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.

4 Fun Activities for Seniors That Could Help Your Clients After a Personal Support Worker Course

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Progress in medicine and health treatment has led to an ever-increasing demand for personal support workers (PSWs) to offer care for a growing elderly community. One of the problems many PSWs face is engaging clients in stimulating, active pursuits, and a recent study has found that seniors today have significantly less participation in activities than in the past.

For clients with reduced mobility or cognitive function, it can be especially difficult to find appropriate activities. Here are a few ideas PSWs can use to get their clients to have fun and stay active.

Have a Party, Dance, or Themed Event

Events are a great way to bring people together and have a good time in a group setting. Some elderly patients are at risk for isolation and depression, which can lead to a lower quality of life. For seniors in residential care, an opportunity to get dressed up or prepare for a special event can be a great motivator to engage and have fun. Creative options include, but aren’t limited to, a dinner party, casino night, or even a ballroom dancing event.

For seniors in residential care, a party is a good opportunity for socialization

For seniors in residential care, a party is a good opportunity for socialization

Good conversation can elevate a client’s mood, and reminiscing about the past or talking about shared interests can get seniors mentally and socially active without too much physical strain, allowing them to participate in an engaging and stimulating activity.

Draw from Your Personal Support Worker Course and Engage Clients with Games

A supportive, compensatory approach is ideal when planning activities. Due to the fact that some seniors are more mobile or have different capabilities than others, it is important to remember that physical activity certainly isn’t the only way seniors can have fun.

Students who have graduated from a personal support worker college program know that activities which keep the mind busy can improve cognitive function in elderly clients. PSWs should provide games which are challenging without being too frustrating, and provide good stimulation. Card games, puzzles, and classics like bingo and checkers can all get clients mentally engaged and active. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a group event, and can include one-person options like crossword puzzles and word searches.

PSW Private College Grads Can Get Creative with Arts and Crafts

Personal support workers can get clients in touch with their creative side in a variety of ways. From drawing to painting, to knitting, to scrapbooking, creativity is fun, engaging, and can even help improve a client’s health. For seniors battling chronic illness, channelling creative expression into a recreational activity can help decrease negative emotions and even reduce stress and anxiety.

Creative activities such as drawing or knitting can engage cognitive function

Creative activities such as drawing or knitting can engage cognitive function

Gardening, Bird-Watching, and Outdoor Activities

Multisensory activities can jog long-term memory capability, and outdoor activities can be beneficial simply by getting clients connected with nature. One of the important lessons students learn in any personal support worker course is that clients respond differently to different environments, but outdoor activities can be modified to avoid too much physical exertion for those living with more limiting disabilities.

Indoor or outdoor gardening, for instance, stimulates a variety of senses, and even gives clients a chance to do some low impact exercise as they tackle tasks such as repotting plants and watering flowers. Additionally, light physical activities like bird-watching or a modified yoga lesson can be a positive, relaxing pastime that gets clients active and out into the fresh air.

Interested in studying at a PSW private college?

Contact KLC College for more information!

Maximizing a Clinical Placement During Your Personal Support Worker Course

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Clinic placements are a useful opportunity to apply the lessons and skills taught in your coursework in a real-world setting. They allow an aspiring personal support worker (PSW) to gain meaningful experience while providing valuable healthcare services to their local community and clients in need of care.

While many students can be nervous before placements, finding the prospect of putting their theoretical knowledge into practice for the first time daunting, there is no need to be apprehensive. Here are a helpful few tips to make the most of a clinical placement.

Engagement is a Key Element in Any Personal Support Worker College Placement

For students enrolled in a personal support worker course, a clinical placement means necessary interaction with a variety of people, from mentors to healthcare professionals to clients themselves. A personable, open-minded approach will do wonders when it comes to adapting to a new environment, whether it’s a hospital ward or a client’s home.

A PSW should feel comfortable engaging with others during their clinical placement

A PSW should feel comfortable engaging with others during their clinical placement

A clinical placement is a valuable opportunity to observe and learn about the general operations of a PSW. This can mean simply learning by example, or through more hands-on methods. Supervisors and mentors play an important role, and should be consulted whenever a question or issue arises. The placement is also an opportunity to develop professional growth and knowledge, so certain limitations are to be expected, and it is in the best interest of the student, the teacher, and the patient to communicate and learn from new situations.

Presentation and Preparation is Half the Battle

Starting a new placement can be stressful, particularly if it is the student’s first time during their personal support worker college program. However, preparation in certain areas can help make for a smooth transition into a new work environment.

One of the easiest ways to prepare is to look the location of the placement up on a map, and be familiar with the basic aspects of the surrounding area. Calculating travel time is useful in order to avoid running into unexpected obstacles as well as any late arrivals. If you are working in a clinical environment, asking a staff member for a tour of the facility and noting any emergency exits or equipment can also help in future situations.

Due to the fact that the placement is often the first introduction to the healthcare field, care should be put into a professional presentation to show that the student takes their workplace responsibilities seriously.

Applying Lessons Learned From Your Personal Support Worker Course

The transition into the professional world, just as with anything else, is a continuing learning process. In their curriculum, students learn the foundations of becoming an exemplary personal support worker, including compassionate and effective techniques which treat the patient in a respectful, dignified manner. Healthcare services present their own challenges and obstacles, and proper coursework preparation can influence and make a difference in professional interactions within this environment.

Theoretical and technical lessons can often improve real-world experience

Theoretical and technical lessons can often improve real-world experience

Clinical placements will differ in how they operate from day-to-day, as well as in styles of management, but maintaining a working academic knowledge of the main aspects and functions that are expected will help each student build upon each experience for the duration of the placement as they work towards becoming a personal support worker.

Interested in studying to become a personal support worker at a KLC private college?

Contact KLC College for more information.