Student’s guide for choosing the right healthcare education

healthcare studentsOne of the oldest and top industry in the world is the field of Healthcare. Each year hundreds of new graduates are added in the lists of healthcare professionals offering medial service to help the sickly. In order to be part of this highly respected profession, one must undergo proper education and training. Offering healthcare service is not easy as carpentry. In order to practice such profession people need to qualify and pass professional accreditation which can be difficult.

If you are planning to have a career in the healthcare industry, it’s best that you seek the right educational institution. The school you choose can affect the level of skills you will have in the future. You may want to enroll to an institution that offers high quality healthcare education. Your choice of school can help have the right skills and ability to provide satisfying patient care in the future.

To help you find the suitable healthcare education that you need, here’s a short guide:

  • Choose a reputable educational institution. The number of schools offering programs in healthcare has been increasing in the past years. This is due to the increase in demand for healthcare professionals. You should select an institution that has created a highly respected reputation in terms of giving high quality education.
  • Pick the institution that produced a lot of successful healthcare professionals. The number of successful professionals from a school is a good indicator what kind of education you will be getting. You want to be educated in an institution wherein there is a high success rate among graduates.

Choosing the right educational institution is a step closer to attaining your plans to having successful career in the field of healthcare. Given the education and training you have, you will surely pass any professional accreditation exams that is required to practice a triumphant healthcare career.

Nursing Homes Myths

EvergreenMoving yourself or a family member to a nursing home is one of the hardest decisions you have to make as you age. The decision to move may arrive suddenly or gradually after hospitalization or as needs become more difficult to meet in other types of housing, it is still not easy choice.

To lessen the stress about making a decision, it is important to learn all you can about nursing homes so you can choose one that is right for you or your family member. Knowing the facts from the myths will help. With so many negative connotations attached to the “nursing homes” label, separating the myths from the truths can help ease some of your worries.

Most of the times, nursing homes are believed to be the only option for those who can’t take care of themselves at home. But this not completely true. Elderlies can also choose to stay at home because there a lot of services they can get help, ranging from help with laundry and shopping to caregiving and visiting home health services. Assisted living is also another option if staying at home is no longer possible. If the primary need of the older adult is custodial care rather than skilled medical care, assisted living can be an option.

Nursing homes are for those people whose families do not care about them. This is not true. Nursing homes are there for people whose families cannot provide the necessary care they need. Putting an older family older member in a nursing home where the family member’s needs are met is the responsible thing to do.

Nursing homes provide poor care. This is also a myth. Necessary information about the facility’s staffing and previous violations are available to the public. This will help you judge whether a nursing home provides poor care or not.

Lastly, you cannot leave a nursing home once you are in. This is only true if the care needed is necessary through the end of life. However, returning home or going to another housing option is possible if the care needed is only rehabilitative.

Types of Nursing Homes  

Nursing Home Word Cloud ConceptWhen you hear the term “nursing homes” you will automatically think a place where old people are being taken care of. While that is true to some extent, a nursing home is a place for people to be cared for outside of the hospital. Nursing homes also provide a high level of medical care.

The term “nursing homes” nowadays are often replaced with a name that is descriptive of the type of service that is offered. Example of this is “convalescent care center” or “rehabilitation center”. This means that nursing homes are not only for patients that require care for the rest of their lives, nursing homes also address medical care that are often specific and temporary.

True nursing homes have two types: intermediate care facilities and skilled nursing facilities. Intermediate care facilities do not have nurses but instead have certified nursing assistants (CNAs) on staff 24 hours a day. These facilities also provide primary assistance such as bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, toileting, and more. Skilled nursing facilities on the other hand have either a registered nurse (RNs) or licensed nurses (LPNs or LVNs) on staff 24 hours. These facilities are for patients that require ongoing medical care in addition to assistance with daily activities, medical care such as physical therapy, wound care, respiratory therapy, pain management, and more.

A patient can actually be in both skilled nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities. In most cases, a patient can be in a skilled nursing facility after a hospital stay and then eventually move to an intermediate nursing facility when there is no longer a need for medical care but the patient’s capacity to live independently has diminished.

Many nursing homes offer both skilled nursing and intermediate care. That is great for patients that will require both as they will receive continuity of care with many of the same staff members.

Myths about Nursing Homes

DLSThe decision to move either ourselves or a family member to a nursing home is something we have to face as we age. It may be a decision that arrives suddenly after hospitalization, gradually as needs become more difficult to meet in other types of housing.

It is important to learn all you can about nursing homes to arrive at a less stressful decision that is right for you or your loved one. It is also important that you separate the facts from the myths about nursing homes to help you arrive at a decision. There are a lot of negative connotations to the label “nursing homes”, so knowing the truth can help ease some of your worries and bust of those myths.

