Category: Bruyère

What do nursing students think about long-term care?

What do nursing students think about long-term care? What do LTC homes do to welcome students and offer them a well-rounded placement experience that ensures that they meet their learning objectives and fall in love with the sector?

These are some of the questions that the Ontario CLRI at Bruyère team has been exploring for many years through different avenues.

The most recent stepping stone along the path of exploration came in the form of a rapid review of the literature, entitled: Evidence to support better clinical placements for nurses in long-term care: A rapid overview of reviews. Commissioned by a research team at St. Lawrence College led by Valerie Fiset, Ph.D., Associate Dean, School of Nursing, the authors of the rapid review described literature focused on nursing clinical placements in LTC settings. Authors of the review also drilled into a very specific area of the literature by combining critical keywords: nursing students (BScN or Practical Nursing) + LTC settings + any educational intervention, such as teaching strategies/activities or other work-study experience, that aimed to improve students’ experience and enhance their interest to work in geriatric care.

The review identified promising strategies for supporting students during their clinical placements. These strategies are related to orientation, effective supervision, and an increased curriculum focus on geriatric care. A close and dynamic partnership between nursing institutions and LTC organizations was highlighted as critical. These findings will support the research team as they develop surveys and conduct interviews with nursing students and the findings will also inform work at the Ontario CLRI at Bruyère.

The Ontario CLRI at Bruyère has been collaborating with St. Lawrence College since 2021 on the Nurturing Nursing Students in Long-Term Care (LTC) project. This mixed-methods study aims to develop an understanding of nursing student clinical placements in LTC homes in Eastern Ontario. The Rapid Review is one element of the project, and other elements of the environmental scan include consulting with clinical instructors and interviewing St. Lawrence nursing students. The project is scheduled to wrap up in December 2022 and will result in the creation of a novel model of clinical placements for the LTC sector

The Rapid Review was completed by Elizabeth Ghogomu, Sierra Dowling, and Vivian Welch of the Bruyère Rapid Review team (BERG), at the Bruyère Research Institute. Please connect with us by sending an email to info@clri-ltc.com if you want to receive a full copy of the report or to learn more about the Nurturing Nursing Students project or about previous Ontario CLRI activities related to understanding and enhancing nursing students’ experiences in LTC.

Welcome to Our Summer CO-OP Students

This summer, the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research and Innovation in Long-Term Care (CLRI) at Bruyère welcomes seven University of Ottawa co-op students that will be joining our team virtually or in-person.

The students come from a wide range of fields, including biochemistry, communication, political science, and more. Their academic backgrounds and diverse strengths will support their contributions to Ontario CLRI portfolios such as sustaining palliative care, equity, diversity and inclusion in long-term care (LTC), clinical nursing leadership, recreational therapy, and central communications.

As part of our commitment to educating the current and future LTC workforce, the Ontario CLRI is proud to provide developmental training and experiences for these students.

“Our team is excited to offer a supportive workspace of growth and learning for co-op students this summer. We are investing in an enhanced student development so that the students have an optimal experience and may increase their interest in a career supporting seniors.”
— Zsófia Orosz, MA, MHA, Director, Ontario CLRI at Bruyère

During the first two weeks of their placement, the students participated in an engaging orientation process to facilitate team-building, self-reflection, and an understanding of Ontario CLRI initiatives.

The students will be working with their respective teams at Ontario CLRI at Bruyère or the central Ontario CLRI team until they resume their studies in September.


Meet Some of our Students

Are medical students ready to lead the change in long-term care?

"student reflections on a LTC research project"

By Ammar Saad.

During some of the darkest months of the past two years, most Canadians heard the grim news coming from long-term care (LTC) homes, and many witnessed first-hand the heartbreaking and devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and wellbeing of LTC home residents and their families. 

As students, we wanted to help, but many of us didn’t know how. LTC homes were “locked-down” and we were “locked-out”. We also lacked the training and experience needed to provide long-term care, so we decided to learn through experiment, gain experience through research, and start by shedding light on the health inequities of LTC home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We formed a research team of medical, nursing, science, epidemiology, and public health students. We designed a research study to explore how the initial lockdown impacted LTC home residents’ lives, and if the visitation strategies that followed were of any help. With the supervision of a frontline physician who had expertise in long-term care, and support from the Ontario Centre for Learning, Research, and Innovation in Long-Term Care at Bruyère, we were ready to undertake an adventure of a lifetime, one that would ultimately shape our perspectives and careers. 

