Written by Lucy 1 year ago

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The RCN Care Home Summit is taking place on the 23rd September 2019 and is an event that has been specifically tailored to be of interest and offer support to nurses working within the care home environment.

Speakers include experts from a number of academic institutions, including Dr Gary Mitchell who is known for his work in dementia care and Dr Joanne Fitzgerald who is an expert on healthcare in older people.

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Skilled or Unskilled?

Long gone are the days when Nurses were viewed as second rate or less-skilled than their NHS colleagues. Nursing the older person is now considered a specialist area of care and therefore Nurses require a broad array of skills and knowledge in order to become competent and confident practitioners.

As the focus continues to be to support people to live in their own homes for as long as possible, those people who require nursing care within care homes can often have very complex and sometimes, multiple conditions and needs. As such, nurses working within the care home are expected to have a wide range of specialist knowledge in a number of conditions. In addition, they don’t usually have the luxury of having other members of the multi-disciplinary team on site and therefore they need to be confident in their decision making.

Opportunities within the Care Home environment

One of the planned speakers at the Care Home Summit is the CEO of a care home group. His talk is entitled ‘ A career in care home nursing – what does it look like?’

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For some, there remains a perception that the typical care home nurse is one who is coming to the end of their career, who is simply whiling away the years until they enter retirement. That may have been the case a couple of decades ago, but now more and more nurses are recognising the opportunities to progress their careers within care homes, rather than the health service.

Of course, nurses moving from the NHS to the care home bring their skills with them. Their clinical knowledge is usually excellent and of real benefit to residents. However, there is often a whole range of other skills required that nurses new to a care home environment need to develop. Nursing within a care home requires more than just clinical skills. Effective leadership skills are essential attributes to any nurse in a care home; ensuring the care team are working effectively and promoting a positive culture based on the homes vision and values are key responsibilities for the nursing team.

As leadership skills develop, nurses have a lot of scope for promotion within the care home. Clinical lead positions or those of Deputy Manager call on nurses to add further areas of responsibility to their working day. With the support of the Registered Manager, they may be responsible for carrying out various audits, formulating rotas and supervising the team,

as well as supporting nurses to make clinical decisions and care for residents. Many nurses choose to go on to become Registered Managers where they take overall responsibility for everything that happens within the service. In order to do this successfully, these nurses also have to have a good understanding of business, balancing the books while continuing to ensure outstanding care.

Influencing Change

The Care Home Summit has a range of speakers who currently work or have previously worked, within care home businesses. The subjects that they will talk about include non-pharmacological interventions in dementia care, tackling loneliness and isolation in care homes and different models of care. The speakers will be sharing their own experiences, as well as their knowledge and will therefore be giving the nurses present essential tools to make positive changes.

The care home industry welcomes forward-thinking nurses who want to continually improve the care that residents receive and therefore the opportunities for influencing change are immense. The Care Home Summit also has a speaker who belongs to the Relatives and Residents Association and will be talking about nursing care from the perspective of the residents. Listening to and acting upon the wants, wishes and opinions of the residents living in a home is vital and nurses have the opportunity to be true advocates for their residents.

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Taking Control of Your Career

Nursing within the care home environment develops a range of skills. Opportunities are also present to become the home’s or company’s specialist in a particular area. Working within the care home sector allows you to shape your career with specialist skills in a specialist environment. More and more CPD courses are tailored to nurses working in care homes and recognition is given by the RCN and the NMC that this is a hugely important aspect of nursing.

The Care Home Summit is not only essential for nurses working in care homes, it will be an incredibly informative event for nurses who are thinking of taking that step into care home nursing.


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