OK, so I want to make a difference, but I have no idea how. So I begin with a single footstep. Asking questions, talking to services users (this is the label that us healthcare professionals give the individuals in our care), relatives and friends of service users. I also talked to the MDT (The Multidisciplinary Team – which can be any member of health and social care staff involved in the service user’s life and includes physiotherapists, dentists, district nurses, GP etc) and managers.
My initial idea was to create an informative leaflet aimed at people moving into care homes or for their loved ones. I wanted the information to be based on experiences of healthcare staff and suggestions and answers, which people already in care homes had provided. As nurses we are told that communication is key, of its importance and the various forms in which it occurs. However, from the people questioned, it seems that we are not as good at this as we could be.
From the answers given, I saw there seemed to be a pattern where there to be lots of stress and guilt involved in making that step to move to a care home, but it was actually the small things which people really got upset about. Examples of the latter were phone calls not being returned, when the manager said they would ring, laundry going missing or delicates being ruined and not being told that the family would need to provide items such as toiletries and clothing labels etc.
Training was another big issue. Staff, service users and families felt that staff were not adequately trained or supported to take on board the role of carer and the responsibilities that comes with it. This was the start of my quest in developing an intensive, practical and relevant carers’ induction course.
So I put my information leaflet idea to one side (but you can still make suggestions via my website and I will put it all together by the end of the year) and decide to use the knowledge I’d gained as part of my carers’ induction course. Ensuring that previous knowledge is not assumed and that the training would go right back to basics – feeding, washing and dressing – and then progressing to skills such as catheter care, blood glucose recording and recording blood pressure.
This is something I feel really passionate about and was like a dog with a bone – and it all became clear – of course, this was what I should be doing!!
But first I would need a name…
So this is where I will leave you and next month I will enlighten you as to where the name ‘Caring for Care’ came from.
But for now, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Speak to you next month and… as always have the best day ever!