Our project entailed surveying and virtually interviewing LTC home residents, their family members, and designated caregivers. We believed that one-on-one interviews would allow residents and family members to speak their minds and tell us about their experiences and stories candidly and safely. For some of us, this was not our first research study collaboration, but for all of us, it was the first time that we had the opportunity to hear real-life stories and experiences in LTC homes during the pandemic. Residents and their families had a lot to say, their words were emotionally charged, their stories laden with anger, despair, guilt, and confusion. We felt what they felt, ached as they ached, and at certain points, could not believe what we had heard.

This was a challenging time for everyone, including us, students, who were navigating a changing education system, coping with COVID-19 stress, and trying to see this research study through. While many argued that we did not have the capacity to take on an emotionally charged study such as ours, we found solace in what this adventure brought to us and what it would bring to the scientific community for years to come. Through this study, we found a purpose and cause to fight for, a channel to streamline our efforts, and an opportunity to expand on what health equity means in long-term care and COVID-19. We were and still are, confident that the stories we heard and experiences of residents and family members that we documented, coupled with our robust approach to research will shed light on an understudied issue; the health inequities experienced by LTC home residents. Our findings can serve as the first step towards making sure that LTC home residents never have to experience the same inequities they have ever again.

So where do we go from here?” we asked ourselves as we submitted the research paper for publication earlier this year. We are now equipped with the experimental knowledge we need to shape our careers and support equitable and evidence-based care to LTC home residents, but how about other students who were not able to share this opportunity with us? Our work cannot be exclusive to our team or it will defy its purpose and objective. All and every student with the desire to learn more about the health inequities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic to LTC home residents should have the opportunity to do so. Our next step going forward will be to lead the way for other students to learn as we learned and shape their careers as we did. We now have the duty to lead the change. Through advocating for the integration of long-term care education into our undergraduate and graduate curricula, and through working with our respective university programs to create new initiatives, such as community service-learning programs, we can provide students the opportunity to care for and improve the health equity of LTC home residents. We are now ready to lead the change in long-term care. The real question remains: who is willing to help us lead this change?

Learn more about our study, and our protocol

Ammar Saad is a medical student who pursued a master’s degree in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa. He is the lead author on the aforementioned research paper, Health Equity Implications of the COVID-19 Lockdown and Visitation Strategies in Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario: A Mixed Method Study

 

Supporting Resident Quality of Life During Isolation

So many LTC homes face continual challenges that come with residents being made to isolate because of COVID-19. This was the topic of a recent question brought up by our Social Worker and Social Service Worker Community of Practice, a group supported by the Ontario CLRI at Bruyère and Family Councils Ontario. Our social work (SW) and social service work (SSW) colleagues shared what they have been doing to mitigate loneliness and isolation for residents during times when they are spending the majority of the day in their rooms. Below is a compiled list of strategies and resources to support the quality of life for residents during periods of outbreak and isolation they may have to go through. We hope hearing from other homes will spark ideas and solutions for your own home and/or community.
Social Worker in LTC Virtual Community of Practice.

Three key themes emerged from the group around enhancing the quality of life of residents in isolation or in outbreak protocols:

  • Technology: There’s a variety of ways to get technology into the hands of residents in your home and it will make all the difference to virtual engagement – especially if they come with Wi-Fi access. Residents have enjoyed using YouTube or iTunes to watch movies/videos or listen to music that can help boost the morale of residents. These devices can also help support virtual visits with family and friends. Look to the community for donations of old tablets and phones with Wi-Fi capabilities.
  • Public library resources: Utilize your local library – Public libraries often have book sets (including audio books) for lending and a variety of online programs. Read books either in resident groups or via aloud over the PA system to reach residents in their rooms.
  •  1:1 Check-Ins: Taking the time to check in with residents and their families, as team members are able, is crucial to residents; well-being during outbreaks/isolation. This is a role that SWs and SSWs in LTC are fulfilling regularly.

