They engaged the National Institute of Intellectual Disability Studies to provide their staff with PETMA© Professional Ethical Therapeutic Management of Aggression training. PETMA© is a programme designed specifically for the disability sector, with HIQA regulations and Assisted Decision Making Act at the fore. There is a strong focus on prevention and understanding what situations a service user finds so difficult to deal with that they get verbally or physically distressed. The staff are bought through a change process, achieved using thought-provoking teaching methods, studying contributing factors, such as stressors, triggers, functions and maintaining factors. This programme is designed to provide learners with the basic professional, ethical, physical and therapeutic competence in the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to prevent and/or support adults if and when they get distressed and facilitate them to a calmer place.
Through the PETMA© training, staff completed a functional assessment on 4 service users in their care. This allowed them to dive deeply into how and under what conditions the service users were most likely to get distressed. This allowed them the opportunity to develop effective communication methods, which help them to engage, prevent, predict, and identify distress at the earliest stage and equip them with a suite of skills to support individuals to a calmer state, irrespective of the level of distress they may engage in. The physical skills are determined based on a TNA, and the law associated with using physical skills is grounded in Irish legislation.
Staff feel more confident and understand the service user better. Specifically, the service users are not getting distressed to the same levels as before, and incidents have significantly reduced. As a result, the impact on health, safety and risk have also been reduced.
"We had a few technical issues with staff being able to log on, but Martha was very accommodating at reissuing passwords, etc., to ensure all staff could attend. The course itself was fantastic, and personally, I have learned a vast amount and now look at my practices and beliefs in a new light. I know the course also changed the beliefs of some of my colleagues, which is so unexplainably important for the residents we support. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and the breakaway techniques we learned allow us to release holds etc., safely should they happen and give the staff team confidence in working with our residents because we know we can now safely exit holds/grabs."
CMN1 Lisa Moroney
"I would like to add that since the training, the number of incidents has reduced, and staff feel a lot more confident with the individual. Even when the behaviours may happen, they can re-direct him with techniques, and they feel it brings down the individual's anxiety quicker than it used to. So the training was found to be very beneficial for staff."
Tara Prior CMN2
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