges and counts 500 regulated career colleges as members. Their program confirms that a college has adhered to high-quality standards. Since our PSW program is by the NACC, you will have peace of mind knowing that you’ll receive an industry-recognized education.

2. Enjoy Small Class Sizes and Flexibility at KLC College

Our students get the personalized support they need in order to be job-ready as a PSW. You’ll benefit from small class sizes led by dedicated instructors. Limiting the sizes of our classes is ideal as it prevents students from feeling “lost in the crowd.” Instead, you’ll be able to easily ask your instructor for any clarification with the course material, and you’ll get individualized help as needed.

Furthermore, because our personal support worker courses are held during the evening, our program is a great option if you have other commitments and responsibilities during the day, such as work and family obligations.

3. We’ll Help You Land Your First Job after Your PSW Training Program

Our Career Directions Program prepares students to find work soon after graduating from their program. A dedicated advisor will work with you to identify your career goals and uncover the steps you need to take to achieve them.

You’ll also receive job readiness training, interview tips, resume writing help, and job search assistance as part of your PSW program. Developing these skills will help you market yourself as a strong candidate to employers when job hunting. In fact, over 94% of PSW graduates at our main Kingston campus find employment in their field of study within six months of graduation.

The Career Directions Program at KLC College will help you succeed during your job search

The Career Directions Program at KLC College will help you succeed during your job searchBeautiful Asian businesswoman smiling and shaking hands

4. Our PSW Training Program Includes Hands-On Experience in a Clinical Placement

Hands-on training is valuable for two reasons: it is often the best way to learn the skills that PSWs need to exceed on the job, and it provides you with work experience that employers seek in job applicants. Our PSW training program features a clinical placement that you’ll complete on weekends.

You could be placed in a range of settings, including a healthcare facility, community agency, acute care facility, or perhaps another healthcare setting. You’ll work under the supervision of your instructor and a host-provided preceptor learning and applying skills that PSWs use every day. The clinical placement will help you become job-ready and in some cases and could even lead to a job offer.

Our PSW program includes a clinical placement where you’ll get real-world experience

Our PSW program includes a clinical placement where you’ll get real-world experience

Do you want to become a personal support worker?

Contact KLC College today to learn more about our programs!

Occupational Therapy vs. Physiotherapy: A Primer for Anyone Considering Career Training

physiotherapy assistant training

When many people think of occupational therapy and physiotherapy, they often assume the two terms are interchangeable. This confusion may be due to the fact that both were originally part of the same profession known as reconstruction aides, which provided rehabilitation services to war veterans. As the profession developed, new practices and techniques began emerging which offered better, more comprehensive approaches to physical rehabilitation, introducing the different areas of occupational therapy (OT) and physiotherapy (PT).

The ultimate goal of both professions is to improve a patient’s mobility and quality of life. While the two provide similar hands-on rehabilitative services, they often use separate approaches to their work. This means that there are a few distinct differences you should know if you’re considering a physiotherapy or occupational therapy career. If you’re interested in finding out which one might be right for you, read on to learn more.

Physiotherapy Emphasizes Body Mechanics and Gross Motor Function

Physiotherapy operates around the core idea of evaluating, diagnosing, and treating the physical source of a client’s injuries. A focus on how the body moves and operates, known as body mechanics, is a defining feature of physiotherapy. Body mechanics involves gross motor function, which is a set of physical skills that helps coordinate the overall movement of our body’s muscles to perform certain actions, such as swimming, climbing, or running.

career training

A career in physiotherapy emphasizes improving the way the body moves and operates

If you want to become a physiotherapist assistant, it’s important to understand the context you’ll be working in. Physiotherapists generally work towards improving strength, balance, and range of motion, so if someone has broken their arm, for example, they might visit a physiotherapist to work with them and advise them on injury prevention—including what physical activities they should avoid as they heal—as well as help them practice exercise techniques to improve mobility in their injured arm.

Occupational Therapy Professionals Work to Improve Daily Living Skills

While physiotherapy focuses on overall body mechanics, occupational therapy trainig puts more emphasis on improving fine motor and cognitive skills. Fine motor skills are more particular than gross motor skills, and involve small muscular movements such as picking up objects between your fingers, writing, or turning the pages of a book. Occupational therapists—depending on their workplace setting—can include physical exercise in their work to promote the use of these fine motor skills, but they are more often focused on the cognitive side of physical rehabilitation.

