Doing my first clinic!

dragonfly8

New member
Well, it won't really be my first, I am going to the one at MPI on Sept 11, but have been asked to join a friend of mine who has a home based business and is having an open house, to offer inspections. She's also asked me to check her seats, as well as her home daycare providers.
Any advice? Suggestions? Words of wisdom?

I have a few weeks to prepare, and am happy to actually be doing the real thing now! Yep, even without my CRST number!!!
 
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tiggercat

New member
Will you be the only certified person at the open house? I'd consider having someone fairly experienced there to offer a second set of eyes. I know when I was first certified, I wanted to check everyone's seats, but it is easy to miss things when don't have someone to look over your installs, especially in a busy group setting. :twocents:
 

dragonfly8

New member
Will you be the only certified person at the open house? I'd consider having someone fairly experienced there to offer a second set of eyes. I know when I was first certified, I wanted to check everyone's seats, but it is easy to miss things when don't have someone to look over your installs, especially in a busy group setting. :twocents:

Nope, just me although a friend of mine that is having the open house, which is where we'll be, knows alot about car seats. I don't expect there to be a ton of people there, but I'll for sure ask her how many usually show up for her open houses.
I know she'd like hers and her sisters seats checked for sure, and this is how we learn, right? I know a fair amount, but of course, will always have more to learn.
I'll make sure to have my "stuff" with me, and my binder from my course, and will print out any other helpful info that anyone can share with me!
 

tiggercat

New member
I know she'd like hers and her sisters seats checked for sure, and this is how we learn, right? I know a fair amount, but of course, will always have more to learn.

Absolutely, you learn by installing seats! I'd just be a little bit concerned about liability for you in this case, especially since you're a newer tech. I'd want someone else's eyes to cover my butt, personally, and I've been a CRST for >5 yrs now. I do individual checks alone sometimes, but I'm pretty careful about it, and typically get the parent to do the actual install.
 

dragonfly8

New member
Absolutely, you learn by installing seats! I'd just be a little bit concerned about liability for you in this case, especially since you're a newer tech. I'd want someone else's eyes to cover my butt, personally, and I've been a CRST for >5 yrs now. I do individual checks alone sometimes, but I'm pretty careful about it, and typically get the parent to do the actual install.

I will be doing a clinic with MPI 3 days prior to the open house one, but now I'm concerned. Should I maybe not have agreed to do it?
 

tiggercat

New member
Well, it is your call :) If you do the MPI clinic and feel totally comfortable, you might be happy to do the open house on your own. If it were me, I'd be asking around to see if there is another tech willing to attend the open house with you, just in case.

Have you ever been in a position where you're tired and limp armed having demonstrated and/or installed a dozen seats and then got stuck with a difficult locking clip install on a RF 3 in 1 where you just couldn't do it by yourself? I have.
 

dragonfly8

New member
I can ask around, but honestly, I don't know of many tech's here in Wpg.

Are there any tech's here in Wpg that might like to attend with me? September 14, from 7-9 pm out in St Adolphe?
 

QuassEE

Moderator - CPST Instructor
I wouldn't stress, personally. My take on liability is this: don't make mistakes. Document, document, document, and leave everything up to the parents--decisions, final installation, EVERYTHING. Then document that.

The one thing I personally do is keep a few tech's phone numbers in my phone. If I don't know something, and there's no manual or other way to get the information on hand, I'll text the one I do know has the answer. For example, if it's a 3-in-1 question, Trudy's the knowledge base on that :)

My cel is the original BC code 3186597.

-Nicole.
 

tiggercat

New member
I wouldn't stress, personally. My take on liability is this: don't make mistakes. Document, document, document, and leave everything up to the parents--decisions, final installation, EVERYTHING. Then document that.

-Nicole.

Ok, yes, if you don't make mistakes you should be fine. I just think it is asking a lot for a new tech to do an event alone and make no mistakes or oversights.
 

snowbird25ca

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Ok, yes, if you don't make mistakes you should be fine. I just think it is asking a lot for a new tech to do an event alone and make no mistakes or oversights.

I've seen 3 different groups of new techs out of the course now, and have been a go-to person for a few new techs prior to becoming an instructor. From this experience, I would say a few things:

- the most important thing is being able to recognize when you don't know something, and asking for advice. This is advice I give to every single tech - never make something up, never settle for good enough. If you can't get the solution right then, then follow up ASAP and explain to the parent exactly what it is you're looking at - make a recommendation that will avoid the difficulty if possible.

- know your weak points - if you struggled with knowing when to use a locking clip, review it beforehand. If you feel that you're great with rf'ing seats but not confident on ff'ing seats, review that section. Etc

- I have seen some new techs that really struggle with the hands on aspect, and I've seen others that are pros right from the start. I've seen people in class who seem like they have a good grip on everything, and then it comes to the clinic and there are issues that appear.

- how good a tech is right from the start does seem to be related to prior experience. People from c-s.org or who are passionate about child safety for whatever reason have different skill-sets and mind-sets than people who are there for work. Somebody who has kids is most likely going to be better at judging strap height than somebody who has never buckled a child in to a carseat a single time.

