NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Dionne Bradwell
Congratulations to Dionne Bradwell who has been selected as the February 2022 NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month.We are recognizing Dionne this February for her excellent ‘First Aid’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a Direct Support Professionals’ work in using universal precautions and giving first aid as needed in an emergency. This badge is part of the Safety CMS Core Competency. It also aligns with the NADSP Competency Area of Supporting Health and Wellness.
Dionne works for Chilliwack Society For Community Living (CSCL) in British Columbia, Canada. CSCL’s mission is to provide quality individualized supports to enhance the lives of adults with developmental disabilities, children and youth with special needs and their families.To learn more about CSCL, click here.
Dionne’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Dionne about her experiences with the NADSP E-Badge Academy. The questions covered how she carries out her work as a direct support professional, the skillsets she demonstrates on a daily basis, the impact that the E-Badge Academy has had on her professional recognition, and how she gets credit for competency.
Describe the story you shared in carrying out that competency:
While supporting an Individual out in the community, he had a seizure while sitting in his wheelchair. Using the following knowledge, skills and attitude is how I was able to carry out the above competency.
My areas of knowledge included the person I support’s medical history, steps required if a seizure happens in or out of his wheelchair and understanding when to call or not to call 911 during a seizure. The skills I applied were recognizing and responding immediately to his seizure, first noting the time the seizure began while ensuring we were both safe from further harm before proceeding. Remaining calm and having confidence in the steps I was taking during and after his seizure not only helped him but most likely gave bystanders a sense of ease as well. The last thing I did was discuss the incident with my manager as well as document the relevant information in our company’s software program.
Why is this competency so important to DSPs?
As a DSP, one of our primary focuses is the safety of the people we support. Having First Aid greatly assists with this competency as sometimes people with disabilities can have more health and safety concerns. Being informed and aware of the “flags” can be the difference between life and death in an extreme case. An advantage for DSPs is they can be proactive administering First Aid when observing any type of change in a person’s behaviour, routine or physical behaviour. By acknowledging and being prepared this could potentially prevent the prelude to something much more serious.
How can other DSPs replicate your practices?
By being informed of the medical history for each person you support and learning how to respond quickly and efficiently to decrease possibilities of a worse outcome. Also, knowing the different first aid procedures for different scenarios, keeping your First Aid current and up to date. Most importantly, is remaining calm and being able to communicate clearly to those around you.
How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your agency?
It increases employees’ knowledge, skill set and ability to be more efficient to the people we support. This also benefits CSCL because having a qualified team of Direct Support Professionals creates the potential to minimize or prevent the impact of negative situations for the people we support which ultimately would enhance their quality of life.
How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit the people you support?
In a multitude of different ways including inclusion, home management, relationships, employment, self-advocacy and goal setting. There are just too many benefits to adequately answer this question. The ultimate benefit I see for the people we support is the freedom of living a self-directed life and in control of how they want to see the events of their life unfold.
What does the future hold for your involvement in the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
At this point in time, the goal is to have certification as both a DSP II and DSP III by December 31, 2022. After this date, I’m not certain, perhaps the Frontline Supervisor Certification.
How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy was just rolled out last July in Canada through CSCL. Being one of 50 “pilot” employees enrolled in Canada’s first NADSP E-Badge Academy for DSP-I Certification, it’ll be a few years before my professional image outside of CSCL is affected.
How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your skills?
Without any doubt. A good part of the professional I have been able to become over the last few months has been a great part thanks to what I have been able to gain from the training and testimonials. In that time, I have been able to implement a great deal of the knowledge I assimilated. And I know months down the road, I will be a better DSP and professional thanks to the training and testimonials to come.
Do you feel a stronger professional identity with your occupation?
Absolutely, I loved learning the direction of supporting people with disabilities and progressing and as much as I wish it was already 100% Person-Centered Support, I feel we have a long way to go in opening the mindset of many professionals, family members and society as a whole. Advocacy is definitely merited for being one of the nine tenets in the Code of Ethics for DSPs.
Do you feel more skilled?
Without question. NADSP is giving me the knowledge and information needed to accurately perform skills I would not have been able to or even thought of prior to completing the first level of Certification. I can only imagine how much more advancing in the E-Badge Academy will enhance the quality of my work ultimately leading to happier, more fulfilled and enabling the growth and life experiences of the people I support on a daily basis. I’ll admit, it takes a lot of self-motivation and time to complete a level; however, the information and wisdom you gain is priceless and the Certificate is another kudos in the portfolio.
How does NADSP E-Badge Academy give you credit for competency?
The Academy itself gives credit for competency through a series of badges leading to Certification as a Direct Support Professional; however, our employer credits us in a variety of ways: free education, financial incentive, opportunity to increase our professional achievements with an up-to-date and relevant skill set, recognition in various media and possibly in a few years’ time, extra “qualification” credits benefiting certified DSPs for internal job posting interviews.
Words from Chilliwack Society for Community Living
CSCL employees have been asking for more professional development and education opportunities for years; and it has been challenging to find training that can benefit every employee and that is 100% relevant and specific to our field. Once the NADSP E-Badge Academy was presented to CSCL – we never looked back. This was an opportunity to provide our employees an opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge – which is what they’ve been asking for. We rolled out the E-Badge Academy to our employees in July 2021 and were thrilled when all the seats we purchased were filled by our employees (validating and confirming that they truly were desiring professional development & education opportunities).
In addition, employees having the ability to reflect on the NADSP competencies and code of ethics and apply it to their everyday work is amazing. CSCL has embedded the NADSP’s competencies and code of ethics into our policies and procedures (employees are familiar with the NADSP). Now, being able to offer our employees the opportunity to obtain credentials for their work through the NADSP (via the E-Badge Academy) – is invaluable. The end result is employee satisfaction, employee confidence & competence development, consumer satisfaction and it has formed part of CSCL’s recruitment and retention strategy.
We are extremely proud of Dionne for obtaining her DSP-I credential and her commitment to her ongoing development. She has proven herself to be a dedicated and passionate DSP who absolutely loves the work that she is doing. Congrats Dionne on being one of first Canadians to obtain their DSP credential and for being the first Canadian to be featured as an E-Badge Earner of the month. Amazing work!!!
Director – Human Resources/Labour Relations
The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The NADSP E-Badge Academy offers Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Frontline Supervisors (FLSs) the ability to earn national certification through stackable electronic badges. These badges demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and values that these professionals utilize every day, recognizing the professional development that might otherwise go unacknowledged. Through the NADSP E-Badge Academy, DSPs and FLSs are acknowledged for the experience and education that they bring to the human services field.
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The vision of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing. NADSP works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills and values, through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services.