This is an introductory module to the CCA program and the healthcare sector. Students will examine the Certified Care Assistant (CCA) Program Standards defined by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness. Students will learn the expectations required to successfully complete the CCA program. They will define the philosophy of person-centered care and the concepts of medical and social models of care as seen in Nova Scotia’s health care system. Students will define continuum of care and identify Nova Scotia’s health services and care settings within that continuum.
This module is designed to assist students in developing a professional identity as a Certified Care Assistant (CCA). Students will identify the roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities within the CCA scope of practice, and how it relates to the scope of employment. Students will examine the CCA competency framework as it relates to the scope of practice and explore industry expectations for entry-level competency. Aligned with the philosophy of person-centered care, students will recognize the role of the CCA in addressing a person’s needs, and the person’s rights to personal values and beliefs. Students will reflect on their skills and experience to define and reinforce the professional identity of the CCA and examine behaviours associated with integrity and accountability in providing person-centered care. With the introduction of the Professional Behaviour Development Rubric (PBDR) and the Competency Assessment Tool (CAT), students will study the attributes of professionalism and leadership with a focus on critical thinking and problem-solving techniques. Students will also examine ethical and legal issues and their legislative requirements. Identifying the importance of personal health and wellness to the role of the CCA, students will identify attributes that contribute to a successful career, and develop a personal health maintenance plan, setting SMART goals and exploring techniques for managing stress and conflict.
This module will assist students in the understanding and use of appropriate communication techniques for care settings, with emphasis on the development of interpersonal communication skills. Students will demonstrate effective communication strategies and skills for relating to the person, family, healthcare team, and the public. Further exploring the CAT, students will examine the importance of communication to the roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of the CCA. Students will learn how to build relationships in care settings through communication techniques that support social and therapeutic relationships and the education of a person and their family. Following the person-centered model of care, students will identify factors that impact communication. They will demonstrate strategies to mitigate interpersonal conflict and difficult care situations, building strength in assertiveness, while identifying the differences and detrimental effects of aggressive approaches to communication.
In this module, focus will be on comprehensive documentation requirements, recognizing the important role of documentation. Students will demonstrate accuracy and effectiveness in written communication in different types of documentation, including paper forms and technology-based documentation. Students will examine the role of the CCA in collecting and documenting information that supports client assessment, as well as the implications of incomplete and inaccurate reporting. Using recording guidelines, students will explore resources to produce concise and clear written communication techniques, learning medical terminology and appropriate use of abbreviations. Focusing on the observation and recording process, students will learn the difference between objective and subjective data, and the factors that influence observation and interpretation. Students will demonstrate reporting and charting on changes in client condition and behaviour using acceptable terminology. They will examine confidentiality and the legalities pertaining to documentation and witnessing legal documents. Technology-based communication and social media will be reviewed with an emphasis on security issues and privacy, accompanied by a discussion on social media etiquette and the appropriate and ethical uses for CCAs.
In this module, students will identify guidelines for a safe work environment and the explore role of the CAA in maintaining a safe and secure workplace environment. Students will learn and follow public and private policies and procedures outlined in legislation and protocol, as in Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, and Workplace Hazardous Material Information Systems (WHMIS). Students will study safety issues and safety precautions for vulnerable individuals and for designated work areas, including those for infection prevention and control. The student will also examine rules, regulations, and emergency protocols for safety in the workplace.
In this module, the principles of proper body mechanics will be studied. Students will examine personal and client safety for positioning, transferring, and mobilization, identifying strategies to manage risk. Students will be introduced to techniques for positioning, transferring, and maintaining mobility. They will identify, apply, and practice effective measures, strategies, and protocols for minimizing the risks of falls. Students will learn the guidelines for the safe use of restraints and identify strategies to minimize the use of restraints. Throughout this module, students will learn the importance of the CCA role in reporting and documentation for all components of safe client handling and mobility.
In this module, the principles of time management will be discussed. Developing strategies and skills, students will set goals to enable time management for use in care settings, and in following the care plan. Students will study cleanliness in care settings, identifying guidelines and demonstrating care task management skills and cleaning procedures. Students will examine the relationship between environmental cleanliness and well-being, and the importance of infection control to a person’s health. With consideration to person-centered care, students will discuss the role of the CCA in providing a restful comforting environment, respecting client dignity and preferences, and how care-setting management and tasks can change with the needs of a person.
