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CNAs: Do You Work at a Caring Home, or an Uncaring Institution?

Home, Sweet Home
 
The latest catchphrases in the nursing home industry are "resident-centered care" or "culture change movement." The goal of this new direction is to radically transform nursing homes into homes rather than institutions. New research from Harris Interactive shows that only one-third of nursing homes have embraced it, and many have done nothing to adopt it. The homes that have adopted the movement perform far better in all standards affecting residents, staff, and costs.
 
The basic premise behind resident-centered care is that the resident should make decisions about his or her care and activities. The home should be just that - a home, not some sad sanitarium that is depressing to look at or live in. The goal is for the home to function like an extended family, where CNAs, residents, and community members have close ties. The CNAs and management function in such a way that their overriding concern is the needs and wants of the resident, with everything else coming second. And it doesn't stop there - the management and CNAs in resident-centered homes look for ways to continuously improve, and CNAs are included in the planning sessions.
 
The Truth
 
In reality, 43 percent of nursing homes in America have not actuated culture change yet, and the management is not committed to doing so. Based on research involving 1435 U.S. nursing homes, only one-third are steadily adopting the tenets of the culture change movement. The remaining twenty-five percent of homes haven't made changes yet, but the management would like to. 
 
The majority of homes who have adopted culture change say that it has had a very positive effect in improving their competitive position in the industry.
 
The big barrier in revolutionizing nursing homes is that change always meets resistance. Change is hard, as they say. Nursing directors comment that culture change is difficult because of costs, regulations, the size of their facility, staff and corporate resistance, and human resource policies.
 
Change can be very good for nursing homes. The homes that have embraced culture change allow residents to: determine their own schedule; make decisions about their units; choose when to be bathed; decide when and where to eat; plan social events; and collaborate in their care plan. What could be the downside in this? 
 
Visit www.cmwf.org for copies of the culture change research.

By Adam Herschkowitz
Get CNA Jobs, Contributing Editor

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