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Bethanie

How Bethanie mobilised its workforce to prepare for COVID-19 in aged care with a multidisciplinary approach

Army tactics and corporate psychology were just some of the strategies used by Bethanie to establish and prepare its newly formed COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak at one of their Aged Care Homes in Perth.

To ensure Bethanie would be as prepared as it possibly could be in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, the organisation decided it would coordinate volunteers from its existing Residential team to form the COVID-19 Outbreak Response Team.

The organisation coordinated 42 volunteers to undergo a five-week intensive training course which included understanding military principles, leadership development, utilisation of appropriate PPE and identification of clinical deterioration.

Bethanie Learning and Development Manager, Leanne Chapman said her team oversaw the design and development of the training program that would give the Team confidence and competence during a COVID-19 outbreak to ensure continuity of care for its residents.

“Having learnt from the experience of other Aged Care providers overseas and within Australia, we knew we needed a plan to allow us to cope with the staff shortages they had all experienced,” Ms Chapman said.
“We collaborated with both internal and external providers to develop the content which would equip the Team to effectively manage times of crisis specific to COVID-19.”

Bethanie collaborated with Deputy Commander of the Army Reserve and Leadership Strategist Consultant, Amanda Williamson, Veraison, and other providers to prepare the Team to battle the virus should a second wave enter WA.

Ms Williamson shared her some 25 years of crisis management experience from managing overseas military operations to help the Team best function together in a group in high stress and complex environments where often the stakes were high.

“I shared strategies and tips that we use in the military to help people adjust and thrive in operational environments, similar to what we have seen in COVID-19,” she said.
“I helped the team recognise that everybody within a team receives and gives information differently - some people get confused in uncertainty, and as a leader, this is important to understand.”

Bethanie CEO Chris How said he was confident that Bethanie was prepared for a potential COVID-19 outbreak and have measures in place to protect residents and staff.

“Our Team has undergone a multifaceted, intensive training course and are competent in handling an outbreak management response in an aged care environment,” Mr How said.
“We have contributed significant resources towards the organisation’s readiness to respond to a crisis because our priority has and always will be the care and safety of our residents and staff.”
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