Excellence is a choice. It does not discriminate; it is FREE, available to anyone who chooses it.  It is that simple; make the choice to pursue the challenge of excellence. Living the choice is painful; even so, all great things involve some degree of pain.

In the profession of direct support, excellence in service is a true rarity. There are many dedicated direct support professionals across the country working in organizations that are understaffed, and underfunded, leaving the direct support employee, overworked and underpaid.

 In the pursuit of excellence and quality of service, consider the following twelve tips for those of you who choose to begin your journey toward excellence in direct support.

Choose today.

Know what your customers “vision” is.

                Each person has a dream and a picture of how they want their life to be. As a DSP you need to know and hear that, from each person.  Not just what was captured on paper at a     meeting, but build on that by listening to the person you are serving.

Be a mentor.

                The definition of a mentor is a wise or trusted counselor or teacher. As a DSP teach, coach and guide everyday. 

Spend time getting to know your customer.  

                Discuss with, your customer, what expectations and goals they have set for you as their mentor, teacher coach and guide.

Ask for commitment

                Ask your customer for their commitment to the process as well as establishing yourcommitment level to your customer.

Know what tools and resources you will use together.

                Be prepared.  Find out what you will need, get it, and move on, No excuses here

Prepare, daily, plan for tomorrow

                Set goals for each time you are together. Write them down, be concrete specific and detailed soeach person knows what the expectations are.  Ex. today you accomplished laying out the  pattern and cutting the wood.  Tomorrow we will bolt the shelves together and sand the wood.             

Meet regularly

                Establish a set time that you will be working with your customer. Keep as consistent as possible. We all know there are detours on the road, but don’t get lost here. Get back on the established road, quickly.

Debrief progress

                Once a month devote time to discuss progress that has taken place, what each of you haslearned in this process, what adjustments might need to be made and PLAN.

Invest Yourself.

                As a DSP you need to be “present” when you are side by side with your customer. You have tobe immersed in the process and the purpose for there to be progress.  FOCUS, no distractions.Turn off the cell phone, no water cooler conversations going on while serving your customer.

Teach someone else,

                We have all heard the saying – you will learn the lesson faster if you teach someone else. When your customer has accomplished one piece of the goal no matter how small, support them toshare their knowledge and skills with other people.

Launch – Soar – Fly

        Evaluate what you have taught,

        Support your customer to do it alone

        Evaluate what you have learned.

Repeat!  You are on your way!

By |2016-11-03T10:15:13+00:00April 16th, 2014|Categories: Mary Lawson's Posts|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE –

Feeling Behind

One of the things I truly value about Therap is the community of support it can provide. Therefore, my monthly blog post this time around is a short vent about Therap use in NM.

In NM we are mandated users on the following things: GER, eCHAT, two other custom form medical screening tools, and most components of health tracker. While I love using GER, and the medical assessments are working fine…HT is another story. We are so behind all the time with HT. It is difficult to implement with the direct support because they just aren’t in the system enough to get comfortable with everything. We are mostly using Therap to duplicate and store paper with the HT functions; that is time consuming.

I wish NM would purchase the use of T-logs for the providers. Then we would have out staff in there at least daily. The continued use would reinforce the use of HT and make it easier to navigate. Maybe I just haven’t discovered the right work flow to keep all the health information current.

Anyone else out there using HT from a more centralized approach, rather than direct support entry? How does this work for? Any suggestions?

By |2016-11-03T10:15:39+00:00June 22nd, 2012|Categories: Brianne Conner's Posts|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Feeling Behind

Celebrate Community

March has many reasons to celebrate; one being St. Patrick’s Day, March also often brings us new life, whether it be plant or animal.

One of the least publicized celebrations for the month is Developmental Disability Awareness Month. The themes this year all seem to be
built around community, and the awareness of how important it is in each person’s life, no matter what your societal status. In the 2010 Gallup Press  publication, Well Being, The Five Essential Elements, community wellbeing is number five. Without that sense of community, feeling safe and secure, all other areas of well being are compromised.

Quite possibly the most important piece in creating community and wellbeing, is the direct support professional that stands with a person who experiences life with a disability. The direct support professional adheres to the Code of Ethics when making day to day decisions. One of the nine ethics is integrity and responsibility. The National Alliance for DSP’s make it easy to understand what is meant with the definition. As a DSP. I will support the  mission and vitality of my profession to assist people in leading SELF directed lives, fostering a spirit of partnerships with the people I support, other professionals and the community. (Emphasis is mine).

Easy to understand even tougher to pull off.

Act with integrity when no one is looking because someone is
always watching, learning and modeling your integrity.

Being responsible!  If it is within your realm of ability, skills and talent,  Nike
said it best – JUST DO IT!

When we, guide, lead,  build, expect, demand,  a workforce of Direct Support Professionals, who commit to the Code of Ethics, then we will have a much larger community to celebrate.   What will you be celebrating in March 2013?





By |2016-11-03T10:15:44+00:00March 14th, 2012|Categories: Mary Lawson's Posts|Tags: |1 Comment

Excited about Therap

I am so excited to be a new blogger on Therap-THANKS JUSTIN AND KARA!!!!  I have been working with Therap for several years now with the new OCCAZIO (formerly Cardinal Service Management).  This week we have what we call Team Meetings and we have been doing more training and prepping with staff for the future of MARS and getting feedback from staff on suggestion they have to make things easier for them.   We get a great response from staff which is so nice to hear.  As a nurse the continued growth in Therap always excites me.  Each new release from Therap is always a much awaited event on my part so that I can play and educate myself on the changes and updates.

I like being able to pull data together at anytime of the day.  When I have a patient or I am on call for a patient that has new developments, Therap makes my job so much easier by having the ability to see some recent data that helps me better able to guide staff to assist that person.   As I said earlier the MARS are a very exciting module that I so look forward to watching its growth as for me-it will continue to improve my ability to better serve the wonderful folks I do!

Thanks again to Justin and Kara, but Justin we must talk about my password!:)  I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THERAP!


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