Athelas Institute, Inc.

Providing Opportunities for Achievement and Growth


Training Descriptions

Athelas Ethics I & II
This training is designed to give staff the skills to demonstrate excellent job performance.  Staff will learn about the history of Athelas and its mission, vision, and values.  Staff will review employee expectations, work ethic, and basic communication skills.  In addition, staff will learn how to display professionalism and practice commitment by choosing a good attitude, making the day fun for all, and choosing to be fully present (Fish! Philosophy).

Communicable Diseases & Bloodborne Pathogens
Staff will identify various types of communicable diseases and precautions to protect themselves and individuals receiving support from contracting and/or spreading potential infectious diseases.  Staff will learn and demonstrate proper hand washing procedures as well as proper reporting procedures when they or an individual has been exposed.  The bloodborne pathogens module is designed to provide a basic understanding of bloodborne pathogens, common modes of transmission, and methods of prevention.  Bloodborne pathogens training must be taken annually. In addition, staff are trained on seizure disorder, administering an epipen, and monitoring blood pressure as part of our Communicable Diseases curriculum.

Staff will learn about the aging process, such as common functional and physiological changes, and the needs of individuals with a developmental or intellectual disability who are aging.  Staff will define terms such as "aging" and "retirement," and identify different programs of support and resources available to help aging individuals with disabilities retain independence for as long as possible.  In addition, staff will identify signs and symptoms of dementia, and areas of support.  

Staff will learn the basic design and architecture of the Carematic database and its various uses, including emailing, incident reporting, facilities reporting, consumer information, and diaries. 

Fundamental Rights
Staff will define various State and Federal terms that deal with fundamental rights issues, such as civil rights, advocacy, confidentiality, informed consent, guardianship, constitutional rights, and more.  Historical practices heavily influenced the way our society views disabilities today.  Staff will learn about historical perspectives in western culture and how social reform and civil rights began changing things for individuals with disabilities.  In addition, staff will be able to identify various areas of concern for violating fundamental rights and the avenues to address these issues.  The State of Maryland's regulations on values, outcomes, and fundamental rights will be identified and discussed as well as specific attitudes and concerns surrounding sensitive issues that protect an individual's fundamental rights.   

Community Integration & Inclusion
This training is centered around "values."  Staff will define "community membership" and related issues, including the importance of community involvement for everyone.  Staff will also understand and demonstrate a variety of strategies for assisting individuals to connect with their community, which may lead to the development of meaningful relationships.  In addition, staff will identify potential stumbling blocks or barriers to success.

Choking Prevention & Dysphagia
Staff will define "bolus," "dysphagia," and "aspiration."  Staff will learn about the basic anatomy of the mouth and the swallowing process.  This training will also cover choking and aspiration risks and warning signs, monitoring risks and procedures, and emergency protocol for choking incidents.  Various diets and liquid consistencies will be defined and identified through hands-on food preparation. 

Person Directed Planning
This training will provide staff with support tools, including ways to identify an individual's wants, needs, and desires.  Staff will learn what an Individual Plan (IP) is and identify the Person Directed philosophy and how Athelas uses this style for our client's plans.  Staff will learn to empower individuals to exercise self-determination, to choose a life of his/her own, and to be an active member in the community.  Finally, this training will help staff understand how to distinguish, create, and execute meaningful goals and outcomes. 

Principles of Behavior Change I
Principles of Behavior Change is part I of the four-part Behavior Principles & Strategies (BPS) series.  Staff will learn and identify "behavior," five motivating aspects of behavior, five characteristics of reinforcement, three primary behavior reduction techniques, and six characteristics of enhancing positive behavior by establishing behavior momentum.  Staff will also learn to identify, read, and utilize inter-agency Behavior Support Plans.     

Behavior Principles & Strategies II-IV
Participants will learn crisis prevention and intervention techniques.  Staff will identify characteristics of a behavioral crisis, awareness principles, and learn effective verbal strategies, effective non-verbal strategies, and steps for solving problems.    

Communication I & II
Communication skills training identifies the importance of communication skills and how they affect our jobs daily.  Staff will learn types of communication, the link between communication and disruptive behavior, and factor influencing communication styles, such as cultural backgrounds.  Additionally, staff will learn about the importance of listening skills and the impact that listening has on communication outcomes and how it effects relationships with individuals.  Ultimately, staff will be provided with tools to enhance listening skills.

Staff will define "incident" and learn DDA standards and practices regarding incident reporting in addition to Athelas standards, practices, and polices & procedures.  Participants will identify the various types of incidents, such as internally investigated incidents, internally reviewed incidents, and reportable incidents.  Staff will review a sample incident report form.    

Safe Lifting
Participants will learn various facts regarding back injuries and the workplace.  A basic lesson on the anatomy and physiology of the back will be covered.  Finally, staff will learn about the Safe-T-Lift and proper back support, lifting techniques, proper posture, and associated biomechanics.  The training will also offer various back exercise techniques to build strength and endurance in the muscles.   

Safely Transporting Passengers
Staff will walk away with a better understanding the basic needs of operating a 15-passenger van for individuals with disabilities and the importance of practicing the following safe driving techniques: leaving a cushion of safety between vehicles, reading traffic patterns properly, and maintaining awareness at all times.  Staff will also learn the wheel chair 4-point tie down procedure, basic vehicle maintenance, trouble shooting, and proper communication and transport of passengers.

Self-Determination training will provide participants with a foundation for, and method of, assisting individuals and their families in making person centered choices.  The instructor will cover components of a self-directed, team approach to planning vs. program centered planning.  Staff will identify planning team players and where each may fit into the decision making process.  Staff will be able to identify areas of life where choice can be exercised and list the negative consequences of not offering choices, and state the rationale for offering choices and including family input.  Finally, staff will be able to identify barriers to choice and methods of resolution.      

Characteristics & Overview of Developmental Disabilities
This training will provide participants with a basic understanding of the characteristics and needs of individuals with developmental disabilities.  Staff will define "developmental disability" and identify the qualifying conditions.  Major characteristics of intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and other neurological disorders will be identified.  Additionally, staff will be able to distinguish between a mental illness and intellectual disability. 

Adult CPR
Staff will identify standard Red Cross "before giving care" procedures when performing Adult CPR or Standard First Aid techniques.  Staff will also learn standards Red Cross Adult CPR procedures, including, but not limited to airway positioning and chest compressions.   

Standard First Aid
Staff will learn standard Red Cross procedures for handling sudden illness, wounds, bleeding, burns, and injuries to muscles, bones, and joints.  Bandaging and other care techniques will be identified and practiced.  Other emergency procedures, such as heat-related or cold-related emergencies will also be addressed.

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