Practice Experience in Home Support, Assisted Living, and/or Group Home

Suggested Learning Strategies

Strategies that Focus on Caring

1. Overcoming a Challenge

Have the student identify a challenge they faced in providing personal care and assistance to a client with complex health needs. Ask the student to describe the assistance provided, how they adapted the care to accommodate the challenge, and the action(s) they took following the encounter (Learning Outcomes #1, #2, #3, #5, and #7).

2. Person-Centred Goals

Have the students write person-centred goals for the care of their client(s). This is particularly important in community settings, where students should be encouraged to consider ways to promote and further client independence, with an orientation to “help with,” rather than to “do for.”

Strategies that Focus on Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving, and Decision-Making

1. Meetings about Community Placement

Set up meetings with the site supervisor/mentor and/or course instructor to give students the opportunity to discuss topics and issues related to their community placement.

2. Home Safety Assessment

Ask students to complete a home safety assessment of the residence for one of the clients they are working with in their community placement (see instructions in the DISCUSSION GUIDE: Putting Safety into Practice). Have the student report their findings to the site team and/or supervisor at a daily meeting. If possible, the student could compare their assessment to the one completed by the employer and discuss the effectiveness of the strategies used to enhance safety in that setting (Learning Outcomes #2, #7 and #8).

3. Debrief

If this is the final placement, bring students together back at the college for a final debrief. This could provide rich learning opportunities for students to share what they have learned, gain insight from the learning of others, and consider further areas for their continued professional growth and development.

Strategies that Focus on Professional Approaches to Practice

1. Synthesizing Learning

Reflective learning activities where students record observations, challenges, and other information can be used to synthesize their learning.

2. Identifying Opportunities for Learning

In the community setting, students will likely practise as part of the team, under the supervision of site staff. During the first week of placement, ask students to identify a minimum of two areas where they would like to enhance their own learning. They should discuss these areas with their site supervisor and/or course instructor and identify potential opportunities for learning. Ask the student to record the conversation outcome and report to the instructor at the end of the community placement (Learning Outcomes #5 and #8).

Suggested Course Assessments

The course learning outcomes may be assessed by the following tasks:

  1. A reflective journal will help students to synthesize information from their practice experience and relate it to the program learning outcomes. Throughout the practice experience, ask students to record examples of how they met each of the program learning outcomes. The instructor could review the journal at the mid-term to ensure students are progressing satisfactorily and to review and discuss as part of the student’s overall final evaluation (Learning Outcomes #1 to #9).
  2. A final evaluation completed by the site supervisor and/or course instructor will assesses whether students have met (or not met) the required skills outlined in the program learning outcomes (Learning Outcomes #1 to #9). Refer to Section 5: Sample Evaluation Tools.
  3. A professional behaviour development rubric can be completed by the site supervisor and/or course instructor to assess the student’s ability to behave in a manner that supports their success in the workplace (Learning Outcomes #1, #2, #5, #6, #8, and #9). Refer to Section 5: Sample Evaluation Tools.

Resources for Practice Experience

Refer to Resources for Practice Experience in Practice Experience in Multi-Level and/or Complex Care.