UPDATED: HANDLE WITH CARE – COVID- 19 TRAINING PROTOCOLS
As States begin to reopen, it is important that we are ready and have established protocols in place. The current strategy is to provide a structured and phased guideline for reopening while leaving it up to the Governors of each state, and regions on the exact timing for implementing each phase. The protocol outlined below is based on the standards and requirements we are seeing across multiple regions and States. These protocols will vary based on i.e. (1) State requirements; (2) phase of re-opening; (3) whether the training is on-site or via seminar, and (4) the client. This protocol is subject to modification. We're using the best available information at hand. HWC Training Protocols include: Participants attending HWC Training must certify they are healthy and to the best of their knowledge NOT at risk of spreading COVID (i.e. do not have COVID symptoms, do not have COVID and are not in a quarantine or stay at home period if exposed to COVID). Participants who show signs of symptoms of COVID cannot attend training. The room size provided by the organization will meet State distancing or occupancy requirements for the number of Participants expected. Prior to attending everyone (HWC trainers included) will be asked to take their temperature and make an self-health assessment that they are not experiencing COVID symptoms. We're setting 100 degrees Fahrenheit as the maximum temp permitted to participate. Please ask your staff to self-screen their temps at home on the morning of training. Prior to attending the training or entering the training room there will be a sign-in table where temperature will be taken, participants will sanitize or wash their hands, and gloves (hand sanitizing) and masks will be required. We ask that no one enters the training room until their sign-in process is completed. Masks and gloves stay on unless the person leaves on a break. When the person returns, s/he must resanitize and change gloves. The same mask can be kept. Masks stay on unless you need to remove it to speak or breathe. If the mask is taken off social distancing must be adhered to. Before the mask is dropped the person must distance 6 feet from the nearest person. Trainers can drop their mask for longer briefings, explanations, broadcasting training. The trainer has to be at least 6 feet away if his/her mask is down. Where social distancing cannot be maintained, masks and gloves must be worn. During Personal Defense, each participant will keep the same partner. During the physical restraint training, including "spotting" practice, particpatns will be divided into small groups and remain with that group throughout. Additionally If there is any question about scheduling HWC training, the Client should check with the State and/or licensing agency as to when training can proceed. There may be last minute schedule adjustments or rescheduling due to COVID i.e. the trainer becomes ill and there is no time to provide a substitute trainer or a substitute trainer is not available, changing COVID protocols, restrictions or limitations. If the last minute cancellation is due to HWC, we will cover HWC (not client) out-of-pocket travel costs. If the last minute cancellation is due to the organization/client, the organization shall cover any HWC incurred non-refundable costs.
How Does HWC Training Decrease Restraints?
Question: I have a question about training side effects. Does training staff in deescalation and physical intervention, as apposed to deescalation only, increase restraints within an organization? Answer: If I understand your question correctly; does training your organization in physical intervention increase the number of restraints post training? The question is related to the myth that if you give your staff a tool, they'll look for every opportunity to use it. It's a cynical view of human nature and, furthermore, assumes there's is no supervision present to counter it. My personal belief, based on training many thousands of agencies and schools over four decades is, trained or not, staff do not want to do physical interventions at all. There is almost always a reluctance to become physically engaged, even when safety dictates. The attitude and posture of agency executives and the restrictions imposed by Licensors also play a critical role. What we typically see post physical intervention training is much better work at "Support" and "Limit Setting" interventions because staff develop the confidence in themselves and each other that they can enforce treatment expectations and behavioral consequences when needed. The number of restraints should go down, not up, post training. I'm attaching statistics achieved at a developmental center from thirty years ago to illustrate the point. This is really a discussion about whether the personal empowerment of staff is good or bad. I argue, when you feel personally empowered, you have the luxury of being a nice person when you are dealing with someone in conflict.
Modified PRT for Smaller Children
Question: If a small child is in a modified PRT, is it within the realm of Handle With Care to do this intervention using the corner for support? Answer: Yes. It is always appropriate to utilize additional staff and/or walls, corners of walls, etc., to help maintain stability and the integrity of the modified PRT. Unlike HWC's PRT prone and supine configurations, "Settle Position" PRTs and Modified PRTs for Smaller Children (or any other seated hold taught by any other vendor) are inherently unstable because of their higher center of gravity. It is imperative that staff members who perform a hold while in a seated or kneeling position take whatever reasonable and appropriate measures are necessary to keep an upright seated hold stable. In 1998 the Hartford Currant accurately identified the inherently fatal malfunction mode of the "basket hold" when it destabilizes while in it's seated configuration. We/HWC identified it's malfunction mode the year before. While the Modified PRT for Smaller Children is a distinctly different hold without the same engineering problems as the basket hold, the lesson that should be learned by everyone is that every seated hold, regardless of its origin, must be kept upright and stable to insure it's integrity. Moreover, staff should not hesitate to offer other assistance with respect to stabilizing the legs, preventing head butting, pinching etc.