Nursing home placements

Student placements within a nursing home setting

Placement opportunities within the private and independent sector can involve caring for patients/residents in a nursing home environment. This will mean that effectively you will be helping to care for people in their own ‘home’. This will require skill and diplomacy in care planning, the use of a variety of assessment tools, excellent interpersonal skills and the employment of the six c’s on a daily basis. Caring for people who are resident in a nursing home often requires patience and empathy; these are as vital a nursing intervention as any clinical procedure. Treating people as individuals, ensuring that basic needs are met in a timely manner, but also the emotional and spiritual needs, contributing to person centred care in a truly holistic way.

Nursing interventions used within nursing home settings:

Personal care

  • Assisting with baths, showers, washes, teeth or denture care, hair care, dressing
  • Risk assessment of patient/resident both personally and in the environment

Personal elimination needs
Assisting with elimination needs, such as:
  • Accompany to toilet with frame/walking aid
  • Bedpan
  • Commode
  • Use of catheter bags
  • Laxatives and suppositories
  • Stoma’s and Illiostemies

Documentation of care:
An array of assessment and documentation forms are in use, such as:

  • MUST tool
  • Waterlow Chart
  • Bristol Stool Chart
  • Fluid Balance Chart
  • Dietary Intake Chart
  • Exercise Diary
  • Socialisation/Activity Record
  • DNR or other consent/refusal forms
  • Care plan in total comprising all medical/surgical/emotional and nursing information
  • Mattress/Bedrail and other necessary assessments

Manual Handling
Hands on usage with various manual handling aids, such as:-

  • Hoists
  • Stand aids
  • Turntables
  • Bath seats
  • Grab belts
  • Slide sheets

Patient/Resident medication

  • Assisting with medication rounds and individual medication needs
  • Checking stock of drugs and ensuring date and storage meets requirements
Pain Control
  • Gain knowledge of patient/resident polypharmacy requirements
  • Gain knowledge of Syringe driver and IV applications
  • Become involved with end of life planning and care

More Complex Care Needs
Nursing Home placements may often present the opportunity for complex care delivery, including:

  • Tracheostomy care
  • Naso gastric tube and Peg feeding
  • Conditions such as Parkinsons, Motor Neurone Disease, Brain Injury and other debilitating conditions that require complex care from the whole MDT.

This is only a brief overview of the interventions that are used routinely within a nursing home setting, and offers an excellent opportunity to put into practice person centred care, ensuring that a holistic approach has been employed and the patient/residents needs have been fulfilled.

This placement setting will give the student the necessary requirements to fulfil all the domains contained within the ePAD document, and offer plenty of scope for reflection in practice.