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About Ruth Wearne

Quality Manager at Lifestyle Centred Services.

August 2020

Newsletter – 13th August 2020

2020-08-13T15:51:53+10:00August 13th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Important Highlights

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – how to don and doff and correct disposal methods
  • Infection control, hand hygiene and cleaning considerations
  • Exercise for Mental Health
  • “Conscious Attention” and Mindfulness

Update

To be able to care for our clients, you have to put you first. That means that you need to know about donning and doffing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) correctly, practice physical distancing wherever you’re able; hand hygiene; infection control and other measures we have put in place to look after each other and our clients.

We have your back.

You should have all received our COVID-19 plan in your email the other day. This is a really comprehensive document that outlines our recommendations for practice and safety measures while caring for clients during this pandemic.

In this newsletter, we’ll talk about PPE: what changes have been made for the disability sector, how to correctly put it on and take it off, dispose of it, and other infection prevention control measures.

We’ve all been working hard to keep our team and clients safe. This includes the work of volunteers who have taken upon the task of making three layered reusable cloth masks based on DHHS recommendations for the design of masks. See the image to the right. Aren’t they just lovely? Thank you volunteers!

Another batch of three layered masks from our wonderful volunteers!
Get moving!

Exercise for our Mental Health

Exercise – we all know it’s good for us, but at the moment, sometimes it can feel impossible.

But the fact is, even a small amount of exercise can have a positive impact on our energy levels throughout the day, increase productivity, improve our sleep and clarity, help us have sharper memories, and provide us with a sense of relaxation and positivity.

Now more than ever is a good time to make a plan to fit that purposeful exercise into your day! The Black Dog Institute has put a fact sheet together to help kick start you in the right direction. It covers the importance of exercise for health care workers during COVID-19, challenges related to COVID-19, tips for safely exercising during COVID-19 and (most importantly!) overcoming barriers to exercising.

Your “Conscious Attention”

Conscious attention is the part of your attention that makes up conscious awareness. That is, the contents of attention that we can access to report on.

One of the greatest challenges to conscious attention is something that all of us do on a regular basis. Multitasking.

When more things that ever are vying for our attention, multitasking is a way we can spread everything out so we don’t miss anything, right?

Wrong.

By multitasking, we are actually training ourselves to become distracted, and less mindful.

Multitasking behaviour actually raises our stress levels by raising cortisol (the stress hormone), resulting in impulsiveness, low self-control and poor decision making.

Similarly ‘task-switching’ – which is moving from one task to the next without any space in between (robot style) also inherently limits our conscious attention because it is forced to bounce from one thing to another. This can reduce our ability to be compassionate in our thinking because we are so focussed on getting things done and there is no time or space for anything else.

So what can we do about it? We can pay attention.

The practice of mindfulness is not a mystical way of being, rather than a practice of paying attention to the present moment on purpose with a non-judgemental attitude toward yourself. The present moment is where happiness begins and when we do this on purpose? We become less about our circumstances, and more about the choices we make.

This this TEDxNYU talk, Sam Chase asks you to pay attention, exploring what it means to be truly mindful and how everyone of us can incorporate the practice into our lives.

Next time you finish something, we challenge you to switch everything off and really pay attention – you might be surprised about what the present moment has to say.

Take care of you, look after each other and reach out for support if you need it.

Personal Protective Equipment – Changes and Considerations

Donning and doffing PPE is a critical process that requires significant care. PPE is used to create a barrier between the worker and any infectious agents (spread through airborne, contact or droplets) that they may come into contact with. The aim is to reduce the risk of touching, transmitting or being exposed to pathogens. Disability Support Workers are now mandated to wear a mask and goggles inside a client’s home.

Depending on the level of care you’re providing, you may also require other types of PPE to keep you and the client safe. But the order in which you don and doff the PPE remains the same.

Donning

  1. Perform hand hygiene
  2. Put on a gown (if necessary)
    • Fully cover your torso from your neck to knees and your arms to the end of your wrists, then tie at the back.
    • The gown should be large enough to allow for unrestricted movement without gaping.
    • Fasten at the back of the neck and waist.
  3. Put on a mask (surgical or reusable)
    • If your mask has ties, secure them at the middle of the head and neck
    • If your mask has bands, secure them around your ears
    • Fit the flexible band to the nose bridge
    • Fit mask snug to face and below the chin
  4. Put on protective eye-wear
    • Place over eyes and adjust to fit
  5. Put on gloves (if necessary)
    • Extend the gloves to cover the wrist of the gown

If at any point your PPE becomes contaminated, you must dispose of it, perform hand hygeine and replace it.

If your PPE is disposable, place the waste bag in the outside rubbish disposal, and perform hand hygeine again.