Rehabilitating an injury is more than building back physical strength. It also involves the process of reintroducing and adapting yourself to your new physical environment. That same person who has broken their arm might visit an occupational therapist to improve their ability to perform daily living activities such as writing or buttoning their shirt with a non-dominant hand. OT professionals also assist their clients in areas such as self-care, homemaking, and socialization as a way to increase their overall sense of independence, as well as direct them to community resources that may improve their quality of life during and after their rehabilitation.

become a physiotherapist assistant

Physiotherapy training can teach students to treat clients in many areas of physical rehabilitation

Finding Common Ground with Physiotherapy Assistant Training

Although physiotherapy focuses more on the body itself, and occupational therapy on lifestyle, both are two sides of the same coin—physical rehabilitation. PT and OT professionals operate from the same principles of pursuing health and well-being through hands-on care and client education, with PT treating the body through the muscles, and OT treating the body through the mind.

Understanding how both of these practices work together to heal the body is important when starting your new physiotherapy or occupational therapy career, which is why physiotherapy assistant training offers the best of both worlds. Comprehensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy training teaches you the anatomical and physiological knowledge you need to perform the right physiotherapy techniques, while also allowing you to explore different subjects such as ethics and professionalism, psychology, and neurology, that can enrich the overall quality of your services.

Whether you decide to follow your interests into physiotherapy or occupational therapy, you can use the skills you learn to build your foundations to a long and rewarding career helping others through the healing process.

Are you interested in taking the next step towards a career in physiotherapy?

Contact KLC College for more information about our career training.

Identifying Anxiety in Children After Child and Youth Worker Training

child and youth worker training

The world can sometimes be a confusing and daunting place for children, and in some cases, this can lead them to develop issues with anxiety. If you’re considering pursuing child and youth worker training, you will learn how to provide frontline treatment to children and youth who may suffer emotional challenges like anxiety disorder. As such, knowing how to identify the signs of anxiety in children is the first step towards assisting in their treatment.

Read on to learn just a few of the signs that can indicate a child may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Children with Anxiety Frequently Avoid Situations that are Triggering

Some children try to cope with their anxiety by avoiding triggering situations entirely. A child suffering from social anxiety disorder, for instance, will often find ways to avoid interacting with other children. For example, the child may claim they are sick to avoid going to a birthday party that they were invited to.

Avoiding these types of situations doesn’t treat the root cause of the anxiety and can sometimes make it worse. Avoidance can also make it harder for adults to recognize when a child has anxiety, which can lead to delays in diagnosing and treating the issue. Once you begin your career helping children, it’s important to be on the lookout for a child who is avoiding certain situations repeatedly, as this may be occurring due to anxiety.

Children with anxiety may avoid situations that can be triggering for them

Children with anxiety may avoid situations that can be triggering for them

Child and Youth Worker Training Teaches You to Recognize Disruptive Behaviour in Anxious Children

Children with anxiety can often exhibit disruptive behaviour, such as explosive outbursts, for example. While it is common for children to occasionally have outbursts, such as tantrums, those with anxiety may have a pattern of outbursts which can last more than 6 months. For instance, a child with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—which is classified as an anxiety disorder by the World Health Organization—may have outbursts whenever their classmates do not put their toys away in a precise manner or do not enter or exit the classroom in a specific way. Such disruptive behaviour can be difficult for adults to understand and many times they may presume that simply punishing the child will solve the problem.

However, at child and youth worker college, you will learn that punishment is rarely an effective way of helping children through their anxiety-linked disruptive behaviour, since it does not address the root cause of the behaviour. In some cases, outbursts in class may simply be how a child reacts to a stressful situation at home, such as a divorce or the death of a pet.

Child and youth worker training can prepare you to identify and assist in treating disruptive behaviour

Child and youth worker training can prepare you to identify and assist in treating disruptive behaviour

Obsessing Over Unrealistic Scenarios Can Be a Sign of Separation Anxiety

Another sign that a child may possibly be struggling with an anxiety disorder is when they obsess over situations that are unrealistic or far into the future. For example, some children with anxiety may worry about their parents passing away, or about a natural disaster occurring. This type of worrying is often associated with separation anxiety disorder (SAD), where a child may refuse to be separated from their parents and could even suffer panic attacks if separate for just a short period of time. SAD is the most common anxiety disorder seen in children under the age of 12.

SAD is often a reaction to an event that is difficult for children to understand and process, such as moving to a new school or hearing a distressing story in the news like a kidnapping or a fatal car accident. Showing empathy towards children suffering from SAD—rather than getting upset with them—and using the techniques you will learn in child and youth worker training can help them cope better.

Are you interested in pursuing a career where you’ll have the opportunity to help children?

Contact KLC College to learn about our child and youth worker course!

How to Plan Meals for Elderly Clients When You Become a Personal Support Worker

personal support worker college program

personal support worker college program

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) working in home-based care perform a broad range of services to help their elderly clients continue to live comfortable, healthy and fulfilling lives in their own homes. In addition to assisting them with their medications, mobility issues, household management and hygiene, PSWs often take an important role in planning and preparing meals for their clients, ensuring that their diets are varied, balanced and nutritious.
Elderly individuals sometimes have very particular requirements and restrictions when it comes to what they eat, however, and it’s important for PSWs working in home care to be aware of the issues that might affect an elderly client’s dietary needs.