So really, I think as long as you have a couple go-to people that you can reach in a hurry if need be, you'll be ok. You have your own seats, and prior experience before taking the course. Review what you struggled with, and take your time. Be methodical. Don't rush. And perhaps most importantly, don't get caught up in small technical details and fall in to the trap of giving too much info to the parent. Get the basics right - tight install, correct belt path, locked belt if it's a seat belt installation, correct routing of tether with a ff'ing seat, harness height and tightness - that kind of thing.

If you'd like to email me I'm happy to provide my cell number as well for a contact person - I'm usually fast to respond to text messages too, so between Nicole and I you're pretty much guaranteed to get one of us. If needed I can always call you from my home phone because I have free long distance. :thumbsup: ( mommy0406 AT gmail Dot com is my email address)
 

selinajean

New member
Use your checklist and don't be afraid to call for help and you will be fine. Just be methodical about going through the checklist and making sure that everything is covered. Double and triple check it out loud with the parents if you get off track and start chatting about something else. Explain to them that you just want to make sure that nothing is missed. They will appreciate you being thorough.

If you don't have a laptop handy, print off the up to date list of recalls.

Also print off the chart of seat expiries just in case you get an older one without a date stamp. That way you can look it up and you have something to show the parents.

Print off a couple of extra copies of the 5/6-step test in case parents are curious and want to bring it home.

As far as liability goes, make sure that you get them to sign a release waiver and document everything that you can. In most situations you should be educating the parent, not installing their seat for them and sending them on the way. Your hands are not the ones that do the final install.
 

selinajean

New member
I am going to hijack your thread for a second to ask a couple more questions regarding seat checks. I hope you don't mind. I was going to post a new thread, but thought this may be helpful to you too! Hopefully this thread is still being read. :)


How long do you allow for a check? I am thinking of booking them hourly to allow enough time in between. Does that sound about right?


What do you do if a parent comes to the seat check with an expired or outgrown seat? Let's assume they can't afford to run to the store and buy a new one right away. What is your procedure? (We do not have seats to give them.)
 

QuassEE

Moderator - CPST Instructor
How long do you allow for a check? I am thinking of booking them hourly to allow enough time in between. Does that sound about right?

What do you do if a parent comes to the seat check with an expired or outgrown seat? Let's assume they can't afford to run to the store and buy a new one right away. What is your procedure? (We do not have seats to give them.)


I give 30 minutes per check, and add an additional 15 if there's two seats in one vehicle (since parent ed is a significant portion of the check and doesn't have to be duplicated).. If I have a scribe, I can do it faster. An hour, solo, if you're chatty... is just fine :)

If a parent comes in with an expired or outgrown seat you need to think about this: Safer NOT safest. You sent that child back out into the world safer than they came. Safest is a pipe dream in many situations. You educate the parents, let them know what needs to be done to correct the problems, and document the heck out of what was wrong and what you recommended. I deal with this all of the time in poorer areas of WA :(

-Nicole.
 

selinajean

New member
I give 30 minutes per check, and add an additional 15 if there's two seats in one vehicle (since parent ed is a significant portion of the check and doesn't have to be duplicated).. If I have a scribe, I can do it faster. An hour, solo, if you're chatty... is just fine :)

If a parent comes in with an expired or outgrown seat you need to think about this: Safer NOT safest. You sent that child back out into the world safer than they came. Safest is a pipe dream in many situations. You educate the parents, let them know what needs to be done to correct the problems, and document the heck out of what was wrong and what you recommended. I deal with this all of the time in poorer areas of WA :(

-Nicole.

Thanks!

I am chatty, so we'll go with an hour. :D

And that is what I was thinking about the expired seats. I couldn't see myself saying, "No, I'm not going to deal with this" but I wanted to make sure that I was right with that.


Oh, where do you all buy locking clips? I saw them at Canadian Tire for $6.50 a piece! :eek: At that price I can't afford to pay for them out of pocket, I would have to ask the parent to pay me for it. There must be somewhere cheaper than that.
 

QuassEE

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Oh, where do you all buy locking clips? I saw them at Canadian Tire for $6.50 a piece! :eek: At that price I can't afford to pay for them out of pocket, I would have to ask the parent to pay me for it. There must be somewhere cheaper than that.

We don't have cars old enough to need them anymore, here. But I did have somebody here for a check three weeks ago with a broken cinching latchplate. Her seat had a locking clip on it still.

My locking clips come from crashed and expired seats, of course :)

-Nicole.
 

selinajean

New member
We don't have cars old enough to need them anymore, here. But I did have somebody here for a check three weeks ago with a broken cinching latchplate. Her seat had a locking clip on it still.

My locking clips come from crashed and expired seats, of course :)

-Nicole.


They can still be used after a crash? Or do you mean crashed seats where the locking clip wasn't being used?

Oh, and there are definitely a good share of old cars around here!
 

QuassEE

Moderator - CPST Instructor
Crashed and expired seats, not locking clips used in a crash. I'm on the fence about whether or not I'd re-use a crashed locking clip. Obviously, given a choice, no. There's no guarantees it was used properly, and that the teeth weren't stressed.

-Nicole.
 

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