January 2, 2019
TRAINING TIPS FOR OMBUDSMAN PROGRAMS: GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS
Training for Ombudsman program staff and volunteers is critical for maintaining an effective long-term care ombudsman program. The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center develops and collects materials and information that enhance and strengthen the Ombudsman program training.
Adult Learning Techniques
Insight into how adults learn can help the trainer to do a better job. Research shows that learning capacity dwindles rapidly as a person ages. It also shows that adults learn in their own way and this way differs significantly from the way in which children learn. It has been found that the following is important for adult learning.
- Adults must want to learn.
- Adults will learn only what they feel they need to learn.
- Adults expect information to be useful immediately.
- Adults learn by doing.
- Adult learning centers around solving realistic problems.
- Segment information into manageable portions.
- Experience affects adult learning.
- Adults learn best in an informal environment.
- Structure your training for success.
- A variety of methods should be used, repetition improves retention, and adults want guidance, not grades.
Read more about these adult learning tips here and read the full Best Practices: Training Programs for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen here. ...............................
Sample Training Agendas
There are numerous topics and issues to address during Ombudsman program training. Whether you are providing training to enhance skills, such as handling complaints and problem solving, documentation, or communication skills, or providing important information such as residents' rights, and federal and state regulations, it's helpful to create agendas for the year to make sure all the necessary topics are covered. You might want to look at each training agenda and see if you are including both "must know" and "good to know" topics - and include some "fun to know" things too! You might also consider sending out "homework" of things you'd like people to read before the training, such as the NORC Curriculum.
Examples of Training Agendas
If you have some agendas you'd like to share, please send them to email@example.com.
This list is a starting point for compiling effective training tools. Thanks to all of the Ombudsman programs who contributed information for the compilation of this list. Please contact the Ombudsman Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org if your favorite videos are not on this list.
There is so much information volunteers and staff need to know to be the best Ombudsman possible. View an extended list of training topic ideas here. Here are just a few recent NORC webinars addressing topics you might consider (the following topics are available on the 2018 webinar webpage and additional webinar recordings and materials are available here):
- Advocating for Residents with Mental Health Needs: What to do When a Resident Threatens to Harm Themselves
- Emergency Preparedness: Ombudsman Program Advocacy and Facility Responsibilities
- Ending Nursing Home Violence Between Residents: Prevention, Intervention, and Advocacy
- Systems Advocacy: It's More than Legislative Work
Role Play Topics
One way to ensure that representatives of the Office stay true to their role is to practice or rehearse the things they want to say. Just like most speakers practice their speech, participating in role play provides confidence and self-assurance that the spoken words and body language are consistent with resident focused problem solving.
There are many ways to use role plays during training:
- The entire class can watch as people act out the scenario;
- Break into small groups where some are acting and others are observing; or
- Use scripted role plays where the actors read their lines.
Examples and Resources of Role Play
Pages A-25 and 26 in the NORC Curriculum, Equipping Long-Term Care Ombudsmen for Effective Advocacy: The Problem-solving Process - Investigation, have role plays which can be used to emphasize good problem solving skills. View the Word version here.
This document, Scripted Role Plays: Depicting Ombudsman in Typical Situations, was created by the Missouri Ombudsman program and contains several examples of scripted role plays with discussion questions, feel free to modify them.
The resource Uses of Mediation in Assisted Living - And Some Advice Thrown In contains many ideas for role play activities.
This role play exercise includes instructor notes and a handout in order to provide an opportunity for the Ombudsman program representative to step into the role of care receiver and care provider when handling a situation regarding mental health issues.
Online Training - Updated Format
This training translates the NORC curriculum, Equipping Long-Term Care Ombudsmen for Effective Advocacy: A Basic Curriculum into an online form. The teaching methods found in this training are based on principles of adult learning and grounded in Ombudsman program values.
The online format was recently updated for a fresher, more user-friendly appearance. The curriculum content will be updated in the future.
Please Note! This online version of the NORC curriculum is meant to supplement your state training, and its completion does not automatically certify you as a long-term care ombudsman (LTCO). For more information, contact your State LTC Ombudsman Office.
Review these Technical Tips before accessing the Online Curriculum.
If you would like to work through each module individually, click on the links below.
For more information on training visit the NORC website.
Read archived issues of NORC Notes here. If you have a question, are not able to find a resource, or want to share training materials or program practices, please email email@example.com.