Careers in Aging Week will be held April 18-24, 2021

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) hosts Careers in Aging Week every year to raise awareness about the diverse careers available in the field of aging.

People are living longer and populations are aging worldwide. The demand for professionals with expertise in aging is growing rapidly. Careers in Aging Week (CIAW) is observed every year by businesses, clinics, coalitions, organizations, universities, colleges, and other parties across the world. The goal of CIAW is to bring greater awareness and visibility to the wide-ranging career opportunities in the field of aging

For additional information and resources please go to https://www.geron.org/programs-services/careers-in-aging-week

Is your facility prepared for returning families?

If all goes well, over the next few weeks there will be an increasing number of family members visiting their loved ones in the nursing home, many for the first time in a year. Along with the joy and relief of these reunions, we can expect to observe a great deal of sadness over time lost with elders. Here are some tips on how to prepare.

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Federal Help Falters as Nursing Homes Run Short of Protective Equipment

Around the country, nursing homes trying to protect their residents from the coronavirus eagerly await boxes of masks, eyewear and gowns promised by the federal government. But all too often the packages deliver disappointment — if they arrive at all.

Read the full article at https://www.managedhealthcareconnect.com/content/federal-help-falters-nursing-homes-run-short-protective-equipment

COVID-19 survey: Nursing homes’ top strategies for ‘keeping spirits up’

McKnight’s Long-Term Care News asked nursing home leaders what they were doing to “help keep spirits up” during the coronavirus pandemic and, boy, did they tell us.
Nearly 500 providers, in fact, opened up to share what their favorite coping mechanisms are.
The most popular answers culled from the McKnight’s COVID-19 flash survey last weekend involved free food for staff, dress-up or theme days, flexible work hours, and increased communication with staff members.

See more at https://bit.ly/3dRaAV2

 

RAFT Model Cuts Emergency Department Transfers in SNF Population

Researchers say the Reducing Avoidable Facility Transfers (RAFT) model was shown to “substantially” decrease emergency department (ED) trips from three skilled nursing facilities. Moreover, the SNFs “also recorded a reduction in some acute health care utilization.” The model aims “to bring closer monitoring of a resident’s care plan and more expert clinical evaluations in order to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations for those in long term and post-acute care.”

Find out more at http://www.providermagazine.com/news/Pages/2019/0819/RAFT-Model-Cuts-Emergency-Department-Transfers-in-SNF-Population.aspx

 

Improving Acute Skills to Achieve Better Outcomes.

In this recent article from Provider magazine, Betty Halvorson, RN,  encourages providers to evaluate the current level of care their facilities are producing  and to ask themselves, “Is this care evidence-based?”

Learn more at:

 http://www.providermagazine.com/archives/2019_Archives/Pages/0819/Improving-Acute-Skills-to-Achieve-Better-Outomes.aspx#magazine-article

Board Certified RNs Make All the Difference in Skilled Nursing Facility Performance

Research conducted by AHCA/NCAL in 2019 shows that SNFs that employ at least one American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Board certified RN performed higher on average on SNF VBP performance scores.

The average 2017 SNF VBP performance score across the nation was 34.4.  For SNFs with at least one RN who has been ANCC Board certified in gerontological nursing, the average SNF VBP performance score was 44.2.  The net result is that these SNFs get higher Medicare Part A reimbursements.

The AHCA/NCAL 2019 research also found that SNFs with at least one ANCC Board certified RN also experienced:
  • Fewer survey deficiencies
  • Fewer IJ citations
  • Lower rehospitalization rates
  • Lower rates of off-label use of antipsychotics
  • Higher CMS 5-Star ratings

The ANCC offers certification in gerontological nursing – the gold standard in demonstrating clinical excellence in geriatric patient care.  ANCC is the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association.  Less than one percent of America’s RNs are board certified in gerontological nursing.
To help RNs prepare for the certification exam, AHCA/NCAL offers an online course called Gero Nurse Prep.  RNs who complete the course earn 30 nursing contact hours and experience a 96% pass rate on the ANCC certification exam on the first try.  Gero Nurse Prep students see a whopping 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post-test scores.
Gero Nurse Prep is flexible.  RNs study online at their own pace and have one year from the time they enroll to complete their Gero Nurse Prep coursework.
AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep provides tremendous value at the $690 AHCA/NCAL member  price.   That’s $23 per contact hour for outstanding nursing education that makes a measurable difference on so many fronts.  For RNs pursuing Board certification through ANCC, there is an additional and separate cost of $395.

To learn more about Gero Nurse Prep and ANCC Board certification, watch this video and check out AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep today.

Staff Training and Competency: A Growing Challenge

Among the most difficult challenges facing skilled nursing centers today is ensuring that staff are adequately trained to care for their increasingly frail and medically complex residents. While training requirements are included in the initial phase of the final rule, and much more substantially in Phase 3, training and competency are more than a survey compliance issue.

Providing compassionate person-centered care for frail elders, many with severe cognitive and/or physical disabilities, requires staff to be well trained in understanding and addressing a range of resident needs and behaviors. Basic nursing and nurse assistant training provides a necessary starting point, and “caring” goes a long way, but even the most well-intended of us can benefit from training that builds upon knowledge and practice in eldercare.

Training requirements already included in the new regulations and survey relate to abuse and neglect for all staff, in-service training for nurse assistants on dementia management and abuse prevention, care of those with cognitive impairments, and training of feeding assistants. Training in these areas is essential to prepare staff to better understand the needs of those who are most vulnerable and/or difficult for caretakers to understand.

Phase 3 of the final rule will substantially increase the emphasis on training and competency with requirements relating to communication, resident rights, infection control, compliance, and ethics—especially in regard to person-centered care, behavioral health, and Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement. These specific areas are accompanied by the general training requirement that staff are trained to care for all resident needs identified in the facility assessment.

With competency requirements in these areas a year away (Nov. 28, 2019), nursing centers need to begin designing and implementing a systematic training program today. A combination of training methods is encouraged, including in-person instruction, web-based training, and/or supervised practical training.
Due to the steady evolution in resident care needs and treatment, training is required for both new and existing staff.

For nurse assistants, in-service training of at least 12 hours per year is expected to reflect an assessment of their knowledge and skills and how well they know the resident population. To determine the adequacy of in-service training, providers will be required to demonstrate competencies, not just completion of in-service hours.

Many nursing centers will require investment in training specific to the growing frailty and complexity of the long-stay resident population and the higher acuity of post-acute residents. High staff turnover and shortages of nursing staff with the necessary qualifications to take care of today’s elders will continue to be a challenge. Training programs must therefore be ongoing and sustainable so that they continue and evolve as resident needs change and staff capabilities change.

Balancing these training needs with caring for residents is a daunting task. That said, investments in staff training can make caretaking less challenging and more rewarding for staff members. These not only lead to greater staff satisfaction and retention, but the commitment to excellence will not go unnoticed by residents and families.

For a printable version of this article, go to:

http://www.providermagazine.com/archives/2018_Archives/Pages/1218/Staff-Training-and-Competency-A-Growing-Challenge.aspx