If you’re interested in training to become a personal support worker, or if you’re currently enrolled in a PSW program, here’s a quick guide to healthy meal-planning for elderly clients.

Understand the Many Factors that Can Affect Seniors’ Dietary Needs

There are a number of potential complications and challenges that have to be taken into account when planning and preparing meals for elderly clients. Decreased sensitivity, for example, is a common issue among older individuals, as our senses of smell and taste weaken over time, which can in turn cause a decrease in appetite. Dental health can be another complication, as missing teeth, jaw pain or mouth sores could affect a client’s ability to comfortably consume certain types of food. The medications that elderly patients take can also have an impact on their diet, as some medications might alter the taste of certain foods, cause nausea or reduce appetite. In any case, it’s important to consult with clients before preparing a meal-plan, so that you can take into account any factors like these that might have an impact on their dietary needs or tastes.

Make Sure Elderly Clients Stay Well Hydrated

Our bodies use thirst as a signal that we need to consume more water. With elderly individuals, however, the mechanisms responsible for this signal often begin to weaken. This means that older clients are at a heightened risk of dehydration. In order to keep elderly clients hydrated, encourage them to drink small amounts of water regularly throughout the day.

Make sure that elderly clients drink plenty of water throughout the day

Make sure that elderly clients drink plenty of water throughout the day

Add Extra Ingredients to Meals to Pack them with Nutrients

One way of ensuring that elderly clients are meeting their nutritional requirements after completing your personal support worker course is to pack extra nutrients into meals wherever possible. This might include, for example, blending cauliflower and mixing it with macaroni and cheese, adding flax oil to nutritional shakes or mixing nuts and seeds into yogurts, pancakes or salads. By adding healthy ingredients this way, PSWs can find creative ways to make meals that appeal to a client’s tastes, while also targeting their specific nutritional needs.

Plan Meals in Advance When You Become a Personal Support Worker

When you become a personal support worker and are responsible for an elderly client’s diet, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure that their meals are varied and that they’re receiving all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they need to stay healthy. Over the course of their daily and weekly meals, PSWs should ensure that elderly clients are receiving plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, fiber and vitamins C and D through a variety of sources. One good way to achieve this is to regularly rotate through main dishes and different protein options like fish, chicken, lentils and beans.

Plan meals ahead to ensure that elderly clients get variety in their diet

Plan meals ahead to ensure that elderly clients get variety in their diet

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a personal support worker?

Contact KLC College for more information about our Personal Support Worker college program.

Considering a Career Training Program? Learn the Difference Between a Pharmacy Assistant and Technician

career training program

As Canada’s population ages, the demand for pharmaceuticals is likewise expected to increase. In fact, Statistics Canada reports that the number of pharmacists in Ontario has nearly doubled in the past decade. All those new pharmacists require a dedicated team behind them to make sure their pharmacies are running smoothly and can fully address the needs of their customers.

Among the many important roles within a pharmaceutical team are pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants. If you’ve ever considered a career in a pharmacy, you may be wondering what technicians and assistants do and how these two careers differ from one another.

Read on to learn how pharmacy technicians and assistants play very different, but essential, roles behind the pharmacy counter.

Pharmacy Technicians Focus on the Technical Aspects of the Pharmacy

A pharmacy technician’s main responsibility is to support the pharmacist by helping to fill prescriptions. Pharmacy technicians must know how to measure and mix medications, retrieve a patient’s medical history, and take calls from doctor’s offices. Additionally, technicians assist wit—and may even oversee—inventory management, including reordering products and helping to stock and organize shelves.

To become a pharmacy technician, you’ll need to register with the Ontario College of Pharmacists. While there are several different paths to registration, one of the most common is by completing a pharmacy technician program that is accredited by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP). Registration also requires aspiring technicians to complete an exam and prove good character. The purpose of registration is to ensure that pharmacy technicians across the province all meet the same standards.

KLC College’s pharmacy technician program is CCAPP accredited

KLC College’s pharmacy technician program is CCAPP accredited

Pharmacy Assistants Focus on Customer Service and Clerical Duties

The role of the pharmacy assistant focuses primarily on clerical duties, such as answering phone calls and taking prescriptions from customers to give to the pharmacist or technician. These professionals also play an essential role in maintaining the public face of the pharmacy by greeting customers, taking down their contact information and ensuring retail displays are tidy and well-stocked. Since pharmacy assistants interact quite a bit with customers, a good pharmacy assistant program will help students develop essential communication skills, ensuring they thrive in their careers.

