Earlier last week the 38th annual BC Care Providers Conference took place in Whistler, B.C. and this year’s conference featured a large number of sessions focused on safety in the workplace within the continuing care sector.
Several speakers from a variety of organizations provided their expert opinions and analysis on several key issues in the sector, including using data to improve organizational safety culture and novel approaches to train care staff on how to safely provide care to people with dementia.
On the opening day, Dr. Chris McLeod spoke along with SafeCare BC’s Executive Director Jennifer Lylefor the session titled: Safety in Our DNA: How Organizational Culture is Harnessed to Create Safer Work Environments.
“The more data we have on what people are doing, the more proactive they can be, rather than reactive,” said McLeod, an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health. “If they know that they can improve their health and safety practices, especially compared to what the industry standard is, I think that can really help be a way of both initiating change as well as helping to track change over time.”
Those in attendance were left to reflect on how their organizational culture supported safety in the workplace and how effective their organizations are at creating that positive culture.
“It got you thinking as an organization,” saidGrace VanderEnde, operations coordinator for Elim Christian Care Society. “It makes you want to go back and to see where you’re standing on these philosophies and what kind of care you have on site. Are you reactive? Are you proactive? As managers we need to think, how do we feel? As well as how does the staff feel? Going back, how do we evaluate that?”
Lyle also joined Jennifer Stewart from the Alzheimer Society of B.C. on the final day to speak at the session titled: Linking Person-Centred Care to Staff Safety: Training through a Dementia Lens.
“We had a great opportunity to showcase some of the work that the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and SafeCare BC is doing together to provide some basic education about dementia to frontline care workers,” said Stewart, the manager of advocacy and education at the Society. “We’re really excited about the results from the work we’ve been doing and the impact it had. We are thrilled to be able to share those findings with our colleagues.”