Orientation for new hires to Pomegranate Health Systems is relatively comprehensive. The Human Resources Department is responsible for coordinating the orientation schedule. This includes security, facilities overview, procedures, life safety, CPI- crisis intervention, CPR –cardiopulmonary resuscitation, clinical overview on our patient population and milieu, medical/nursing overview and much more.
The purpose of the orientation is to provide each new employee all of the tools and training they need to be successful. The training is thorough in that we want to make sure that new employees are informed and have the knowledge to handle any situation that might come their way. Once orientation is completed, the new employees shadow a seasoned employee for 2 weeks. This shadowing is time for the new employee to get the hands-on approach with the youth and absorb any and all information to help them succeed in their new role. Staff are not permitted to work with the youth alone, until they have demonstrated competency.
The orientation classes take the better part of a week in what is known as ‘Classroom 8’, largely used for staff training. Beyond the necessity of training per the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and The Joint Commission requirements, it is necessary for working with psychiatric patients and juveniles, with special needs. Pomegranate practices trauma-informed care for those who have suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse, violence, or crisis in their young lives.
Facilities Director, John Hedrick, covers emergency procedures, life-safety, scheduling, and facility basics- such as how a secure facility operates, cameras, rules and procedures, housekeeping, dining/kitchen, phone system, maintenance, parking, fire safety, evacuation, weather alerts, emergency codes, testing protocol, and much more.
Supervising therapist, Judy Dean, gives an overview of clinical conditions, terms, symptoms and treatment procedures and protocol. For therapy and nursing staff, orientation provides additional context for Pomegranate’s programming and special nuances; for direct care and support staff, it’s necessary background.
Pomegranate’s Quality Improvement Manager, says, “The population we serve requires our staff to be equipped with physical interventions when needed. Because Pomegranate practices a trauma-informed care model, Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) spends more time focusing on verbal de-escalation strategies through role-plays, group discussions, and activities/exercises, and a smaller portion of time practicing actual physical interventions for those times when verbal redirection is not effective.” CPI has been adopted worldwide in facilities such as schools, hospitals, and prisons.
The Quality Improvement Manager continued, “The program helps our staff by reducing the risk of injury, improving communication among co-workers, boosts staff confidence to intervene both verbally and physically, helps to alleviate stress and anxiety associated with confusion in crisis moments, and helps staff to feel safe at work. The program offers our youth an environment that is safe and respectful, the opportunity to develop new coping skills, positive guidance and encouragement, and most importantly, the feeling of support.” Each team member is required to attend an 8-hour initial CPI training upon hire and a 3 hour refresher yearly or as needed.
Derek, First Shift Supervisor, is one of the CPR trainers who has passed the 40-hour American Red Cross training course and received certification to teach. He became certified over two years ago and said he learned different pointers how to teach because not everyone is on the same level. He has taught over thirty classes and 15 refreshers. His most important advice is for those he teaches to keep calm, check the scene and make sure there isn’t any imminent danger. ‘In case nursing can’t get to the patient immediately, such as a choking situation, we train everyone in direct care. It is unlikely we will ever have to do it, but we’re equipped, and it is a state mandate,” he said. In addition to the CPR training, there are AED machines in prominent locations- such as the West side nurse’s station.
“In addition to a thorough orientation, All-Staff/Town Hall Meetings occur on a monthly basis with mandatory attendance requirement, and additional training/education and update for all employees on all three shifts. It’s comprehensive, as team building and communications skills form the building blocks of Pomegranate’s continuous QI initiatives,” concludes Deborah, HR Director.