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Safety Matters


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

Villa Acadienne

In safety, we often say “good paper makes for good process”. But how often do we review that paper? Does what is written reflect the work that is actually being completed? Has it become a dusty binder on the shelf that you haven’t looked at in months? Is it still applicable today, or have the demands of the work changed so much that it no longer does? These are some of the questions that need to be asked if an organization wishes to be successful in ensuring the safety of both staff and residents.  

That’s where Villa Acadienne in Meteghan gets it right. Safe resident handling is not a new concept for this home, and in fact they were one of the first in Nova Scotia over 20 years ago, to develop a program, train on the program, and then share their good work. But as we know, and especially in long-term care, the work is changing, and so are the tools. 

As with any change initiative, there needs to be an investment – including both human and financial resources. But where we often see divergence in the long-term care sector is how homes overcome these standard barriers to achieve this. 

This is where we see the creativity of Villa Acadienne shine. The first thing they did was to leverage FREE training from their distributor partners on the tools and equipment they have at their home. 
And when they didn’t have the funding necessary to pay their staff to attend training on their safe resident handling program, they thought outside of the box. By engaging their staff to better understand the lengths they would go to to receive the training, and included a prize draw at the end of each session it led to an impressive end result: 10 education sessions were held with a total of 121 staff attending, at a total cost of only $500. 

Villa Acadienne also engaged their staff to become involved, and leaned on their internal experts from across the organization to lead this change: 

• Denise Romain - Director of Clinical Services
• Mark Doucet - Director of Environmental and Maintenance
• Amanda Thibodeau - Director of Education
• Michelle Bastarache - Rehab Assistant
• Taylor Corning, OT at the time
• 8 CCA champions from each of the three nursing units 

Change can be daunting, but Villa Acadienne is an example of how it doesn’t have to be complicated. Setting a course for safety excellence is achievable and with the right attitude, safety change is possible.

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