Hallway activities

Hallway activities bring residents together at their doorways and can allow for appropriate spacing between residents, while still being able to follow COVID-19 protocols. Some examples for hallway activities SWs and SSWs shared are listed below:

  • Art: Painting or drawing is a great way to help residents express their creativity.
  • Bingo: Use printed Bingo pages; you can also use themed Bingo pages.
  • Music program: Residents can use bells, shakers, or other instruments to create songs
    and play along to music.
  • Drum Fitness: Using exercise balls and drumsticks (or cut pool noodles as an adaptation)
    is a great activity where everything can be sanitized.
  • Spiritual programs: Prayer Groups, Hymn Sing (when singing is permitted), chair yoga, and mindfulness activities such as setting intentions, reading reflections, breathing exercises, and guided meditation.
  • Collaborative story or poem: Using a whiteboard or iPad have the residents pick a theme and take turns adding sentences or lines to the story/poem.
  • True or False: Using paddles, have one side representing “True” and the other representing “False.” As you ask your questions, residents raise their paddles with their answers for everyone to see.
  • Crosswords/Trivia: Print copies of your clues/questions for residents to follow along. Giant crosswords can be mounted on boards to make them portable and easy to set up on a stand in the hallway.
  • Leisure Time: Prepare a variety of activities for residents based on what they feel like doing in that moment.

Additional Resources

  • Strategies for Building and Maintaining Social Connection for Long-Term Care Home Residents – This report (done earlier on in COVID-19) provides strategies identified from published research and illustrated with stakeholder input that can help build and maintain social connections in LTC residents. (ENCOAR Research Team)
  • Social Relationships are Important for the Mental Health of people living in long-term care homes – An Infographic (available in French and English) showing the connection between social connectedness and physical and mental health and well-being. (ENCOAR Research Team)
  • A Guide to Virtual Creative Engagement for Older Adults – this guide can help LTC address the under-stimulation and loneliness felt by residents from restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The VCE Guide features a curated list of free virtual services appropriate for residents with various health conditions and ability levels. The guide is intended for recreation therapists, social workers, nurses and other team members in LTC.  (Ontario CLRI at Baycrest)
  • Boredom Busters – Developed in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce boredom and loneliness for residents in LTC, this tool pulls together links to free resources and activities. The tool can be utilized by family care partners (and team members) who are spending time with residents and looking for creative ways to engage. Available in English and French. (Ontario CLRI at Bruyere and iGen Ottawa)

Thank you to the members of the SW and SSW in LTC Community of Practice for bringing up this important question, for the spirit of sharing ideas and willingness to have these ideas shared more broadly.


Bruyère logo

Now Hiring Multiple Positions for PREP LTC

A group of people site with laptops and paper at a table. "We're Hiring Regional Engagement Liaisons"

All hosts centres of the Ontario CLRI  are hiring key positions for the Preceptor Resource and Education Program in Long-Term Care  (PREP LTC). The Regional Engagement Liaison will be responsible for planning and implementing strategies to engage LTC homes, academic institutions, students and preceptors within an assigned provincial region. These positions will be part of an Ontario-wide team of Regional Engagement Liaisons.

Come work with a collaborative and innovative team dedicated to making an impact where it’s needed most!

 

We are also hiring a communications officer and knowledge broker to support PREP LTC:

Call for participants for studies in spirituality and design in LTC homes

The Ontario CLRI at Bruyère team has explored different tools to understand what residents perceive a good quality of life to be and how to enhance it even further. This year we continue to advance our understanding through collaborating with university researchers.

Two of these research projects are now recruiting participants:

Spirituality and service design: Supporting spiritual care in Ontario long-term care homes

Spirituality is a key element for many people’s quality of life. It plays a key role in meaning-making, adapting to change, and holds particular importance with aging.

This Carlton University study explores how spiritual care is supported across long-term care homes in Ontario.

Long-term care home administrators are invited to share their knowledge and perspectives as valuable contributors and partners in the development of this research.

Take the 10-15 minute survey: https://carletonu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_81FpJ7BTnpvPo58

Questions, comments? Please email sophienakashima@cmail.carleton.ca for more information. This project was reviewed and cleared by the Carleton University Research Ethics Board-B (Clearance #116644). If you have any ethical concerns with the study, please contact the Carleton University Research Ethics Board at ethics@carleton.ca. During COVID, the Research Ethics Staff are working from home without access to their Carleton phone extensions. Accordingly, until staff return to campus, please contact them by email.

