What is “Onsite Training?”

What is “Onsite Training?” post page

By Debi Tyler NewsomSeptember 15th, 2018

What is “Onsite Training?”

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by Deborah Tyler,

PAC Client Relationship Director


Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) has become a go-to resource for all issues related to dementia care. It is part of our mission as an organization to build skill and competence, not just for individuals, but also for communities, where all staff understand the impact they can have on every interaction. Organizations and facilities can learn to value the importance of consistent approaches and positive relationships with care delivery staff, housekeeping, dietary employees, administration, and maintenance, and this will set that organization apart from the competition! Employees will be more satisfied with the difference they make, family members will be happier with the care provided, and residents will be given the respect and dignity they deserve!

When inquiries come to PAC, many who call or email are surprised to hear about the variety of services available through Positive Approach to Care. Some are from family members looking for advice, clinicians exploring training, or those who want to know where Teepa is, and what events are coming to their community.

After the first touch by a friendly Outreach member, these inquiries are forwarded to various team members who oversee certifications, speakers, events, consulting, or community training for more detailed information.

At times, a concerned person may inquire on behalf of their facility or organization because they want to improve the skills of their peers or are aware of the need for more staff training. The calls may come from a direct care provider, a family member with a loved one in a facility, or from an administrative level staff person. The caller may be evaluating a dementia curriculum, wanting happier employees for improved staff retention, dealing with family satisfaction issues, or simply wanting to meet Medicare guidelines.

When someone asks about the dementia care training for their facility, we explore goals, budget, and desired timing of the organization. It is crucial that the organization has self-awareness about the process because dementia care culture change takes a considerable amount of work, persistence, and focus on the goal.

When PAC brings training to a facility or organization, it is a piece of the Onsite Training division. Onsite Trainings are private events—only staff members from that organization or facility attend. This means that the training can be individualized to meet a community’s unique needs. Opportunities for practicing new skills can be done on the units where care is delivered without concern of liability or HIPPA violation. Staff gain confidence with each other in using new habits and skills related to dementia care. The group of staff from the same organization work together towards a common goal with the ability to support and encourage each other along the way. The goal for PAC is to develop an ongoing relationship with the organization to meet their current and future needs for dementia training.

Onsite Training options can include any combination of the following:

  • Private Skills Workshops
  • Speaker Events
  • Private Certification
  • Six-Month Training
  • Community Designation
  • Consultation Services

Private Skills Workshops—This is an opportunity for a group of staff to gain awareness and knowledge, and develop new skills, such as Positive Physical Approach™ (PPA) or Hand-under-Hand® (HuH) in a lively one- or two-day format which can be customized to the specific needs of the organization.

Speaker Events—Positive Approach speakers visit the organization and offer topics related to dementia care such as Different Types of Dementia, GEMS® and Activities, Challenging Situations Resistant Behaviors, and End-of-Life Issues. Speaker sessions are dynamic and interactive, and incorporate the philosophy and skills of Positive Approach to Care.

Private Certification—Select staff can become PAC Certified Independent Trainers and Independent Coaches. Trainers offer workshops and education to groups of staff, and Coaches facilitate converting that knowledge into new habits with practice and repetition, focusing on one area at a time. Learners have four virtual follow-up visits with a mentor to reinforce new learning.

Six Month Training—Staff from Positive Approach to Care provide two virtual or onsite visits per month for six months, meeting with a select group of certified staff and the administrative group. On their visits, they will also offer educational sessions to larger groups of staff.

Community Designation—This is an option for recognition of organizations that consistently implement the Positive Approach philosophy and techniques. The organization is promoted on the Teepa Snow Positive Approach to Care website, and marketing efforts can include this designation. Achieving this designation is the culmination of certification, administrative support, and measured competence in care partnering skills. There are multiple steps that build into this level of recognition.

Consultation Services—Building support and changing habits within the organization takes perseverance! PAC can support a facility’s efforts with virtual consultation visits to individuals who are key to the process.

PAC staff can also help provide support for the organization on topics such as:

  • Staff—How do I select the appropriate staff to attend various training events?
  • Training sequences—What series of training make sense for my organization?
  • Finances/Grants—How do I keep within my budget?
  • Culture Change—What does it take to make care changes stick?

One example of a community that has worked with Positive Approach for a long time in an effort to sustain dementia culture change is the United Methodist Retirement Center in Chelsea, Michigan. They truly understand that changing philosophy and habits takes perseverance and dedication to the goal. Offering their staff a combination of Trainer and Coach Certifications, onsite visits, virtual support calls, and significant involvement by the administrative team has been key to the process. They have also been willing to reevaluate their progress periodically and restructure PAC support as needed. Challenges are not unique to one organization—there are always hurdles such as staffing turnover and expectations, union issues, “tough nuts” who resist change, and funding issues that force a reformulation of the plan. UMRC staff have been diligent in focusing on the overall goal, while taking baby steps in the right direction. As care improves for their residents, they are reaping the benefit of their hard work. Care teams are more consistent in their skills, and the quality of their service is continually improving. Positive Approach to Care gives them a thumbs-up for their perseverance!


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