In some pharmacies, assistants may be allowed take on more advanced duties behind the counter, such as counting medications and entering new orders. Sometimes technicians may even be permitted to take part in mixing medications and labelling bottles; however, this is only done under the direct supervision of the pharmacist or pharmacy technician, who verify the pharmacy assistant’s work.

Pharmacy assistants do not have to be registered, and training to become a pharmacy assistant typically takes less time than for becoming a technician.

KLC College’s pharmacy assistant courses teaches students about pharmacy management and inventory

KLC College’s pharmacy assistant courses teaches students about pharmacy management and inventory

Choosing Whether to Become a Pharmacy Technician or Pharmacy Assistant

So which career path is right for you? This will depend greatly on your personality and your career goals. If you want to get started in your new career quickly, then the fact that the pharmacy assistant program can be completed in less time than the technician program is definitely a big incentive for becoming an assistant. Also, if you are attracted to the customer service aspect of working at a pharmacy then the assistant position will likely be more worthwhile.

While technicians also need to have excellent customer service skills, most of their work is done behind the counter. As such, if you prefer the more technical and medical aspects of the pharmacy, such as filling prescriptions, calling doctor’s offices and tracking down patients’ medical histories, then you may be more suited to a role as a technician. Additionally, a career as a pharmacy technician may be right for you if you’re naturally independent and can work with little supervision and guidance, since technicians are supervised only by the pharmacist, unlike assistants, who are supervised by both the pharmacist and technician.

Are you interested in pursuing a new career?

Contact KLC College today to learn more about our career training programs!

Learning Theories: A Quick Guide for Students in Educational Assistant Classes

educational assistant classes

Are you considering a career as an educational assistant? One important subject you’ll encounter during your training is learning theories. Simply put, a learning theory is a way of understanding how knowledge is acquired and retained, which makes it an extremely useful concept for educational assistants when helping students better comprehend new material.

If you pursue training to be an educational assistant, you will work under the supervision of the teacher to help students with their lessons. Since lessons are often built on the principles of at least one main learning theory, understanding the main tenets of a few important learning theories will be an asset in the classroom.

Read on for a look at the three main learning theories and how they can be utilized by educational assistants.

Educational Assistants Can Use Behaviourism to Help Students Learn Factual Material

Behaviourism focuses on knowledge and learning that is quantifiable and observable, such as facts and dates. Behaviourists favour a model of learning that focuses heavily on positive and negative reinforcement. For example, as an educational assistant, your responsibilities may include assisting with grading tests, which showcases behaviourism in action. A good grade on a test is a case of positive reinforcement as it encourages the student to remember the correct answers that led to that grade. A bad grade, on the other hand, is a type of negative reinforcement, which discourages a student from repeating an incorrect answer.

Grading is one way that educational assistants use behaviourism in the classroom

Grading is one way that educational assistants use behaviourism in the classroom

Behaviourism is a useful tool if you are helping students learn something for which there is always a correct answer, such as scientific facts, foreign language vocabulary and historic dates. However, it is less useful with teaching more abstract concepts, like comprehension and critical thinking.

Cognitive Constructivism is an Important Tool for Students in Educational Assistant Training

Cognitive constructivism (also called cognitivism) is a learning theory which argues that people construct knowledge based on what they already know, such as their previous learning, cultural background and their life experiences. Instead of viewing students as passive learners motivated only by positive or negative reinforcement, a cognitivist sees learning as a process of active discovery.

After educational assistant training, you can use cognitivism in a number of ways, including by helping students with learning difficulties. In such a case, a teacher, with your assistance as an educational assistant, may develop an individual program tailored to the abilities and knowledge of these students. You will then help put this program into action. For example, as an educational assistant, you may ask a student to repeat new material in his or her own words. Having a student put material into their own words is more effective than simply having them repeat material verbatim, since the latter doesn’t necessarily indicate that he or she has understood the lesson.
A lesson built on cognitivist principles is less concerned with drilling students with right answers and focuses more on creating an environment that allows them to discover new knowledge for themselves.

Social Constructivism Focuses on the Collaborative Nature of Education

Social constructivism shares the cognitivist belief that learners construct knowledge based on what they already know. However, this theory emphasizes that the way new knowledge is constructed is a collaborative process involving the community, society and fellow students.

Social constructivism sees learning as a collaborative effort

Social constructivism sees learning as a collaborative effort

Once you’ve completed your educational assistant classes, you may find social constructivism put into practical use in the classroom through group exercises. For example, the teacher may divide the class into groups and give each group an assignment, like a mathematical problem, to solve together. Your job as an educational assistant may be to help each group by observing the behaviour of students and ensuring they stay focused on the task at hand.

While an educational assistant ensures the groups stay on track, students ultimately work on the assignment with their peers. This sort of social constructivist teaching strategy combines elements of both behaviourism and cognitivism, since students are constructing new knowledge based on what they already know, and they are also being motivated through positive reinforcement from other group members.

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