Doffing

  1. Remove your gloves in the room you’re providing care
    • Using one hand, grasp the palm of the other hand and peel off the first glove.
    • Hold the removed glove in the gloved hand.
    • Slide fingers of the ungloved hand under the remaining glove at the wrist and peel it off over the first glove.
    • Discard gloves in a waste container.
  2. Perform hand hygiene
  3. Remove gown in the room you’re providing care
    • Unfasten the ties, ensuring the sleeves don’t make contact with your body.
    • Pull the gown away from your neck and shoulders, touching the inside only.
    • Turn the gown inside out.
    • Fold or roll the gown into a bundle, and discard in a waste container.
  4. Perform hand hygiene
  5. Exit the room
  6. Remove goggles
    • Remove from the back of the head by lifting the headband or ear piece.
    • If reusable, clean the goggles
  7. Perform hand hygiene
  8. Remove mask
    • Grasp the bottom ties/elastics, and remove without touching the front of the mask
    • Discard in a waste container
  9. Immediately perform hand hygiene

In this video, Alison McMillan, Australia’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer describes the process of donning and doffing PPE and the techniques used.

The correct procedure for donning and doffing all kinds of PPE. You may need more or less of this depending on the type of support you provide.

Exceptions for Face Coverings

There are some exceptions for wearing face coverings while at work. These are

  • If you have a physical or mental health condition or disability which makes wearing the face covering unsuitable.
  • The visibility of your mouth is essential for communicating with the client.
  • The nature of your work means that wearing a face covering creates a risk to your health and safety; or
  • You are asked to remove the mask to ascertain your identity; or
  • for emergency purposes.

Eye Wear

We have purchased and are distributing reusable eye wear to staff as soon as we can resource them.

If you have any availability to purchase your own single use or three-layered cloth masks and reusable safety goggles, we really appreciate this: you can claim the expense back on your tax return

Cleaning and Infection Control

Cleaning is really important for infection control – particularly in work areas.

  • Prepare all your cleaning needs immediately before you use them.
  • Surfaces should be cleaned with a neutral detergent and warm water solution, rinsed and dried before and after each use or when visibly soiled. Spills should be cleaned up as soon as practicible.
  • When a disinfectant is required for surface cleaning, the manufacturer’s recommendations for use are ALWAYS to be followed.
  • Buckets should be emptied after use, washed with detergent and warm water, rinsed with hot water and stored dry, turned upside down.
  • Mops should be cleaned in detergent and warm water, rinsed in hot water, then stored dry.
  • Mop heads are best when they’re detachable so they can be put away, but you can store the mop with the head up too if this isn’t an option.
  • If a mop has been used to clean up any blood or other body fluids, use PPE to clean with detergent and warm water – rinsed with hot water and stored dry.

We want to say thank you to ALL our support workers for their magnificent hard work and support over the last 6 months – for your flexibility and resilience.

We are so grateful for you all.

If you work with someone magnificent, who has gone above and beyond, or shown exceptional value, we’d love to hear about why you think they are. If you’d like to send a thank you to a team member of LCS, please let us know and we’ll have it published in our next newsletter.

June 2020

Internal Recruitment

2020-06-24T14:24:41+10:00June 24th, 2020|Did You Know?, Human Resource Management, Spotlight On|

Are you after some extra work?

 

Are you sick of having to sift through Indeed for positions that may become available?

 

Did you know that we have a functioning and up to date jobs board for all of our current employees – and that this is available all the time?

 

Go to Jobs Board

There are a couple of things we need to mention about applying for internal positions: 

  1. We assess you against other external applicants for the position.
  2. Our tried and trusted process of letting the client decide whether you are the right support worker for them always stands – clients make the final decision.
  3. You won’t be considered for the position unless your documentation is up to date, that is:
    • You need a valid Police Check, DWES check, Working with Children’s Check (where you will be in direct contact with children as part of the role)
    • You will need an up to date First Aid and CPR certificate
    • You will have needed to provide all other outstanding mandatory training if you have any to do.
    • Your current roster with other clients must not clash with the requirements of the role (that is, shifts for the position you are applying for will never take precedent over any shifts that you currently have with other clients.) This would be simply unfair and irresponsible. 

The process for applying for these positions is much easier once you are part of our payroll already however, all you need to do is submit your name, and tick the declaration box that you understand the above, and hit the submit button. An email notification will be sent to our recruitment team so that they are aware of your interest. 

If you do have any questions regarding this, please feel free to email the recruitment team directly. 

March 2020

December 2019

Summer Safety

2019-12-06T14:39:26+11:00December 6th, 2019|Spotlight On, Wellbeing|

We’ve always been serious about hot days, it’s time to put good preparation to use.

