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Safety Matters


Our blog discussing workplace safety opportunities in Nova Scotia and around the world.

PACE – one small step for a care worker, one giant leap for the health care sector

By: Louise Barker, Health and Social Services Relationship Manager

If you work in Home Care, then you’ll recognize these scenarios:

Have you ever gone to see a client and been faced with excess clutter in the main entranceway? Or spent time communicating about the care task you are going to initiate, only to find that they don’t have their hearing aid in? Or yesterday, maybe you were able to support a client with minimal assistance, but today they can’t even sit up in bed? 

Because a client’s condition can vary so often and so quickly, WCB Nova Scotia has developed a video series to guide healthcare workers through a point of care status check. Whether it’s due to increased or decreased pain, side effects of medication, or changes in medical status, clients have changing needs that health care workers must know how to address. In order to do that, we must PACE ourselves. 

What is PACE? PACE is an acronym that divides the status check into four sections. Health care workers need to consider these steps prior to making the decision to engage in client interactions: P – the client’s Physical abilities, A – if the client is exhibiting any Agitation or Aggression, C – Communication abilities and E – the workplace Environment

And while we ask you to PACE yourself, the tool is actually applied in reverse order. (ECAP just doesn’t have the same ring to it!)
The PACE assessment was identified as a key element that could potentially assist care workers to identify hazards before the work is being performed and, ultimately, prevent injuries. To learn more about staying safe at work, and for more PACE tools, visit our WorkSafeForLife website.

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