Video proves to be engaging tool for educating staff on abuse

Country Terrace

YouTube video features residents giving their definition of the word

Thursday, January 30, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Country Terrace clinical care co-ordinator Kimberley Noftle had to lead an in-service recently focused on abuse, she didn’t want the session to be her merely standing in a room and talking in front of her co-workers. Because of the importance of the subject, she wanted everyone to be engaged and to walk away with an understanding of what abuse is so it can be recognized.

As a requirement of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario long-term care homes must hold in-services to discuss the issue of abuse. Having led in-services in the past, Noftle says she doesn’t think “reading policies” accomplishes much — the information, she says, needs to stick.

What she did was use a YouTube video as the main prop in her presentation and let everyone hear the words of long-term care residents describe their definitions of abuse.

The two-part, 22-minute video, called Abuse: The Resident’s Perspective, was filmed at the Levindale Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

In one segment, resident and former long-term care registered nurse Sheila Tohn explains how, from a resident’s perspective, abuse can be emotional or psychological. It can be not offering people choices in what they eat or what activities they wish to pursue, or simply a staff member walking into a resident’s room and moving things. Tohn underscores that ignoring people is also abuse.

Tohn also says she sees “labelling” residents as another form of abuse. For example, referring to a resident as “the woman in 327.”

“As I recall, abuse used to be (defined as) physical abuse,” Tohn says. “I think it has expanded quite a bit now — it’s more subtle.”

Noftle says these are the same points she wanted to convey to her colleagues during the in-service —hearing the words come from a resident is much more impactful, she says, adding staff members were attentive throughout the video.

“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the staff,” Noftle tells the OMNIway. “(The video) did what I wanted it to do, which was to stop and make (staff members) think.”

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