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Assisi Centre - Driving Great Outcomes From Challenging Situations

In recent years reforms, attitudinal shifts, and generational change have impacted our expectations around healthcare service delivery.

Front-line healthcare staff must now manage both a larger workload and higher stakeholder expectations as well as smaller training budgets. This often results in the escalation of issues and an increase in the workload of management. Learning «on the job» can be risky and classroom training can never emulate the fast-paced emotional workplace environment in which staff operates.

The Assisi Centre (a leading specialist aged care hands-on experiential program for Personal Care Attendants (PCAs). It focused on strengthening the face-to-face communication skills required to diffuse high-emotion situations and ensure that family members and residents were comfortable and confident with the outcomes offered.

Training Difference

How did Assisi’s program differed from standard skills-based training? Experiential learning is an active learning method that relies on the participant to experience the learning themselves, through a sensory, contributory effort rather than rely on the usual ‘listens and learn’ techniques.

This style of learning has a proven retention rate some 60% higher than standard skills-based training. The onus of ‘Fit for Families’ is to build a sense of awareness within the participant and create a learning platform within their own behaviours.

Practical training is punctuated by true-to-life role-play scenarios, offering a safe ‘rehearsal room’ to safely test skills and learn from errors, before dealing with the ‘real world’.

Post Program Evaluation

Since the completion of the program, management at Assisi noted the following themes:

  • Increased confidence and levels of initiation in staff

  • Reduction in the escalation of issues to nurse


  • Positive behavioural change in stakeholders

  • An overall shift from somewhat confident to

    very confident when dealing with people dis

    playing high emotions.

Program Objectives

  • Identify and diffuse high-emotive situations

  • Create positive steps

    to ensure effective communication

  • Manage expectations of stakeholders

    without the need to escalate issues

I have not been so good dealing with the families and residents because of my english. I feel so much better! I know I can manage them and won’t feel like I need to go and ask someone to sort out my problems for me.

Program Feedback, Personal Care Attendant, Assisi

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