Often, people think that a nursing home is the only option for those who can’t take care of themselves at home. That is not entirely true. There are a lot of options to help older adults stay at home, ranging from help with laundry and shopping to caregiving and visiting home health services. If staying at home is no longer possible, assisted living is another option if the primary need is custodial care rather than skilled medical care.

People also think that nursing homes are for those whose families do not care about them. This is a myth. If people cannot provide the necessary care for an older family member, the responsible thing to do is to find a place where the family member’s needs are met.

It is also a myth that all nursing homes provide poor care. Information about the facility’s staffing and previous violations are available to the public that will help you make a decision.

Lastly, it is also not true that you cannot leave once you are in a nursing home. That depends if the care that you need is necessary through the end of life. But there are cases where rehabilitative care is only needed and returning home or another housing option may be a better fit.

Discerning Nursing Homes

The United States has about 19, 000 nursing homes, and more than 1.5 million of Americans live in them. Most of the homes are owned privately, and others are operated by the government. Some are also operated by profit-driven corporations. Others are sponsored by religious and civic organizations. Different states have laws regulating the operation of nursing homes, and even require them to get license. In order to ensure they follow the law, periodical inspections are conducted.

Three types of nursing homes exist today: skilled, intermediate, and supervised. Each kind offers a particular care for certain groups of patients. In selecting a type of nursing home, there are two main things to include in the decision-making process:

nursing homeQuality Care
An admirable nursing home is it matches both the medical and psychological needs of their patients with their existing resources.

For instance, not all elderly individuals require the same medical care. A study shows that a lot of relatively healthy people live in nursing homes that have excellent medical facilities. While other patients who need more medical attention live in inadequate medical facilities.

Psychologically Fulfillment
Most elderly people who live in nursing homes are still productive. Some institutions provide activities for such residents. A good nursing home encourages their residents to have hobbies and to participate in various activities and services involving them in the community.

Emotional Impact
Most families agree to put their elderly loved one in nursing homes as a last resort. Sometimes, they do so when the person’s health conditions grow too severe and the family finds it difficult to take care and keep the relative at home. For other old people, who decide for themselves to stay at nursing homes, they regard it as a final step before death.

What Are the Recommended Activities for Older People Living in the Nursing Homes?

Most elderly people who live in nursing homes still have the chance to develop their quality of life by means of joining some exciting physical and mental activities. These activities will help them in maintaining their self-confidence and self-worth.

Providing daily or weekly activities for the elderly is a biggest challenge to all nursing home staff. They have to link the activity to the personality of their residents. However, encouraging depressed senior citizens or those with low self-esteem to join the activities is the hardest part.

Nursing home staff should conduct a therapeutic activity so that the elderly people can benefit from it. In this article, we will give you the list of the recommended activities for older people living in nursing homes.

nursing homesCounselling
Talking to the elder residents one by one is recommended. Nursing home staff should assess their residents about their physical and emotional status. This activity is helpful since you will know what activities they want. Senior citizens living in nursing homes have a very low self-worth since they think they are already forgotten by their loved ones. Simply talking to them will help them develop their confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.

Early Morning Group Exercise
Early group exercise is the best morning activity for senior citizens. It includes stretching, mild bouncing and kicking. Exercise provides better mental stimulation and physical activity to the elder residents. It also prevents them from having heart and lung problems. Nursing home staff can also utilize gaming consoles such as xbox Kinect or Wii as an exercise tool for people who are in wheel-chairs.

Art activities
Painting is known to be the best mental activity. It helps elderly people think actively. By doing this activity, senior residents are prevented from other mental disorder such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Painting can also relieve series of arthritis attack.

Agricultural activities
Older people are known to be good at this activity. They like to grow plants, trees, flowers in pots. Although some of the residents can no longer do this activity due to sickness. This activity promotes better mental stimulation and muscle activity.

Music Therapy
Music has the capability to uplift the mood and spirit of every person. Nursing homes should include this in their daily activity since it promotes mood relaxation. Residents can also sing and play music together since it promote bond and comfort to one another.

Activities in Nursing Homes

nursing homeSupplying nursing home residents with stimulating and engaging activities is an integral part of enhancing their quality of life. Managing directors, nurses, and therapists need suggestions for various kinds of activities which will satisfy the various needs of those within their care. Activities aren’t all bingo and watching television. Actually, activity programs can be very creative which stimulates the resident’s mind. And also the health and well-being advantages of a great program are becoming a lot more important.

The greatest challenge for just about any activity coordinator is matching the best activity to every resident’s physical and cognitive abilities. Leisure practitioners should also work carefully using their nursing staff to select an activity that will be most advantageous for the needs of every individual resident. Activities can be achieved individually or perhaps in groups if your particular activity is appropriate for the residents.

The following activities can be included in the existing activities in a nursing home facility. 

Exercises: This may include gentle calisthenics which are modified towards the residents’ physical abilities. Bouncing, throwing and kicking beach balls offer physical activity and mental stimulation. For instance, wheel chair-bound residents may still manage to use their arms to simulate actions like moving a bowling ball or swinging a baseball softball bat.

