Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Importance of the Super Certified Nursing Assistant

In consideration of the fragmented healthcare system in the United States and the co-existence of numerous health disparities and case of chronic illness, there has been a major focus on reducing healthcare costs. As part of doing so, the policies and procedures governing a healthcare organization becomes the number one priority. Healthcare personnel are the core in the achievement of the goal of a reduction in spending in healthcare. Because staff is the core in controlling costs, healthcare organizations must focus on the essential vs. non-essential as well as efficiency vs. inefficiency. There will be costs, but they should be essential and necessary for providing quality patient care. Consequently, when those costs are incurred, the care that takes place should be efficient. If the care is efficient, it will be based on professional standards of practice for all healthcare.

One of the most essential healthcare positions is that of the certified nursing assistant. Although licensed nurses can perform the same duties, they are an adjunct to other roles and responsibilities combined which causes an entire level of care to become at risk or neglect: the fundamentals of nursing.

The fundamentals of nursing are the basic duties of the certified nursing assistant in the health care setting. They are based on activities of daily living: bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, and ambulation. These are activities necessary for basic independence and survival. When a patient is admitted to a healthcare facility or to the services of a healthcare agency, these activities are strong indicators of recovery, function, and the ability to care for self. These essential activities are the decisive factors in determining a patient’s level of care; factors that are critical in choosing placement. Thus, placement depends on whether or not a patient can be cared for by family or needs placement in a facility. Having staff designated to support these ongoing functions is the key to reducing healthcare costs; the higher the function level, the less dollars to be spent.

Therefore, the Super C.N.A., a well-trained, well-educated, and well-prepared nursing assistant, is crucial to any healthcare organization and most certainly a worthwhile investment.

A Healthcare Crisis Nears

Baby boomers are quickly approaching retirement age, and as they do, there are a number of concerns that need to be addressed, particularly in the area of healthcare. Unfortunately, there appears to be no easy answers to the healthcare problems that baby boomers, and the population in general, will face in the very near future.

Baby Boomers are people who were born between 1946 and 1964. During this period of time the United States of America saw an explosion in birthrates that had never been seen before and nothing like it has been seen since. Today, baby boomers make up approximately 28% of the total United States of America population.

With this group of people occupying such a large segment of the population, it is predicted that there will be a major financial strain on the healthcare industry as a whole, as baby boomers reach retirement age. There are many reasons why the healthcare industry will face problems as baby boomers begin to retire and begin to need long-term care services.

Baby Boomers Are The Nurses

Go to any healthcare facility today and look around at the nurses who are working there. One thing will become abundantly clear to you; the vast majority of nurses working in healthcare are in fact baby boomers themselves. We have heard for the past few years about nursing shortages and predictions that these nursing shortages will only get worse.

There are many reasons why the United States of America currently faces nursing shortages. Traditionally, nursing has been a career dominated by women. Women have made great strides in efforts to gain equality over the past few decades; much of this progress is attributed to women who are from the baby boomer generation. With these strides in equality, women have realized that they have many more career choices other than being a nurse, a schoolteacher, or a homemaker. Today women are running the largest corporations in America, making great salaries, and receiving high levels of prestige.

A Two-Fold Problem

As baby boomers retire a two-fold problem is created. First, there will be even fewer nurses, because baby boomers make up such a large part of the current nursing workforce. The second part of the problem is that as baby boomers, 28% of our population, retire they will require more healthcare as a part of the aging process.

As you can see, there are some serious healthcare problems that need to be addressed. Leaders in the healthcare industry have been working extremely hard in trying to find a solution. Sadly their efforts are only making minimal impacts in increasing the nursing workforce.

Healthcare companies have tried everything from raising salaries to offering outrageous sign on bonuses. Money does not seem to be the key to get people interested in nursing. Survey a group of nurses and most will not complain about their salary. What they will complain about is the day-to-day workloads that they face. Nurses are overworked and carry larger and larger patient loads as a result of shortages.

Combine this with the fact that nurses, who typically get into healthcare to provide direct patient care, are being forced to do more administrative type tasks. Some of these tasks include excessive charting to meet requirements set forth by Medicare and insurance companies, and trying to get patients care certified, or paid for, by insurance companies. Most nurses did not become nurses to sit behind a computer and to talk on the phone for hours.

How This Will Affect Baby Boomers?

Advancements in medical technology and science means that people are living longer. This does not always mean that there is a high quality of life for those that are living longer though. Many of these people who would have died from a medical condition two decades ago can now live for a long time to come. These people often require a great deal of long-term care, whether it is at home or in a long-term care facility.

LPN Nursing Schools

LPN nursing schools or Licensed Practical Nursing schools are found all over the United states. Choosing from the different LPN schools should not be difficult once you take care about the various aspects related to the school before seeking admission to the school. After completing the program in a LPN nursing school, you can seek work as a licensed practical nurse or simply as a professional nurse.

Choosing nursing as profession has many advantages. There are in fact several opportunities in this field and unending work possibility as people never cease from falling sick. This huge potential for work and the space for growth in the healthcare profession is a major reason why many are choosing a career in healthcare. Moreover, the healthcare sector has also proven itself to be largely recession proof, thus adding to the interest of people to choose a profession in this sector.

