CNC students help with hand hygiene in long-term care facilities

Students from the College of New Caledonia's health care assistant (HCA) program offered help to the Prince George Health Services Hand Hygiene Campaign that set out to increase awareness among those at long-term care facilities.

There were 28 students who participated during the campaign to showcase the importance of handwashing to prevent transmission of micro-organisms.

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The campaign took place between March 3 and April 16. Those who took part included staff, physicians, patients and family members of those in care.

"The students worked really hard at this,"Jocelyn Bergeron, HCA instructor, said. "Being a part of this campaign was a fun and exciting way for students to work on their communication skills and build self-confidence."

Debra Woods, implementation lead for Prince George Health Services, reached out to the college.

"I didn't know it at the time, but the HCA students would become a significant resource to support the campaign," she said.

"Without the students, we wouldn't have achieved the reach that we did."

Bergeron encouraged students' participation by offering working the program as a replacement for an upcoming research paper.

"It wasn't mandatory," Bergeron said. "Students could still write the research paper if they preferred. But every single student chose to participate, including seven in Mackenzie."

Students would engage as many as 30 residents in hand washing at dinner time in the facilities then they would write the information down on a tracking sheet.

"I think it went really well," Woods said. "We have residents who loved the campaign and now identify as hand washing champions. We also have some ideas for what it takes to make the campaign work with residents with dementia. The students really did a great job."

The feedback Bergeron received from the students was very positive and she hopes future HCA students will participate in the PG Hand Hygiene Campaign.

"It was a fun experience for both the students and me," Bergeron said.

"Our team of HCA instructors at CNC are extremely dedicated and try our best to incorporate new, positive learning experiences in our curriculum. The 2020 Prince George Health Services Hand Hygiene Campaign was a great example of that."

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