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5 Safety-Care Training Tips from a Master Trainer

By Clédia Caberlon
July 20, 2021
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Running a Safety-Care class smoothly can be a tough task, especially when you’re a new trainer. There can be numerous obstacles such as time restraints, trainees that are not following class rules, having trouble with competencies, or are just really nervous about the class. As a trainer, it is our responsibility to be prepared to handle those tough situations, set up the class for success, and manage time effectively.

Here are some general tips that should help you run your class, a little smoother:

  1. Be prepared.
    • a. Read through Chapter 8 before you teach your class. This is the chapter on teaching Safety-Care and has a lot of useful information for trainers.
    • b. If there’s specific physical competencies or variations that you don’t remember how to perform, log into Trainer Connect and watch videos of the skills.
      • i. While you’re reviewing the material, anticipate questions your staff will ask, so that you’re ready with answers.
    • c. Read trainer notes on the right side of the Trainer Manual, highlight, make notes, or cross off ones that don’t apply to your setting.
    • d. I used to be very nervous presenting in front of people, from personal experience I can say that your nervousness will go down significantly if you practice ahead of time (especially sections that you’re not super comfortable with).
  2. Verbal competencies (DR and DE)
    • a. Trainees tend to have trouble with verbal competencies (Differential Reinforcement, and De-escalation) so make sure you review these and are familiar with the common errors (found in the trainer notes).
    • b. One way we can help trainees succeed is by setting up demonstrations for success. Start with simple scenarios and don’t identify too many variables for your demonstrations. As your staff show that they’re comfortable with the verbal comps you can increase complexity.
    • c. Although the purpose of the de-escalation strategies is for us to be so fluent that we can use them interchangeably, when first teaching a competency don’t set up demonstrations with all strategies in it. Remember to start simple, isolate each strategy and teach them separately. As your staff become fluent in each strategy, you can have them use multiple strategies in scenarios.
    • d. Emphasize the differences in each schedule/strategy of DR and DE so that your staff don’t end up getting them confused.
    • e. Come up with scenarios that are relevant, so the skills in training generalize to their jobs. Try to notice everyday situations where a schedule of DR, or a DE strategy would’ve been helpful, then use similar scenarios when teaching verbal comps.
  3. Use Role-plays to your advantage.
    • a. The first thing we should acknowledge is how nervous people are for Role-plays. Take that into account when running your role-plays. Although a lot of people don’t like role-plays, everyone learns a lot from these, especially if the role-plays are relevant to where your staff work.
    • b. There are many ways to come up with role-play scenarios, one strategy is to be part of debriefing meetings then take notes on skills that your staff seem need more practice with. Use similar situations to what they’re likely to see on the job. You can also ask your staff: what situations have you encountered where you weren’t sure how to respond?
    • c. Stop a role-play when needed. Not only for serious mistakes, but when you think a discussion would be helpful, when your staff look confused, or overwhelmed. After a brief discussion, repeat that part of the role-play so that your staff can implement your suggestions.
    • d. Always go over the role-play rules in chapter 7. As a trainer, you’re acting as the individual in the role-play so you have more control over how the role-play will go.
  4. Time
    • a. You have so much to cover in your class, so time-management is key, you don’t want to run out of time, or not meet your minimum time for the class.
    • b. If this is your first time teaching Safety-Care, I recommend you allow yourself a couple extra hours to give you some wiggle room. No one will be upset if you let them out early while still meeting your minimum training times.
    • c. Use the initial and recert class schedules in chapter 8 to make sure that you’re on track to finish on time.
    • d. Watch out for very specific questions about certain individuals, behavior plans etc. If you can’t bring it back to Safety-Care, then that question is probably better answered after class or during a break. Remember you have a lot to cover!
    • e. The more you teach/practice the faster you’ll be able to go through lecture sections of the curriculum.
    • f. Sometimes you’ll have a trainee that has tried a competency multiple times and doesn’t seem to be improving. Rather than keeping them in the spotlight, have them come see you during a break and pass their competency 1:1. This way, you’re saving class time, and not embarrassing someone that can’t perform with an audience.
      • i. Another strategy is to have that trainee go to the back of the line, while you’re passing others’ competencies, so they can observe more demonstrations of the skill. Remember that no one was born with these skills, and some will have more trouble than others.
    • g. One of the best things about Safety-Care is how you can abbreviate the curriculum rather than teaching the whole thing. Refer to compliance standards (page 7-9) for abbreviation standards.
  5. Practice throughout the year
    • a. You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to practicing with your staff. Because you’re only practicing skills with staff that are currently certified in Safety-Care, you don’t have to pass competencies again. Rather, pick certain skills that your staff frequently use, have trouble with, or could use a little practice on.
    • b. Take advantage of the “technique of the week” calendar.
    • c. Practice of skills can be done for any amount of time, with any number of staff. It can be a quick review of Safety Habits, a more prolonged practice of physical skills, or additional role-plays.
    • d. Practicing throughout the year will also help your staff be more fluent when it comes time for their Recertification class, which will make your class run faster and smoother.

Running Safety-Care class requires multiple skills from time-management to setting up demonstrations for success. If you’re prepared, you’ll feel more confident teaching the class. There’s a reason why trainers have to get 24hrs of teaching per year, because the more you teach the more comfortable you’ll feel, and your classes will go more smoothly. Plan out your demonstrations, scenarios, and role-plays ahead of time so you don’t have to come up with those on the spot. Watch the time so you stay on track and don’t end up having to rush at the end. Don’t forget that you can always contact QBS if you need help running your class or setting up practice sessions. Finally, remember to have fun! Everyone learns better when they’re engaged.

Keywords: time-management, safety-care training, setting up training, teaching Safety-Care

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