Nursing Home Jobs and Getting Qualified
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 activities.
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:
- Making Beds
- Bathing & Skin Care
- Reporting Changes to the Nurse
- Post-mortem Care
- Safety Awareness
- 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 (STNA).
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 beNLNAC (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.