Jordin facilitated an intervention in her home that resulted in a significant reduction in behaviors for her resident. See what she did and why!
Attends: University of Minnesota Twin-Cities
Major: Developmental Psychology
Career Plans: Clinical Psychology
“I’ve learned a lot of patience and people skills at ACR, and about person centered care. I’ve learned to move forward based on the needs and desires of my residents, not based on my own plans and goals. I’m not working at ACR because of my end goal, I’m working here to serve the people I serve.
I knew that I wanted to work with a particular resident. When people start working at my home, they’re told to “watch out for this” or “beware of that” when it came to her and her behavioral needs. That isn’t the best first impression, so I wanted to help her to be more comfortable, more happy. Making her more comfortable was going to make everyone feel more comfortable. I heard the recommendation for aromatherapy and I went with it.
Study & Intervention
I started by doing some research on what essential oil scent was best and landed on lavender because of its calming effect on the body and mind. After getting consent from my supervisor, nurse, and guardians, we got started in making sure it was a scent that she enjoyed and didn’t react poorly to. I broke my research down into 2 phases and offered aromatherapy twice daily during each phase. For Phase 1, we did aromatherapy as a solo activity. She’d play with her toys and absorb it in a calm environment. In Phase 2- we used aromatherapy as a social activity. We diffused it as staff were engaging with her in an activity—brushing hair, playing with toys, doing nails, etc. I wanted to see if the social part improved behavioral outcomes even more. During each phase we measured behaviors numerically with tallying. At the end, we compared average behaviors for phase 1 and phase 2 to before aromatherapy started.
We decreased behaviors by 66% and that just blew my mind. I noticed it! We’d have full days in a row with no behaviors. Seeing the data and paring it with what I was seeing was really exciting. During the study we decreased her behaviors by 2/3! She has started asking for oils and was excited to do that. It was really exciting!
Beyond my research on aromatherapy, I learned a lot about getting everyone on the same page for the sake of consistency. When it comes to a research study, it’s important that everyone is compliant and that my procedures and protocols were being followed exactly. From this, I learned how to be a better communicator. I also learned to be confident. This was my project, so in this case it had to be done my way. I had to be someone who my co-workers trusted and wanted to help.
Advice for Future Interns
Be confident! Advocate for yourself as needed, and for your residents. Don’t be scared to stand up for yourself and your ideas. If someone was pursuing aromatherapy, I think it’s also important to really know your residents in order to get a baseline before implementing something new.
ACR Homes Internship Sarah Abbott states:
“Jordin has such a great focus on resident agenda and making sure that everything she does is resident driven. She took her idea and ran with it and it was so fun to see the huge impact she made along the way in decreasing behaviors, and Jordin’s enthusiasm for making this change. Jordin is a great advocate to have on your side, and I’m so glad her resident was able to benefit from her research and implementation.”
Thanks for making a difference, Jordin!
Considering doing an ACR Internship? Check out other featured internship spotlights here. To get started and join Jordin in making a difference for her residents as well as her future career goals, email firstname.lastname@example.org.