This summer is tipped to be a hot one, and for some of our regional clients and staff, this means an increased fire risk. For everyone of you, however, there are precautions to take with heat to ensure you and your family remain healthy and safe.

That’s why we’ve created our Summer Info Pack for the first time ever, with:

  • Food Preparation Safety
  • Heat Wave Safety
  • Extreme Fire Danger Safety
  • Bushfire Plan

It’s not all doom and gloom though – get out there and have some fun at one of the wonderful accessible beaches around Victoria. We’re big advocates for even more of these inclusive beaches. Check out the ever-growing list at accessiblebeaches.com

Our final page of this guide lists Victorian accessible beaches.

We hope all our staff and clients have a terrific and safe summer period!!

September 2019

The Internal Jobs Board

2019-09-23T14:35:06+10:00September 23rd, 2019|Did You Know?, Spotlight On|

A variety of jobs will be available – for placement with clients with a disability or mental health concerns, as well as administrative positions from time to time.

You will need to keep in mind that your application will be assessed against other external applicants; that your roster must not clash with the required shifts for the role; and that you will need up-to-date documentation for your application to be considered. All you will need  to do is enter your name and submit it to the Recruitment Team using the ‘submit’ button on the job posting. They will assess your current details to see whether you will be a suitable applicant for the role.

As always, LCS always leaves the final decision to employ someone for the program with the client and their support network.

Search for Jobs!

Our Guidedog in Training – Nerryn

2019-09-17T14:41:39+10:00September 12th, 2019|Did You Know?, Spotlight On|

Nerryn

Nerryn joined Lifestyle Centred Services Head Office team in October 2018 as a Guidedog in Training, living with our Operations Manager, Tarina Venturin.

Nerryn has become a staple of our every day here in Seaford, and enjoys greeting us every morning, one by one, snoozing under our desks and eating carrots!

Having Nerryn around has been a wonderful time for all of us at Head Office and she’s grown up so much since we first laid eyes on her as a 10 week old puppy.

Nerryn has been undergoing some rigorous training ready to be a guidedog for one very special owner when her time comes. We’re all a little sorry to say that we don’t think she’ll be with us for too much longer. Tarina especially is anticipating a very big change for her. Dogs just have the ability to grab you by your heart and never let go, but we hope she is just the first of many Guidedogs we can help train up ready for some very important work throughout their very special lives.

RUOK Day – 12 September 2019

2019-09-17T14:42:14+10:00September 10th, 2019|Spotlight On, Wellbeing|

This Thursday, 12th of Septmber is RUOK? Day – a national day of action dedicated to inspiring all people of all backgrounds to regularly check in with each other and ask “Are you OK?”

This year’s national theme for RUOK? Day is Trust the Signs, Ask R U OK?

It aims to prevent suicide by encouraging Australians to connect with someone they care about and help stop little problems turning into big ones.

To support and encourage our staff to have important conversations about mental health with their fellow colleagues, clients they support, family or friends, we are hosting an optional training module (unpaid) via our Training Portal on the LCS Website, developed by Beyond Blue “Managing Mental Health Risks at Work”.

This training resource will be available for accessing by all staff from RUOK? Day 2019 indefinitely for your reference throughout your career at LCS. This is because these conversations should not just happen on this annual day, but are something to be aware of every day.

Staying connected with others is crucial to our general health and wellbeing. Feeling isolated or hopeless can contribute to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Regular, meaningful conversations can protect those we know and love. A conversation could change a life.

What are the signs someone might need some extra support?

Over the last fortnight, have you noticed two or more of the below?

  1. Changes to their physical appearance?
    • Looking more tired than usual
    • Seem “flat” or drained of energy
    • Have had a pattern of illness or being constantly run down
    • Are complaining of physical health issues, such as headaches/migraines
    • Are eating much more or much less than usual
    • Are drinking more alcohol than usual
    • Seem more fidgety or nervous than usual
  2. Changes in mood?
    • Seem more irritable, snappy, or fly off the handle when they normally wouldn’t
    • Appear more anxious or worried about everything ie. work and personal life
    • React more emotionally than the situation warrants
    • Are quick to anger
    • Appear to be overwhelmed by tasks that they had previously found manageable
  3. Changes in behaviour?
    • Struggles to see a positive side eg. “It’s always terrible…”
    • Seem to think the worst eg. they might conclude that two people in a meeting are discussing their performance or future in the workplace
    • Personalise situations eg. “I knew I’d get the toughest roster – they’ve got it in for me”
    • Saying things that sound more confused or irrational
    • Complain they have difficulty switching off

If you have noticed two or more of these changes, they might need some extra support. It’s time for you to start a conversation.

