Thanks to Steve LeMoine for pointing out an article from today’s paper on the importance of consistent assignments for improved quality of care and quality of life in nursing homes. Here’s the link to the article: Getting to Know You
The article also has a link to a pdf for consumers on consistent assignments. Here it is (from Mary Jane Koren and the Nursing Home Quality Campaign):
FAST FACTS: Consistent Assignment
Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes is a national campaign to improve the quality of care and life for the country’s 1.5 million people receiving care in nursing homes. Nursing homes, their staff and consumers can join in this effort by working on the campaign goals, designed to improve quality. This consumer fact sheet explains why it is important for residents to get the same caregivers most of the time.
What does consistent assignment mean?
Consistent assignment means that residents see the same caregivers (registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or certified nursing assistant) almost every time they are on duty. Many residents are more comfortable with caregivers who know and understand their personal preferences and needs. Consistent assignment is primary assignment.
What should you know about consistent assignment?
Consistent assignment is a key step in giving care that is centered on the resident. It builds strong relationships between residents and staff, which are central to better care.
A nursing home adopts consistent assignment to strengthen relationships between individual residents, their families, friends and the caregivers. Staff who take care of the same residents are happier in their jobs and tend to stay in their jobs.
How does consistent assignment benefit residents?
• Residents don’t have to explain to new staff how to care for them day after day.
• Residents feel more comfortable with the intimate aspects of care.
• Residents feel more secure with caregivers they know.
• Residents with dementia are much more comfortable with familiar caregivers.
• Residents and their families develop relationships with staff over time.
How does consistent assignment benefit caregivers?
• Caregivers know what each resident wants and needs. They can give individualized care and are more organized in their work.
• Nurses and nursing assistants who work with the same residents most of the time are more likely to notice slight changes in health. This can prevent more serious health problems in the future.
• Caregivers are more likely to understand and respond to the behaviors of residents with dementia. This is important because residents with this condition often let others know what they want and need through their actions.
• Staff members prefer consistent assignment as it lets them better connect to a resident they care for.