Nursing students create a skit to demonstrate the value of effective staff-to-resident communication for Riverview team

Trent University nursing students Dimitri Kulikov and Alana Mahoney, pictured above, created two workshops in the form of skits to demonstrate the value of two RNAO best practice guidelines to Riverview Manor staff members.

Based on one of the RNAO’s best practice guidelines, the simulation underscores the importance of resident-focused interaction

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Two Trent University nursing students recently spent several weeks at Riverview Manor working on a project to demonstrate to the Peterborough long-term care home’s front-line staff members the effectiveness of two key themes from the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario’s (RNAO’s) best practice guidelines.

As part of their project, Alana Mahoney and Dmitri Kulikov created a workshop in the form of skits that simulate interactions between residents and staff members that are based on two modules from the RNAO’s best practice guidelines.

One module focuses on developing therapeutic relationships with residents; the other centres on building empowering relationships between residents and staff members.

In the skit the students created that’s focused on developing therapeutic relationships, Alana plays the part of a resident while a Riverview staff member plays the part of a front-line staff member.

This module demonstrates first non-effective verbal and non-verbal communication followed by effective verbal and non-verbal communication when long-term care staff members are helping residents with activities of daily living, such as dressing and washing.

There is discussion between the students and the Riverview staff members in the audience between the two segments.

In this skit, the importance of long-term care staff using proper non-verbal communication, such as open body posture, making eye contact, and maintaining appropriate voice tone is examined, as well as proper verbal communication, including carefully explaining why they have come to see the resident, asking the resident how they’re feeling, and using positive language.

“We really wanted to demonstrate different techniques of verbal and non-verbal communication that the staff can take away and implement into the home and better the skills that they already carry with them,” explains Alana.

Dimitri adds: “What we are looking at, ultimately, is positioning the resident as being the expert of their own care. Doing that involves resident engagement. This first module is strictly focused on communication strategies – how do we communicate with the resident so that, one, they feel empowered, and two, they feel in control of what they have.”

In doing so, this builds trust and supportive relationships between residents and front-line staff, Dimitri says.

The simulation also demonstrates that using effective verbal and non-verbal communication with residents is more time-efficient.

Riverview Manor administrator Mary Anne Greco says one of the things she likes best about the students’ project is that it demonstrates the value of OMNI Health Care’s signature resident-centred initiative: Supportive Measures.

“We want to ensure that the staff are consistently displaying these types of interactions and they are cognisant about the most effective manner of relating with residents,” she says.

“We want to solidify that (idea) with everyone as well as implement the person-centred guideline in long-term care.”

This is Part 1 of a two-part story. In an upcoming OMNIway story, Alana and Dimitri will discuss the module of the project focused on building empowering relationships between long-term-care home residents and front-line staff.

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