The role of the nurse in nursing homes and assisted living jobs
today can be a joint role. They function as administrator/wellness
coordinators. They oversee the general well-being of the patients or
residents. They can also fulfill another role, independent of those
two, as consultants.
ALFs (Assisted Living Facilities) provide housing, personal care
services-hour oversight, and health care services in a long term
care setting. The immediate physical environment is designed specifically
to avoid appearing like an institution or a medical-type facility. They
are providing care to a very vulnerable and functionally, cognitively,
and medically impaired population.
It is the science and the theories of aging that shape assisted living
nursing. Nurses must stay updated in their knowledge of science and
evidence regarding many of the mis-perceptions about aging. There are
new discoveries and shedding light on what are very persistent myths
concerning aging, that can erode the outlook and optimism of older
adults, and rob them of their quality of life.
Assisted living nurses have specialized skills for dealing with these
perceptions. The RNs responsibilities in an assisted living setting
are not limited to, but do include, the following -
Assessment of the physical status and function of the resident
upon admission and during acute condition changes, and annually
beginning at the admission date.
Care planning using the information they gathered during the
process of assessing the resident. They develop the care plan and
communicate that plan to the resident, their proxy, or any relevant
members of their health care team.
Medication Management including the testing of residents to
determine their ability to self-administer their medication, and
overseeing the storage and administration of the medication.
Developing and overseeing a care philosophy that is focused on
the optimizing of resident function through physical and exercise
and a whole lot more. The role of today's nurses is very broad in
scope. It involves a holistic approach for optimizing and maintaining,
if not improving, an older adult's independence, engagement with others
and their environment, function, and quality of life.
On the path to becoming an RN, workers will gain experience as an NA
(nursing Assistant). NAs also work in nursing home jobs and assistant
living settings, as well as hospitals, Hospice, correctional institutions,
and other types of long term care settings.
They assist with tasks such as -
Bathing & Skin Care
Reporting Changes to the Nurse
Toilet Assistance & Catheter Care
Mouth and Hair Care
Taking Vital Signs
Bowel & Bladder Care
Helping Patients Walk
Regularly Turning Bedridden Patients
Observing, Reporting, and Documenting
and much more. All states require that a nursing assistant working
in a nursing home passes a state-approved test and is listed on that
states registry. A Nursing Assistant can be certified as (CNA), or
registered (RNA), a licensed (LNA), or a state tested/approved
Certifications for Working in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Settings:
Before setting out on a career path in the health care field, sit down
and consider your own abilities and desires. Ask yourself questions like -
Are You Good With Science?
Do You Really Love Dealing With People?
Are You Ready to Stay Continuously Updated with Developments in Your Field?
Are You a Team Player?
What Kind of Lifestyle are You Looking For?
These types of serious questions can give you some insight as to whether
or not the Nursing profession is right for you.
The most common designation for long term care facility nurses is
the LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). They perform the duties described
above, which will vary from one state to the next. They are often
referred to as LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurse).
An aspiring LPN needs to have a high school diploma or their GED before
applying to get into an LPN educational training program. This is usually
a 12-month program that is found in vocational or technical schools as
well as community colleges.
These programs will award certificates or diplomas in place of degrees.
The most reputable of these programs will be NLNAC (National League for
Nursing Accrediting Commission) accredited.
This accreditation is for signifying that the programs's curriculum has
properly prepared the student to be an LPN, and that its faculty members
are qualified to teach. It means that most of their students pass their
NCLEX-PN licensing exams. It also means their credits will most likely
transfer if a student decides to pursue another type of degree program
like obtaining an associates degree or a bachelors degree in nursing.
Much of the LPNs hands-on training is performed in their educational
program's clinical rotations. They are licensed in the state they
will practice in. This could require an LPN license along with proof
of education and a background check.
LPNs need physical strength, problem-solving skills, endurance, and
flexibility to meet with the challenges of delivering high quality
patient care. Opportunities for advancement are always available.