“Having a licensed nurse on staff saved my mom’s life!”
This article is sponsored by Madison House Independent & Assisted Living Community
Independent and assisted living communities exist to promote a safe and vibrant environment for residents. Having a nurse on staff can save lives. Licensed nurses are trained professionals that know first-hand the importance of resident care and can assure the timely identification of acute clinical problems. Licensed nurses can optimally monitor, assess and intervene when physical and behavioral changes occur and quickly streamline medical emergencies.
Although most states require that all assisted living communities provide sufficient staffing to meet resident’s “scheduled and unscheduled” needs on a 24 hour basis, this does not guarantee that licensed nurses are always on hand. On-site nurses may only be on duty during the day or “on-call.” In fact, the level of care a community offers is directly related to the number of licensed nursing hours they provide. This can make a medical emergency a life or death situation.
What can a Registered Nurse Do That Others Can’t?
There are a variety of responsibilities for licensed nursing staff in assisted living facilities. Duties often include admission assessments, development or review of care plans, evaluation of any significant physical, mental or behavioral changes, medication management, supervision of staff and providing education to residents and staff. Typical CNA’s or Caregivers can provide only limited medical care. Licensed nurses are professionally qualified to:
• Distribute medications and monitor reactions
• Manage respiratory issues and monitor oxygen
• Recognize changes in medical conditions and make key decisions in an emergency situation
• Speak with doctors directly about prescriptions and medical situations
• Communicate with outside agencies, streamlining medical care and accuracy
• Provide catheter, incontinence, and ostomy care.
• Monitor diabetic needs 24 hours per day, provide injections, glucose monitoring, skin care and nutrition.
• Give direct Colostomy Care
• Complete an initial screening for urinary tract infections
• Manage a feeding tube for nutritional supplementation.
• Provide wound Care including surgical wounds and pressure ulcers
How Nurses Make a Difference
One of the most common scenarios with nursing care in assisted living evolves like this: A resident, who is usually alert, is showing signs of distress and confusion. A trained clinician should be able to pick up on unusual behaviors or symptoms in a timely manner and request immediate physician involvement. The problem could be as simple as a urinary tract infection or as deadly as a stroke. As a result of astute nursing observation, the assisted living facility resident can be treated quickly, avoiding further medical risk.
Education and Quality of Life During the Aging Process
Licensed 24 hour nursing care at assisted living facilities can be a crucial part of the health and wellness equation for residents. Most seniors have pre-existing medical complications. A licensed nurse can help manage as well as educate a resident about what they can expect to experience with their particular condition. If a resident experiences a change, they can report those symptoms the nurse has helped them to recognize. Nurses help residents take responsibility for enhancing their lifestyle in spite of the medical challenges they may be facing.
Make sure that 24 hour licensed nursing care is an integral part of your retirement choice. Madison House, a part of Koelsch Senior Communities, recognizes the complex health conditions that many seniors experience and we believe our number one priority is caring for our residents. Utilizing 24 hour licensed nurses is key to the Koelsch mission as we strive to help residents enjoy a life of dignity and independence. If you would like more information about Madison House or other Koelsch communities, go to www.koelschseniorcommunities.com/ madison-house/ or call 425-821-8210.
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