Do you really knows what goes on in an Aged Care Facility? Are you aware of the day to day living restrictions that are placed on aged care Nurses from shift to shift? Do you know how many residents each aged care Nurse is expected to care for each time that they work within an Aged Care Facility?
Aged Care Facility Revealed
Each Aged Care Facility has rules and regulations and must meet the Aged Care Standards. Yet they easily run under staffed, under resourced and with a high ratio of residents to aged care Nurses. Each shift starts with a change over of staff. But sometimes there are no staff to hand over to. Which leads to double shifts, over worked staff and unease among the Aged Care Facility. Sometimes there are shifts where staff do not turn up at all and nursing agencies are called in to cover the shift
The Shift Of An Aged Care Worker
If you are an aged care nurse in an aged care facility then you will understand how pushed for time you are! Here is in one shift what a typical day is for me….
- Shift starts at 6.00am
- Hand over from night shift – with a sheet of who had stayed awake at night and who slept through.
- Two staff members for 14 Special Care Residents (Dementia Residents)
- Start with the Residents who have no idea who they are or what needs doing and assist with their showering, dressing and assisting them up to the table
- Between the two of us we are expected to shower, dress, make beds (change Sheets if needed due to accidents) and have all 14 residents sitting at the dining table ready for breakfast.
- Between 6.00 am till 7.30 am all 14 residents are assisted.
Assisting Personal Needs
So what does Showering/Dressing and assisting mean when assisting a Special Care Resident in an Aged Care Facility? This is a typical wake up call for a resident
- Knock on the door but enter quietly not knowing if the resident is asleep or awake
- start with a resident that needs the most assistance so that you can speed up your time per resident as you approach breakfast time
- Wake the resident and select clothes from the wardrobe that matches. There are many carers who do not care what each resident is dressed in but as an aged care nurse I take the extra time to make sure the resident is dressed in colours that match. That usually means that I do not have as long as a lunch break. That helps in many Aged Care Facilities.
- Wisk the resident through a shower and wash hair as quickly as possible. If the resident does not like to have a shower then it usually takes two of us carers to assist with shower – one distracts while the other one quickly washes and showers the special care resident
- If the resident had an accident over night then the sheets need to be changed. If not then the bed needs to be made.
- Direct the resident to the kitchen table and hope they are still there when all the residents are finished with their assistance.
- If you work that out – its an hour and half to assist 14 residents between two aged care nurses.
- That’s about 6.5 minutes per resident. If you take longer for one resident then you have less time for the next resident.
That is only one Aged Care Facility that I have based this information on. But yet if you were to speak with other aged care nurses about the Aged Care Facility that they worked in then the story would almost be the same. There is not enough time. There is not enough Nurses. There is not enough resources. Who is going to care about our Elderly Residents? Who is going to look at the Aged Care Facility and changed the system?