Nursing Home Jobs

6 Essential Duties in a Nursing Home Job

There are many important factors involved in a nursing home job. The needs of the elderly can vary drastically from patient to patient and a great nursing home nurse must be able to meet the all of these needs for this diverse group. That said, there are many general aspects to nursing home care that are true across all patients. The six most essential duties in a nursing home job are hygiene, dressing, feeding, bathroom assistance, mobility, and safety.

  1. Hygiene: The single most important duty for any nursing home job is maintaining proper hygiene. The level of assistance needed will vary with each patient, but to maintain a healthy environment in the nursing home, both it and its residents must be kept well-maintained and hygienic. This is accomplished through proper cleaning procedures that are both preventative and timely. Preventative cleaning is essential to keep the nursing home from developing easily avoided problems. Timely cleaning means maintaining and sanitizing immediately after a food spill, broken glass, or bodily fluids.
  2. Dressing: Many patients who need the assistance of a nursing home require assistance with dressing. This usually entails simply assisting someone with putting on outer garments that they are no longer flexible enough to easily wear. It may mean helping put a sweater on a patient or pulling pants up. Some nursing home residents will require significant help getting dressed and anyone working in a nursing home should be prepared to provide this level of assistance.
  3. Feeding: Another vital service provided by nursing homes is proper feeding. This does not just mean physically feeding a patient, but also making sure that residents are getting fed a well-balanced diet on a proper schedule. As with all those that live in a nursing home, the required level of feeding will vary. Some will need food carefully prepared to meet a specific need while others may simply need their food cut up so they can easily maneuver the food. Included in the idea of feeding is that some patients require IV bags to provide them with their daily nutrients. A nursing home worker must be trained and willing to change an IV bag as needed.
  4. Bathroom Assistance: One of the least pleasant jobs of a nursing home worker is also one of the most vital. Bathroom assistance is needed because of the hygiene issue but also because people want to feel they still live with a sense of dignity. When an adult soils themselves, it reduces that sense of self-worth. A nursing home worker must be willing to not only help clean up when such an event occurs, but make sure the person being cleaned does not feel that they are in any way abnormal or disgusting. This is one of the toughest aspects of the job but a great worker can do it with care and understanding.
  5. Mobility: A vast majority of those living at a nursing home will require assistance with their mobility. It is a fact of life that as people age, their mobility becomes greatly reduced. Even the spriest elderly person is far less mobile than they were in their youth. Nursing home workers must be prepared to not only assist with mobility through the use of canes, walkers, and wheel chairs, but must provide mobility assistance with patience. Workers must constantly realize that if it is frustrating for them, then it is 10 times more frustrating for the person who cannot move faster.
  6. Safety: Finally, it is vital that residents in a nursing home are provided a safe and secure environment. They are trusting the nursing home with not only their well-being, but with their valuables. Anyone living in a nursing home must be able to trust that they can leave a valuable out in the open without fear of it disappearing. In addition, nursing homes must be diligent to provide a secure environment that is free of internal and external dangers. The building must be secure to prevent someone from entering without someone that works at the nursing home being aware of their presence. The facility must also be free of excess sharp edges and tripping hazards. Safety is the single most difficult aspect of a nursing home job, but is unquestionably important for those living there.