Transforming Care Home Experiences: A Journey of Improvement
Taking the First Step
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.
Exploring Ideas and Gathering Insights
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. The aim was to help people who are moving into care homes or for their loved ones. I wanted the information to be based on experiences of healthcare staff. I also wanted suggestions and answers which people already in care homes had provided.
Uncovering Communication and Transition Challenges
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. There seemed to be lots of stress and guilt involved in making that step to move to a care home. The small things actually upset people. There were examples of not returning phone calls. The manager did not mention that the family needed to provide items such as toiletries and clothing labels, leading to missing laundry and ruined delicates.
Addressing Training Needs
Training was another big issue. Staff, service users, and families, as well as the entire multidisciplinary team, all felt that staff were not adequately trained or supported to take on the role of a carer. They felt that there were many responsibilities that came with the role. The staff needed more support and training to fulfill them effectively. This was the start of my quest in developing an intensive, practical and relevant carers’ induction course.
Conclusion: Building Ideas – Caring for Care
So I put my information leaflet idea to one side. You can still make suggestions via my website and I will put it all together by the end of the year. I decided 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. 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!
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