Education Career Articles

Connect Facebook Connect Twitter Connect Google+ Connect Pinterest Connect Stumbleupon

Keeping Long Term Patients Safe

Career News May 2, 2013

Patients in long-term care require frequent adjustments in treatment and an awareness of changes in their behavior. Medications may have to be increased, decreased or changed. As the debilitating effects of age and terminal diseases add to a patient’s fragility, more supervision is required than necessary compared to the patient initial arrival to a long-term care facility.

The Importance of Staff Review

Record keeping is an integral part of long-term patient care. The facilitating nurse entrusted with the care-keeping of the patient will be the one most likely to notice changes in behavior or health. His or her advocacy should be informing the staff of these changes to institute remedial changes in medication or treatment. In cases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, patients can increasingly become an endangerment to their safety and even to the safety of others if they begin exhibiting signs of hostilities. By bringing changes to the attention of the staff members, steps can be taken to adjust patient care in accordance to the patient’s new disabilities or effects on cognizance due to medication or advanced stages of the disease.

Remaining Aware

Emergencies are frequent with long-term care. Changes both in health and behavior can be sudden and life-threatening. Modern technologies offer new ways to deal with emergency situations. Refresher courses on emergency preparedness and staff policy should be a part of both the training for new nurses and an annual requirement for the working staff. This helps keep the staff aware of what to do in an emergency situation and reinforces staff policies on the correct procedure.

Patients Falling

Falls are the most frequent jeopardy to the safety of the increasingly fragile health of a patient. Over time, patients with walkers may be confined to a wheel chair and the wheel chair patient eventually bed-ridden. Many falls take place in the evening when it is assumed the patient is asleep. Vigilance must be taken at all times to ensure the patient is resting comfortably and not trying restlessly to get up and about. Give assistance when appropriate to help the patient feel empowered. Grips, lowered beds and grab bars can help patients trying to move about on their own. Keep obstacles cleared from the likely pathway that the patient will take. Keep items such as drinking water, remote controls, books and other things the patient might want, close enough for the patient to reach them without endangering his or her safety.

Good Hygiene

Fragile patients often have the tendency to neglect their personal hygiene. In cases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, they may have an aversion to bathing. Debilitating diseases and old age weaken the immune system. Care should be given to keep the patient bathed, and bed pans should be changed promptly. Incognizance is another frequent problem with long term care patients. Be aware of the patient’s needs and discomforts, change clothing and bedding as often as needed.

Nursing is a full-time job. Many hospitals and nursing homes are under-staffed as the demand for qualified nurses continues to exceed the availability of nursing care. This can put an enormous strain on the nursing staff, causing them to make mistakes or become more lax in their duties. Every effort should be made to ensure there is a good nurse/patient ratio and nurses should feel appreciated for giving quality care. How the nursing staff feels they are being treated will directly affect the fairness with which they treat their patients.

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Fortis offers nursing programs including ADN, PN, BSN degrees, and more
  • 40+ schools in 15 states including Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and Virginia
  • All colleges are accredited by ABHES, ACCSC, ACICS, or other accrediting bodies
  • Fortis Online serves benefits to US military service members
  • Grants & scholarship aid may be available for qualifying students
  • Financial Aid
5 Program(s) Found
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more!
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Quality: Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. Learn more today!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • View Certificates, Associates or Bachelors Degree Programs in Medical Assisting Near YOU!
  • Free Information for Medical Assisting, Healthcare Administration, Medical Billing, Coding & Transcription Degree Programs & MORE.
  • Enter YOUR Needs and Requirements & Get Matched to the Perfect Campus or Online Degree Programs.
  • Accredited, Flexible and Affordable Medical Assisting Programs that Fit Your Time & Budget. Use our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Showing schools in your area

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • Do you aspire to fulfill an evolving healthcare role as a highly-qualified nursing professional? GCU is the place for you.
  • RNs, pursue your BSN or MSN conveniently online, backed by the legacy of GCU's traditional campus.
  • GCU's bachelor's and master's programs prepare students to fill roles in direct care, management, health education and administrative disciplines.
  • The baccalaureate degree in nursing and master's degree in nursing at GCU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Develop with hands-on practice, online and lab simulations and in depth peer discussions exploring best practices.
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
  • View Certificates, Associates or Bachelors Degree Programs in Medical Assisting Near YOU!
  • Free Information for Medical Assisting, Healthcare Administration, Medical Billing, Coding & Transcription Degree Programs & MORE.
  • Enter YOUR Needs and Requirements & Get Matched to the Perfect Campus or Online Degree Programs.
  • Accredited, Flexible and Affordable Medical Assisting Programs that Fit Your Time & Budget. Use our Matching Service - It's Easy and FREE!
  • Online Courses

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!