It's not independent living........and it's not a nursing home. It's not a secured Alzheimer's facility.........yet it does house some Alzheimer's patients. It's definitely NOT a 'retirement community'..........but some tenants who still drive, live active lives, and manage their own affairs come here for the meals and housekeeping service.
What is it? Why, assisted living, of course!
And as anyone who works in this relatively new field knows, ALF nursing has its own unique challenges. We care for residents with a wide range of conditions and abilities, from the independent 65-year-old retiree who does his or her own thing to the blind 95-year-old diabetic who needs daily glucose monitoring insulin injections. We serve as supervisors, administrators, confessors, staff developers, mentors, companions, receptionists, marketers, counselors, even chief cooks and bottle washers from time to time. And we are guided in our practices by a set of regulations that vary by state, are often muddled and contradictory, and WIDE open to interpretation by state and federal surveyors.
This thread, then, is for us---the bold, the brave, the confused---who go to our "cushy 9-5 desk jobs" every day (any of you fill in as NOC shift med aide lately? I have
) and put our careers on the line to assure quality care for each and every resident in our communities. Please feel free to ask for or offer support; share ideas that have (or have NOT) worked in your community; or even just vent!
Sep 19, '06
Hi ALFie nurses, this is my first post but I have been lurking in the shadows for awhile now. I have been searching for a forum of nurses that work in a setting similar to mine and from the sounds of the previous posts I may have found what I have been looking for. It gets lonely out here in ALF-land when you are the only "medical model" person in a sea of social workers (no offense to social workers).
Have you found yourself explaining to the clinical team what IM means? CBC? NPO? I get tired of explaining the simplest terms or concepts to people who are making life-changing decisions about a resident but have so much disconnect and disdain for the so-called "medical model" they don't even know the terminology. (sense my frustration?)
As an introduction.....
I am the RN for 6 group homes that serve adults with mental illness in an assisted living setting. We have 38 residents, 50 staff and are regulated by so many different entities it spins the brain. I am the ONLY nurse in the residential program. I coordinate the medical and psych care of the clients and act as a liason for the medical and psych providers. The job does not assign me direct care duties but I do them anyway when needed. So in some ways my job is somewhat different than most ALFs as I function as more of a coordinator/consultant.
I am also the clinical supervisor for the 6 group home administrators who are mostly licensed social workers. The staff are wonderful laypersons (unlicensed assistive personnel) that are trained in the state's medication administration course. Yes, unlicensed people transcribe and administer all medications. (See why I don't sleep) This is the way it is in Maine. Not enough nurses, LPN's or CNA's and not enough money to pay them.
I love what I do. (Read that as passionate) On my worst day, I would not walk away from these residents and the staff.
I really do miss the nurse mentoring and consulting. I have had to learn the regulations, laws, policies, procedures blah, blah, blah, all on my own. I hope to find some nurses to converse with and trade wit, wisdom and insight. I realize each facility and state are different but I feel the nursing process and ethics are the same everywhere. Thank you for this thread.
Last edit by voodoosgirl on Sep 19, '06