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Community Nursing, Care Oversight & Volunteer Caregivers

Nurses   (699 Views 4 Comments)
by fbesn fbesn (New) New

781 Profile Views; 7 Posts

America is coming up on a tremendous Baby Boomer aging issue. People are going to need care like never before. The numbers are unprecedented. I want to know how nurses feel about supervising aide/personal care staff and volunteer caregivers.

Can you see yourself in the role of serving your community as a caregiving community organizer? The positions might start off as a simple volunteer positions and graduate to paid positions. It would involve sharing your nursing/care knowledge with families who don't have access to paid home health services. The caregivers are all volunteers through the community, church or family.

The role that I see nurses playing is simply being a community resource. The volunteers provide the hands on care, the nurses oversee the community volunteer caregivers. There is no delegation, just a commitment to see the seniors, disabled and our most vulnerable are looked after. Your nursing position can propel you to become a trusted community resource that can lead to all kinds of opportunities.

Seeking feedback...

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TakeTwoAspirin is a MSN, RN, APRN and specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

1,018 Posts; 14,531 Profile Views

Although this sounds like a good idea, once you start talking about nurses supervising non-clinical volunteers there is an elephant in the room - liability. Personally, I would not supervise untrained volunteers providing hands-on care in a casual forum. Too much liability and potential for poor outcomes. While you say that there would be no delegation involved, you do suggest the nurses would provide oversight and guidance. I'm not sure how I could do this without delegation, and assuming responsibility for the actions I've delegated to an untrained volunteer.

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7 Posts; 781 Profile Views

I didn't use the word supervise... let's not confuse being a community resource with direct supervision. As the most trusted profession (according to the Gallup poll), nurses communicate ethics, boundaries and competence to society. It will take an army of caregivers to address the needs of the aging Baby Boomers. As nurses, I think we need to be part of the conversation. Supervision... no. Community resources... yes. Delegation... no. Training, education, pointing to resources... certainly. Liability becomes reduced in these safe harbor zones? The "elephant" fears and any fear is real. Yet there is also the "fear" of what happens to the Middle Class when they can't afford Long Term Care? Nurses are in this middle class group. What does a nurse do when the nurse or the nurses' family member needs care (and we can't afford $22/hr for an agency aide?) Nurses make too much for Medicaid and Medicare does not pay for long term care. Only 3% of people have purchased an adequate long term care insurance policy.

These will become pivotal points and crucial conversations for our society. It would be easier for nurses to take the road of being community resources because there simply aren't enough nurses to actually address the care needs of this aging population. Extending the reach to being a resource is far different from delegating and supervising. It's a matter of being available and lending good judgment and pointing to safe and sound practices.

I thank you for your feedback. I know that many more nurses will also feel the same way, yet when faced with the long term care crisis that will become our reality it's better to think ahead to solutions that embrace our highest and best use while reducing any liabilities.

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TakeTwoAspirin is a MSN, RN, APRN and specializes in Peri-op/Sub-Acute ANP.

1,018 Posts; 14,531 Profile Views

America is coming up on a tremendous Baby Boomer aging issue. People are going to need care like never before. The numbers are unprecedented. I want to know how nurses feel about supervising aide/personal care staff and volunteer caregivers.

Can you see yourself in the role of serving your community as a caregiving community organizer? The positions might start off as a simple volunteer positions and graduate to paid positions. It would involve sharing your nursing/care knowledge with families who don't have access to paid home health services. The caregivers are all volunteers through the community, church or family.

The role that I see nurses playing is simply being a community resource. The volunteers provide the hands on care, the nurses oversee the community volunteer caregivers. There is no delegation, just a commitment to see the seniors, disabled and our most vulnerable are looked after. Your nursing position can propel you to become a trusted community resource that can lead to all kinds of opportunities.

Seeking feedback...

????? My comments stand.

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