Development and psychometric testing of the 5 Senses screening tool for LTC

A student at the University of Ottawa is looking for feedback on a new tool from residents, families/care partners and LTC team members. Participants are asked to test a new screening tool that examines how the design of their LTC home takes into consideration residents’ senses (hearing, vision, taste, touch, and smell). This is particularly relevant because we know that our senses deteriorate with age. Participants are asked a series of questions to find out how sensitive a home’s environment and processes are to its residents’ senses: how it smells, what the food looks and tastes like, whether residents can easily access outdoors, etc.

Staff: www.surveymonkey.ca/r/staffltc

Resident or care partner: www.surveymonkey.ca/r/caregiverltc

This study has received approval from the University of Ottawa Research Ethics Board.

CSA Group LTC Standard Consultation – What We Heard Reports

National standards are essential tools to ensure the production or delivery of consistently high-quality products and services. Since the Spring, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) has been leading the development of the first National Standard of Canada (NSC) for long-term care; Operation and Infection Prevention and Control of Long-Term Care Homes (CSA Z8004).

The Ontario CLRI recognizes that the infrastructure and design of these environments influence how care and services are delivered in LTC homes so the team at Bruyère team has been actively engaged in the consultation process:

  • We supported a consultation session for 2LGBTQI+ community members and allies in August 2021
  • We collaborated with Carleton University and the CSA to host a consultation session for Francophone frontline workers

The CSA Group prepared detailed summaries of each consultation into a What We Heard Report and What We Heard Infographic.

Explore these on the CSA Group web page.

Get ready for 2022 with new printable Diversity and Inclusion Calendars

Is your LTC home looking to find ways to honour diversity and support inclusion?

The Ontario CLRI at Bruyère and the Ontario CLRI at RIA are excited to announce the launch of the two printable Diversity and Inclusion Calendars! We have created two versions of the printable calendar in the hopes of best supporting LTC homes’ equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) journeys. The printable calendars are intended for residents, educators, recreation managers and teams.

Bulletin Board EDI Calendar

The first version of the calendar is in a graphic format. This calendar offers large print text, beautiful seasonal visuals, and descriptions! This bulletin board version is ideal for residents to hang up in their rooms, or to hang in the common area bulletin boards. Putting the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar in a visible space will help encourage conversations and awareness about diversity and inclusion.

The bulletin board version can be printed either as a 12-month document or by month. To view and print the bulletin version of the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar, check out the following link clri-ltc.ca/resource/diversitycalendar-print/.

EDI Planning Calendar

The second version of the new printable Diversity and Inclusion Calendar is in a list format. This version is most broadly intended to be usedQuote image: thank you so much for doing this and sharing it with us, it saves the Life Enrichment Team so much time - the resourceful info is at our fingertips and we can offer even more programs and celebrate with all our residents and staff. It also enables us to feel more connected virtually with others in the field” by recreation team members, leaders and educators. The list format includes descriptions of all day-long, week-long, and month-long events. Each event is categorized as religious and spiritual, cultural celebration, or awareness and health promotion days.
We hope that having all of these events accessible in one place will help team members plan activities to support diversity and inclusion within their homes. The planning version of the calendar includes links on all event titles, which will take users to additional sources to allow for continued learning when planning activities.

 

The planning calendar is available to be printed as a 12-month document, but users can use printing options to select specific months if desired. To view and print the planning version of the Diversity and Inclusion Calendar, check out the following link clri-ltc.ca/diversitycalendar-print.

An important note for the calendars is that not all events have released their 2022 date. We have included TBA* (to be announced) into the calendars as placeholders. Please consult the digital version of the calendar, which will be updated when dates become available. To learn more about the events listed in the calendar, explore our Digital Diversity and Inclusion Calendar, which can be accessed at clri-ltc.ca/diversitycalendar.

 

How can the calendars be used?

There are many ways the Diversity and Inclusion Calendars can be used to support the shift to a more inclusive environment. Acknowledging and honouring events is a way to support people in feeling seen. For example, February is Black History Month. Some ways a home might honour this event is by:

  • inviting guest speakers
  • showing film, art, or literature by Black artists
  • making a display board featuring biographical information about notable Black individuals

The digital calendar includes links for every date so that users can deepen their knowledge. We encourage people to take time to learn about different cultures, religions, and awareness days, and consider what action you can take as an individual and organizationally to be more inclusive.

We look forward to hearing all the great ways the two new printable calendars are used in LTC homes! If you are interested in providing us with feedback, please contact us at info@clri-ltc.ca.