In this module, the students will examine a person’s needs as established by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, identifying the changing needs associated with chronic illness, disabilities, and social isolation. Students will explore the care of individuals and families in transition, discussing the stages and characteristics of growth and development across the life course. Students will also study cultural competency and discuss sex and gender identity demonstrating approaches that support the psychological, cultural, and social needs of the person across the life course. In identifying the needs and strengths of older adults, students will explain the terms gerontology and geriatrics, discussing ageism and consequent life transitions and their implications. Students will identify strategies for the CCA to promote optimal functioning and support independence.
Students will study terminology as it relates to the structure and function of the body. Students will identify the structure, function, and disease processes of each body system. They will explore the role of the CCA in supporting the health of individuals and families through related health issues. Students will develop an understanding of the implications for care, learning to promote independence and support capacity. Students will distinguish between acute and chronic illness and apply strategies for recognizing the impact chronic illnesses have on the continuum of wellness. Continued learning goals for the importance of reporting and documentation will be met, using correct procedures and terminology.
In this module, the emphasis will be on the development and practice of skills in assisting a person to meet personal hygiene and elimination needs using a person-centred approach to care, promoting independence, and supporting individual capacity. The focus will cover strategies and protocols that minimize workplace risk and the spread of infection, including infection control procedures such as handwashing and the application and removal of personal protective equipment (PPE). Students will discuss the role of the CCA in meeting nutritional needs, with emphasis on creating an environment conducive to eating, adaptations specific to unique needs, and risks related to nutrition. They will distinguish between different types of enteral nutrition, associated skin care, and the importance of reporting and documentation when assisting a person with their nutritional needs. Students will also develop, and practice skills required to assist the person in maintaining optimal oral health. Students will follow Nova Scotia provincial guidelines for daily mouth care and be introduced to Dalhousie University’s oral health program “Brushing Up on Mouth Care”. Concentrating on vital sign measurement, anti-embolism garments and oxygen therapy, students will be able to discuss the role of the CCA as it relates to the health care needs of individuals.
Following the principles of Canada’s Food Guide, students will demonstrate the role of the CCA in meeting nutritional needs for all ages. Student will practice basic meal planning, concentrating on food safety principles while preparing and serving meals. They will also demonstrate meal planning and preparation with respect to specific diets, cultural considerations, and dietary restrictions. Students will recognize the correlation between nutrition and mental health, and the effects nutrition has on skin integrity, responsive behaviour, and medications. Students will also consider the importance of the environment on food eating habits, emphasising the social aspects of eating. As well, they will identify strategies for situations that impact nutritional intake.
In this module, students will explore the value of social connectedness and meaningful activity in the promotion of well-being and independence for individuals across the life course. Students will differentiate between mental health and mental illness, discussing stigma, attitudes, language, and cultural beliefs related to mental illness. Students will also consider the impact of mental illness as they learn about the signs and symptoms of mental disorders. Students will discuss the relationship between mental illness and addictive behaviour, and explore the signs and symptoms of addictive behaviour, identifying services and organizations at the community level. Students will examine factors and situations contributing to dementia and non-dementia related responsive behaviours. They will study approaches and techniques for responsive behaviour prevention and intervention, as well as learn when to seek appropriate help when change occurs, and follow with language appropriate documentation. In review of the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness protocol for the protection of abused persons, students will examine the role of the CCA in the prevention, identification, and reporting different types of abuse according to policies and regulations.
This module focuses on awareness of medications, and the role of the CCA in supporting the needs of the person. Students will identify the role of the CCA in the medication assistance process as defined by the scope of practice and scope of employment. Various terms related to medication will be studied in relation to the principles of pharmacology. The “Rights” of medications will be foremost as students study the administration of medications and develop an understanding of factors that can affect drug action in the body. Students will examine the CCA scope of practice as it relates to the application of creams, ointments, and drops. They will demonstrate competency in the application of topically applied medicated creams, ointments, or drops to skin, eyes, nose, and perineal areas under the parameters set in the Joint Practice Guidelines for CCAs.
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