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The Wisconsin technical colleges have a series of 80 training videos online (Lessons 1 - 80) that can be useful for caregivers. The series is geared towards training aides in hospitals and the like, but the techniques and precautions apply to home care as well.

These are classroom-type lessons, so the style might be a bit tedious for casual viewers. Even so, the lessons are organized well, and you can pick your subjects.

Several of them can be especially informative for those who have loved ones in care facilities. So often, I am discouraged by the actual practices in nursing homes or even hospitals that seem wonderful to the casual observer. They remind me of a friendly, personable mechanic who shouldn't be touching your car.

I'm not alone in this. This month's Consumer Report magazine includes a survey of patients in hospitals, and of nurses in those same hospitals. The survey highlighted the differences between what patients were concerned about - with the care level, facility, and all - compared to what their nurses thought they should have been concerned about. The nurses considered the lack of coordination among the providers (communication) and deficiencies in hand-washing discipline to be the two most significant things that the patients should have been worried about. Very few of the patients picked up on these, especially the hand-washing.

All this leads to a seemingly simple video topic - Lesson 22 Bed Making.

If you watch the video, at least the first half, you can't help but notice the emphasis on sanitary practices necessary for even this ordinary task. Next time you are in a hospital or long term care facility, observe the bed making. Watch the details. This is one, just one, small indication of the quality of care and attention to safe practices in the facility.

I'm impressed when I see tasks like this being done to proper standards. You should be, too. If you see that the staff attends to every detail, as these lessons will explain, compliment them and their supervisor. If you see short-cuts, however, be concerned. Friendly faces (at least in your presence) don't make up for lack of good practices.

Again, the Bed Making procedures are just an example. All the procedures laid out are important, of course. A carpenter friend once said that his boss had job applicants make a quick set of saw horses in the interview. The boss could tell all he needed to know from that. Bed making is something like that. Watch the video, and you'll see what I mean.
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