Training is given high priority for staff at Christchurch’s Hoon Hay Rest Home, with some impressive outcomes.
Franziska Gloor is Village Manager at Hoon Hay. The former teacher’s enthusiasm for learning is turning some staff from unwilling trainee, to successful graduate to confident professional.
Activities Coordinator Naomi Carruthers was a reluctant learner, but with support from Franziska, and work-based training provider, Careerforce, she has now successfully completed her apprenticeship in Diversional Therapy.
“Naomi hadn’t done an official qualification in her life and was convinced she was never going to make it, but she did, and her ability to grow and learn things is amazing,” says Franziska.
“She’s since taken on a relief manager job and has gained huge confidence in herself. She’s a success story!”
Naomi was just one of fifteen care and support staff working their way through various Careerforce programmes at the time in the facility.
Franziska overseas the operations of two rest home facilities in Hoon Hay, Christchurch, managing some 50-60 staff in total. Together they have eighty beds for dementia and mental health residents.
“Education of my staff is at the very heart of providing our service”
A lifelong learner herself, Franziska is also studying, and has just completed her Bachelor in Business, with major in Management.
“Education of my staff is at the very heart of providing our service,” says Franziska.
The learning begins for new staff with an orientation package, including self-learning tools. Staff are then required to complete the dementia limited credit programme through Careerforce, which helps to give them the basic skills required for working with people affected by dementia.
“If my staff know their job and if they are supported to have the knowledge, they do a good job on the floor, which means that my residents are secure and well cared for. That’s what we’re here for.
“It’s our duty to look after the residents when they are no longer capable. It’s important that they get the best care we can give them, no matter what capability they have.
“And it’s not only the residents, with dementia often comes the challenging situation for the family members who are also needing support. They are sometimes grieving the loss of their Mum that they knew. So, we look into their wellbeing as well. It’s the whole whānau that we need to support.”
“If they don’t have the knowledge or skills, they can’t do their job well”
Franziska sees her job as a manager to ensure that her staff have every resource they need to do their job well.
“Education is huge. It’s a big part of it, because if they don’t have the knowledge or skills, they can’t do their job well, which means I’m not giving them what they require.”
Franziska says she has all kinds of learners, including people with English as a second language. She even has a deaf staff member and needs to be supportive to all her staff.
“Often people like Naomi haven’t had someone to push them. Many of them put up barriers, and say ‘I don’t want to do this,’ or ‘I don’t have time.’ So, just sitting down with them and asking, ‘where are you at?’ is important.”
Franziska supports some learners to help make sense of the assessment questions, holding their hand until they can walk, as they gain confidence, whereas others like to do it on their own.
“The support from Careerforce has been really good. Staff know that they can email their Careerforce advisors if they are struggling with something,” says Franziska.
“Helping them to achieve and grow further is awesome”
“Being able to see the change in her staff and helping them to achieve and grow further is awesome. I see the impact that it has on them and their self-confidence.
“I’ve seen how in many of my staff, after the first few barriers have come down, it becomes easier, and they start infecting others around them. They support each other and say, ‘if I can do it, you can do it’.
“We make a big fuss of them and celebrate the wins. We give them skills that go way beyond the apprenticeship,” says Franziska.
For more information about Careerforce supported health and wellbeing traineeships and apprenticeships, contact Careerforce, a business division of Te Pūkenga.