If you want to read more on how you can have a conversation with someone you’re worried about, you can read this practical guide (download below).

Download the Guide

Help in a Crisis

The truth is, some conversations just become too big for colleagues, families or friends. If you’re worried about someone and feel urgent professional support is needed, contact your local doctor or the agencies below.

Like you, R U OK? is not equipped to offer crisis intervention or expert counselling and our website is no substitute for the professional care available from the following organisations:

13 11 14
Call 24/7 for crisis support

1300 659 467
People at risk of suicide, carers and bereaved

1800 55 1800
Counselling for young people
5-25 years

1300 845 745
Counselling service for people suffering grief.

July 2019

Our Brand New Online Newsletter

2019-09-17T14:42:56+10:00July 12th, 2019|Spotlight On|

Making it easier for you, to connect with us.

 

Welcome to our new LCS Newsletter for staff – “Spotlight On…”

 

At LCS Head Office, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about how we communicate with our Support Workers who are doing amazing work far and wide across Victoria.

The honest truth is, it’s hard trying to keep abreast of new industry changes and standards – and we’re reading about them every day of the week! So, we had to ask ourselves: “How do we keep our staff in the loop?”

Our new website has given us a lot of flexibility since it’s launch late in 2018 – to deliver training and important documents to you on the front line. So we decided to really put it to good use and create this blog/newsletter for you.

What we hope to achieve is to provide you insight into what is going on here at our Mornington Peninsula Head Office, transparently discuss our policies and ways we can help you achieve more for our clients and their support networks.

If you’d like us to discuss anything in this space please feel free to contact us! You can email your suggestion by clicking the “Suggest a Topic” button below.

 

“When employees join executives in truly owning the responsibility for business success, an exciting new sense of teamwork takes hold”

Punit Renjen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggest a Topic

May 2019

Bullying and Harassment

2019-09-17T14:43:25+10:00May 30th, 2019|Policy Talk|

It’s not on…

 

Workplace bullying is a risk to health and safety. It may affect your mental and physical health.

Everyone has a duty to help prevent workplace bullying.

In this edition of Spotlight On, we’ll discuss what bullying is, how to identify it, and what to do if you or someone else is a victim.

 

What is workplace bullying?

 

Workplace bullying is defined by behaviour that is repeated and unreasonable directed toward a worker or group of workers that creates risk to health and safety. Examples include, but aren’t limited to:

 

  • abusive, insulting or offensive language and comments
  • aggressive and intimidating conduct
  • belittling or humiliating comments
  • victimisation
  • practical jokes or initiation
  • unjustified criticism or complaints
  • deliberately excluding someone from work-related activities
  • withholding information that is vital to effective work performance
  • setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines
  • setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person’s skill level
  • denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources to the detriment of the worker
  • spreading misinformation or malicious rumours, or
  • changing work arrangements, such as rosters or leave, to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker or workers.

 

Okay, that makes sense, so what isn’t bullying?

 

A single incident of unreasonable behaviour is not workplace bullying, however it may be repeated or escalate, so it shouldn’t be ignored.

 

Reasonable Management Action Taken in a Reasonable Way.

 

It is reasonable for your manager or coordinator to allocate work and give you feedback about your performance. This isn’t

 

Bullying does not include reasonable management action taken against an employee. It is reasonable for managers and coordinators to allocate work and to give fair feedback on an employee’s performance. These actions cannot be considered workplace bulling if they are carried out in a reasonable manner and take into account specific circumstances.

 

Reasonable management actions include:

 

  • setting reasonable performance goals, standards and deadlines
  • rostering and allocating working hours
  • transferring a worker for operational reasons
  • deciding not to select a worker for promotion where a reasonable process has been followed
  • informing a worker of their unsatisfactory work performance
  • informing a worker of their unreasonable or inappropriate behaviour in an objective and confidential way
  • implementing organisational change or restructuring
  • taking disciplinary action including suspension or termination of employment

 

What are the risks?

 

The effects of workplace bullying don’t end when you leave work. Being a victim of bullying can cause physical and psychological health problems, loss of motivation, stress. It’s important to address it before it becomes a larger issue.

 

Responding to the problem

 

Lifestyle Centred Services sees it in our best interests to confront the issue and maintain a bullying-free workplace. Prevention is better than intervention and mediation. It’s also the right thing to do because we care about our employees!

 

We strive to create an environment that cultivates teamwork, cooperation, and positive interaction – because, after all, we’re here to care for others – one of the most important jobs in the world.

 

Do you want to read more about our Policy? You can download it below – and don’t forget you have access to our full range of documents via our Employee Hub “Quality Management System” section (you’ll need your username and password!)

 

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