Moreover, even after advanced medical technologies, the human hand is still considered the most valuable asset of a hospital, so there is never a decrease in demand for professional nurses in the field. The demand for professional nurses also increases whenever any hospital or nursing home plans an expansion of their facilities. Licensed practical nurses can also work as freelancers, offering their service to patients who continue their treatment at home because of their inability to stay admitted at the hospital for a long time.

To estimate the potential of the healthcare sector, several independent surveys have also been conducted. These surveys show that the healthcare sector is anticipating a boom in terms of employment as hospitals are going to be more sophisticated and expanded for the treatment of patients. This boom in healthcare sector requires nurses, other healthcare professionals, and a certification for nursing will surely act as an advantage in your favor. This certification in nursing can be obtained from several institutions and schools offering the course.

The course durations also vary whether you are taking the course from a community college or from an accredited institution. Generally, course durations from community colleges usually last from 6 to 9 months and in accredited schools the duration ranges from four to six weeks.

The healthcare surveys provided an estimation that the employment rate of healthcare nurses are going to increase from 8% to 18% from 2008 to 2018. Besides working at hospitals and nursing homes, the nurse can also find employment in old age home, long-term day care centers and even at homes of the patients. In addition, the nursing certificate enables the student to look for overseas work as there is still a huge demand in skilled nursing.

The job demands of nursing are several. Here are a few of the different responsibilities that a licensed practical nurse has to undertake.

• Collecting and accurately recording the medical records of the patient and forwarding it to the head nurse or to the doctor.
• Maintaining the personal hygiene of the patients which might even involve changing the diapers of the patient
• The licensed practical nurse should be able to collect laboratory samples for the diagnosis of the disease of the patient

New Handbook Aids Healthcare Professionals

In the twenty-first century, sexuality is no longer a taboo subject, or so you would think. While sexuality is constantly portrayed in the media, those portrayals do not accurately reflect individuals’ beliefs, feelings, knowledge, or comfort levels with human sexuality. For many, a person’s sexuality remains a very private issue, and when people are not familiar with various sexual terms or have no experience with people whose sexual practices are different from their own, it can result in awkward situations. Imagine, therefore, how uncomfortable it may be for healthcare professionals (HCPs) to discuss sexuality with their patients or accommodate and support their patients’ diverse sexual needs.

Grace Blodgett, who has worked as a nurse for fifty years in numerous hospitals across the United States and has a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, has too often seen how sexuality is an issue for people in the healthcare professions and for their patients. Now she has written this handbook, Understanding Patients’ Sexual Problems, so healthcare workers can have greater understanding of their patients’ sexual needs, concerns, and personal situations. Blodgett presents the facts, supported by extensive research, and she offers points for discussion and room for greater familiarity with various sexual issues, while avoiding offering personal opinions. The result is an invaluable tool for healthcare professionals from nurses to doctors and EMTs and anyone else who comes into contact with patients.

In the introduction, Blodgett presents the reasons why she felt compelled to write this book: “HCPs in general avoid the patients’ sexual concerns… This avoidance is not a malicious or conscious act; it happens as a result of their personal sexual insecurities and a lack of sexual knowledge, time, and confidence in their counseling skills. After 50 years as a registered nurse at most levels of practice, and 20 years in the sexology arena, I have seen and experienced many occasions when HCPs have floundered and searched for the right words and information they needed. HCPs have demonstrated a need for this information.”

Blodgett hopes her handbook will fulfill that need. The book is designed for easy reference to any type of sexual behavior, offering both facts and attitudes concerning various sexual issues. The outline format makes each topic follow a similar pattern so information can easily be found and readers will know what to expect. Each topic’s outline contains a definition for the sexual term or topic, followed by its signs and symptoms, origins, background, suggested therapeutic and supported interventions, and potential outcomes of treatment. This format allows HCPs to understand the issue, find the best way to broach a subject with a patient, and as needed, discuss all the possibilities, pros and cons, for treatment, or simply, to understand better a patient’s situation.

Blodgett separates what is lawful and unlawful sexual behavior as well as discusses the prejudices that exist toward people who engage in certain sexual acts. Not only does she discuss issues that healthcare providers may be faced with such as sexual child abuse, but she explains the different sexual concerns of people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. Prejudice also extends to the elderly-many people will assume that senior citizens have become asexual, but nothing could be further from the truth. Blodgett discusses sexual issues like erectile dysfunction that older patients may have, as well as suggestions for helping patients who have concerns about how to enjoy sexual activities despite whatever ailments they have. In addition, Blodgett discusses sexuality in relation to various diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. She emphasizes how important it is not to assume someone is not interested in sex because “all humans are sexual beings throughout all their lives.”

Perhaps most importantly, Blodgett asks healthcare providers to identify and examine their own sexual inhibitions, misconceptions, and insecurities, which may hinder them from providing the kinds of services their patients need. Blodgett even discusses the sexual stereotypes associated with healthcare nurses, such as the sexy doctor or the promiscuous nurse, and how these stereotypes affect their relationships with their patients. The appendices offer several “quizzes” for HCPs to take to examine their own beliefs and where those might be affecting their ability to care for their patients as well as supportive guides for aiding adults and children who may need assistance.