 

Ontario Renews CEoL Education Fund for Palliative and End-of-Life Training in LTC

A diverse group of cartoon long term care team members. In a green box the words "apply today" appear. In an orange box the words "All-In Palliative Care: The Team Approach to LTC"

Ontario LTC homes can once again access free training to enhance their team members’ skills in both palliative care and end-of-life care! Our Communication at End-of-Life (CEoL) training program has been revamped and renamed to All-In Palliative Care: The Team Approach to LTC.

This training is still made possible through the CEoL Education Fund, which provides tuition and backfill funding for interprofessional team members to participate in the virtual delivery of this program.

The All-In Palliative Care Training Program is an evidence-informed training program that will boost interprofessional care delivery and improve team-wide communication through interactive scenario-based learning on the psychosocial aspects of care.

“The delivery of high-quality palliative care and end-of-life care has always been an important part of resident-centred care. With the challenges brought on by COVID-19 pandemic, it has become crucial to equip team members for this daily reality in order to alleviate staff burnout, ensure the continued quality of life for residents, being present to provide family members with support, and more” says Heidi Sveistrup, CEO, Chief Scientific Officer and VP, Research and Academic Affairs at the Bruyère Research Institute. 

 By participating, your team will: 

  • Be able to clarify the difference between palliative care and end-of-life care;
  • Learn how to strengthen the integration of an interprofessional approach to palliative care; and  
  • Develop improved communication skills to interact within the interdisciplinary team, with residents and their families.

Due to challenges brought on by the pandemic, this training will be delivered in a 7-hour virtual course instead of the train-the-trainer model used in previous years. One hour of prerequisite eLearning will need to be completed prior to attending the interactive virtual training.

Ontario LTC homes can apply from November 15 to December 23, 2021.

Apply today! 

Feel free to contact us at ceolfund@bruyere.org or 613-562-6262, Ext. 1985 if you have any questions.

Release of French IPAC and Nursing Leadership eLearning Courses

The Ontario CLRI is proud to announce the release of our French IPAC and Clinical Nursing Leadership eLearning courses. These courses were developed with experts from the IPAC and nursing community in Canada. Courses can be used to train Registered Nurses (RNs), Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), PSWs, LTC team members, volunteers and families or essential care partners.

IPAC courses now in French

  • Break the Chain of Transmission: IPAC Core Concepts and Practices – This eLearning Course reviews the IPAC core concepts and practices that are essential for preventing and controlling infection. It is the prerequisite for the scenario-based courses in the IPAC series. The course is for LTC team members and essential caregivers.
  • IPAC While Travelling to and From an LTC Home – This eLearning course will apply the skills and knowledge from Break the Chain of Transmission to typical situations that can happen while travelling to and from an LTC home. The course is for LTC team members and essential caregivers.
  • IPAC While Supporting Residents at Mealtime  – This eLearning course will apply the skills and knowledge from Break the Chain of Transmission to scenarios about supporting a resident at mealtime in an LTC home. The course is for LTC team members and essential caregivers.

Clinical Nursing Leadership  courses now in French

  • Module 1: Communicating Effectively  – This module allows nurses to use effective communication techniques in a variety of contexts and with a variety of people(e.g., colleagues, residents, families, different departments, etc.). Nurses will learn the difference between effective and ineffective communication approaches, be able to describe techniques for giving feedback and recognize the possible consequences of effective and ineffective communication techniques. Anticipated outcomes include improved communication skills to increase team morale and provide the best quality of life for residents.
  • Module 2: Handling Conflict with Care  – This module allows nurses to use effective strategies for managing conflict in a variety of contexts and with a variety of people (e.g. colleagues, residents, families, different departments, etc.). Nurses will learn how to describe several effective strategies for managing conflict and recognize several ineffective strategies for managing conflict and recognize the possible consequences of both approaches. Anticipated outcomes include improved ability to manage conflict and the ability to model how to handle conflict with care.
  • Module 3: Being a Leader – This module will help nurses recognize how they can demonstrate leadership in their day-to-day work. Nurses will learn how to describe characteristics of transformational leaders, recognize myths and misconceptions about leadership, and recognize the differences and similarities between a manager and a leader. Anticipated outcomes include improved understanding of how to develop leadership skills and how to show clinical leadership on the job.

For more information, or to access these French eLearning courses, visit: https://learn.clri-ltc.ca/?lang=fr.