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This definition is taken from the Alzheimer society Factsheets:
“Nursing homes always have a trained nurse on duty and can offer 24-hour nursing care in addition to personal care. Nursing care may need to be considered in certain circumstances – for example, if the person with dementia is very confused and frail, has difficulties walking, has other illnesses or disabilities, or continence problems.”
The key aspect here is that Nursing care requires trained nurses who are able to deal with more complex health needs. This range of needs is extremely broad which is why all trained nurses must study for at least 2 years at degree level, whilst working in acute hospital placements. A fully trained Registered Nurse will be able to treat and understand many complex needs including:
- Managing and treating wounds and sores
- Intravenous medication (IV Lines)
- Taking blood samples (venepuncture)
- Promoting bowel function
- Identifying medication side-effects
- Renal failure
24hr Nursing Support
A Nursing Home will be able to provide all of the aspects of Residential care as described above, as well as 24-hour Nursing support. An important point to remember is that some homes will employ Registered Mental Nurses (RMN’s) as well as Registered General Nurses (RGN’s) this is particularly helpful in Dementia care homes, where an in depth knowledge of neurological conditions will be valuable.
When providing support for someone that presents a degree of complex needs, a Registered Nurse will have the expertise to identify small changes in a person that could be a signal to indicate a health complication. In these scenarios, the nurse will be able to intervene immediately, either by themselves or by consulting a GP, This quick reaction can save valuable minutes, compared to an environment where external professional assistance must be called – in, which can inevitably take much longer.