Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Partnering with People

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24 Hour Coverage in Special Care Homes

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan supports the SRNA position on 24 Hour coverage in Special Care Homes which states:

“The SRNA recognizes the need for the employment of a registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse on a 24 hour basis in special care homes.”

In supporting this statement the RPNAS believes that the skills and judgement possessed by registered psychiatric nurses and registered nurses ensure a safe, co-ordinated approach to resident care. In directing the care team to adjust and revise resident care plans appropriately, to meet individual resident needs, the registered psychiatric nurse and registered nurse assume a clearly identified leadership role. The registered psychiatric nurse and registered nurse are accountable for the total nursing care provided within the facility.

Two specific changes within the health care system support the need for 24 hour coverage. The acuity of care provided within special care homes has increased dramatically over the past two decades, and the provision of home care services has enabled many former and prospective residents to remain independent in the community. Within the special care home, residents present with a multiplicity of resident needs requiring complex medication and rehabilitation regimes, and crisis management. The assessment, intervention and planning skills of registered psychiatric nurses and registered nurses facilitate these and other types of quality assurance activities.

Twenty-four hour coverage would enhance appropriate documentation which supports progressive resident care. Research and development in gerontology is critical for nursing specialization in this area of practice.

The Registered Psychiatric Nurses Association of Saskatchewan supports the SRNA belief that:

“The employment of a professional nurse in special care homes on a 24 hour basis will facilitate the achievement of the ultimate goal of residents attaining their highest level of wellness possible. When wellness may not be achieved and death is inevitable, the nurse will assist the patient to die with dignity and provide support to the grieving significant others. There should be a minimum of one registered nurse or registered psychiatric nurse employed in a special care home to provide care on a 24 hour basis.”

Approved by Council March 1992

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