NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Bianka Gomez
Congratulations to Bianka Gomez who has been selected as the August 2022 NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month.We are recognizing Bianka for her excellent ‘Personal Care’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a Direct Support Professionals’ work in assisting the individual to use infection control procedures and prevent illness.This badge is part of the Health and Wellness CMS Core Competency. It is also aligned with NADSP’s Community Living Skills and Supports Competency.
Bianka works as a Direct Support Professional for Tierra Del Sol Foundation. Tierra Del Sol Foundation’s mission is to champion inclusion and value for all people with disabilities through creative pathways to employment, education, and the arts. To learn more about Tierra Del Sol Foundation, click here.
Bianka’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Bianka 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:
The story I shared was assisting an individual with personal care specifically with grooming and hygiene. Personal care can oftentimes be a delicate subject to discuss with anyone, so I wanted to make sure that I was supporting her in a way that I was not offensive her. I wanted this individual to know the importance of personal care and meeting her volunteer sites requirement, while not losing her individually. I modified and created tools to meet her specific needs.
Why is this competency so important to DSPs?
As DSPs, we play a critical role in servicing individuals with disabilities throughout the community. One of the many responsibilities and support which includes personal care skills. Personal care skills promote dignity and well-being in the individuals we advocate for.
How have you used this competency in your work?
As a DSP, I would assess and create tools specifically for the associates I was working with to help them meet their own personal goal and continue to promote their development. I formed close and trusted relationships with my associates and genuinely cared about their own personal goals and interests, they were setting for themselves.
How can other DSPs replicate your practices?
Other DSPs can replicate my practices by supporting individuals in a person-centered way. It is fundamental to form connections with each associate and learn their needs and adjust tools to better suit them individually.
How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your agency?
Pursuing the NADSP E-badge Academy gives us the opportunity to reflect on the DSP responsibilities we need to be to better support our associates. Us being better DSPs helps the agency and those we support.
How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit the people you support?
The E-badge Academy brings a tremendous amount of support and education of basic life, social and development skills into routine and crisis situations. Also it allows for the associates to advocate for themselves and designate individuals to advocate with them as well.
What does the future hold for your involvement in the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
There are still levels that I have not had the opportunity to complete, thus I want to continue to expand my knowledge in skills that will help those we support. With these skills I can help others expand upon their own knowledge and support their personal career paths.
How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image?
This program helped me to recognize the impact I bring in my associate life’s even in the smallest of things. I learned how truly important my role is that I play in their lives and sometimes we need these reminders so that we can strive for our best professionally.
Has the NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your skills?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy has given me the assurances and validation that I am doing my job effectively. It has also given me the opportunity to strengthen my skills and build on new ones. The NADSP E-Badge Academy has given me the opportunity to share my story and what I have learned through this honor of being selected as the badge earner of the month.
Words from Tierra Del Sol Foundation
“Bianka is a dedicated staff who supports each person she serves to lead self-directed lives filled with opportunity and passion. In doing so, she supports the vision of Tierra del Sol and helps us all get closer to the day where regardless of the notion of disability, all people live productive and personally meaningful lives. The NADSP has provided Bianka with the opportunity to reflect on her work and expand in her professional development. We are proud of Bianka’s accomplishment and look forward to continuing to support her growth.” – Karina Tovar, Learning and Development Program Manager
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.