Gardening: This activity is seeing revival in recognition. Some residents might enjoy growing herbal plants inside a window garden or planting flowers in containers. Given that many residents cannot do it on their own, so staff must be able to assist them.

Games and Handcrafts

Simple games that are suitable to their physical ability and age can have a positive effect on the residents’ health. Indoor games specifically board games are healthy past times and great mental stimulants. Handcrafting can also be included in the set of activities to be offered to the residents.

Threats of Understaffed Nursing Homes

nursinghomeMany nursing home facilities are extremely understaffed that they might be endangering the welfare of the patients; this is according to a report by federal health authorities. The report suggests more stringent recommendations that will require thousands of nursing facilities to employ more nurses and nurses’ aides.

According to several studies, under-staffing in nursing homes has led to many issues in patient’s condition like severe bedsores, abnormal weight loss, and malnutrition. It is, of course, hard to maintain the welfare of the seniors if a facility lacks manpower. It has been reported that a huge amount of patients have developed life-threatening infections that could have been avoided if there is proper staffing. 

The US government has already made several vital steps to resolve the issue. It suggests new federal standards to ensure that patients receive no less than two hours of care every day from nursing aides, amongst other things, there must be sufficient amount of nurses and other health professional within the facility. The research states that 54 % of nursing facilities presently fall underneath the suggested minimum standard. This is very threatening, given that it may endanger the life of the senior.

Studies suggest that patients receive only a minimum of 12 minutes each day of care from nurses. Presently, 31 percent of nursing facilities don’t meet that standard amount of nurses. Though the government has intentions in resolving the problem, it is still impossible for the government to propose minimum staffing recommendations since they were supplying insufficient subsidies under Medicare insurance and State Medicaid programs. Many senior care authorities explained that it is also hard to attract and retain good employees because of the status of the economy. Making the job appealing for nurses and developing a program will increase the quality of healthcare service that our seniors will receive in a nursing home. 

Nursing Home Quality

Many reports have published information on the quality of care administered by nursing homes. This includes data on resident and family satisfaction and care outcomes. Information regarding a nursing home must be reviewed if you know that a family member needs nursing home care. Of course, we need to be sure that the facility is secure and the services they offer are above standard. You can also visit nursing homes yourself to check it or ask friends and family for their thoughts and experiences.

nursing homeThere are agencies that monitor and check nursing homes regularly. The Office of Facilities Regulation examines nursing homes to guarantee that they follow state and federal standards. You can contact them to learn more about a facility’s inspection results and recommendations.

The Healthcare Quality Reporting Program issues reports comparing the quality of care provided by different nursing homes in the state. Use the reports to learn about the outcomes that resident at different nursing homes experience and how often they get health conditions that good care may prevent.

Learn what residents and families say about their experiences with nursing homes by viewing satisfaction survey results. You may have heard horror stories about the quality of nursing home care. However, there are good nursing homes as well as bad ones. The nursing home should be hygienic and well maintained. A bad smell may indicate the staff is too busy to help residents to the bathroom or to change clothes. Rooms and public areas should be comfortable. The dining room and kitchen should be clean, and the food should be hot and appetizing or else their patients will lose weight due to lack of appetite.

Another thing, find out how the nursing home complies with the state and federal government regulations such as patient/staff ratio and training. Notice how staff members treat residents. Your choice will be a big factor to the health of your family member. Make sure you make the right decision and to continually monitor their program.

Considering a Nursing Home

A nursing home is a provider of custodial care for older people who can no longer take care of themselves. They differ from other senior housing facilities since they provide a much higher level of medical care. Assistance with feeding, bathing, and dressing are part of the services they offer as well as physical and speech therapy. Some nursing homes are designed to look and feel like home, which makes the mood more at ease and won’t make the elderly feel like a patient.

It may be painful to send a family member to a nursing home, it is still the best option to ensure the safety, health maintenance and as well as practicality. Most nursing homes provide residents with nursing aides and skilled nurses who will who will be on hand 24 hours a day.

nursing_homesSo when should you consider sending your family member to a nursing home? Here are some of the things you need to ask yourself before making a decision:

Is your family member can no longer take care of himself?  If yes, then it would be risky to leave him alone at home when everybody’s at work or at school. Most of the elderly became forgetful, like wandering and forgot the way back or leave a stove that may lead to a disaster. Bringing him to a nursing home where nurses can provide him basic services will then be an option.

Are there any family members who are available to take care of him? In some situations when the need for a nursing home is just temporary, family members can rotate care or hire a health worker who can work part-time when it is needed.

Are you ready to be separated? It would be hard to send him away when you are used to living with him. But you can visit him anytime at the nursing home whenever you have a free time.

Is the nursing home you know can provide his needs? The senior’s medical needs must be provided and a 24-hour supervision is must. The center must also have programs and conducts activities that will keep the elderly active and healthy.