At VDC we bear witness to a large number of hours spent by Community Nurses administering basic routine procedures, that could easily be performed by trained health care support workers.
Nurses do a tremendous job in very strenuous and pressured circumstances, often visiting patients in the countryside where they have to drive long distances, having to find houses in the dark when they have not necessarily been there before, this can all be very time consuming, especially when you think about the vast geographical areas they have to cover when they are covering out of hours. Why put them through this unnecessarily wasting precious time and money? The procedures we are suggesting are time crucial, i.e first thing in the morning when the RGN’s are going out to their emergency calls and End of Life syringe driver medications which are crucially time dependent.
These basic routine procedures are such things as giving insulin via a pen, bladder wash out’s and catheter removal, basic dressings. These procedures are currently performed by highly qualified RGN’s. However, the training for these can be easily undertaken by Home Care Support staff, who have a closer degree of patient knowledge, are already trained for medical assistance and would be on site when required anyway. Cutting down on the extra manpower and often the Nurses are on site at the same time as the Carers making their daily care calls then the carer can run late for their next care call as they have to wait for the RGN to finish their tasks, doubling up on these resources is not effective use of staff. Also, from the patient’s point of view, not having to wait for Carer’s and Nurses which, let’s face it, would drive you mad just constantly waiting for the next person coming through your door on a daily basis to do something else!
At VDC our Home Support Workers are tremendously dedicated to our patients, but alongside that we see first-hand the time it takes to complete minor medical procedures.
Would it not make sense to train Home Care Support workers to administer these basic routine procedures? Every patient has their own care plan, this is managed by the GP and RGN’s the Home Support Workers would have to follow these care plans and call the RGN’s for support if required.
The Argument for:
- We’re on site (so no extra travel costs)
- We have thorough patient knowledge (through caring for them already)
- Patients are comfortable with our care / care workers
- Decrease in strain on Community Nurses
- Decrease in cost
- Better placement of resources
- Continuation of care and Multi-disciplinary Agency care plan
For us this is a no-brainer. Let Home Support Carers provide these basic routine procedures under the appropriate regulations and training. Improvements for the short and long term.