Role of Restorative Nursing
Many nursing homes have restorative nursing programs designed to ensure each resident will maintain the functional gains made in physical, occupational and speech therapy. Restorative nursing services can help ensure that each resident will maintain his or her maximum functional capacity as outlined in the care plan.
" Nursing homes that provide quality care tend to attract and retain enough staff that they can provide restorative nursing services."
How does restorative nursing ideally work in the nursing home?
A few weeks prior to discharge from therapy, a restorative care plan is developed by the therapist. The therapist then trains restorative aids (RAs) to administer this plan.
These RAs give care above and beyond the care of a CNA who is giving direct patient care for a group of residents. The RA's only responsibility is providing restorative care for a select group.
What types of restorative care can the RA provide?
RAs can walk residents to meals, assist with transfers, assist with range of motion exercises, maintain splinting schedules to address contractures, and assist with swallowing techniques at mealtime for specific residents as recommended by speech therapy. RAs are responsible for monitoring and documenting any progress or regression in progress related to the care they provide on specified flow sheets.
What are the responsibilities of nurses working with RAs?
Nurses must work with the RAs to document appropriate information in the resident’s chart regarding progress and request physician orders for restorative nursing services as indicated.
What happens if the nursing home is short-staffed? Do restorative nursing services get provided?
Often times, restorative nursing services are not provided when the nursing home is short-staffed. Some of these duties may be performed by the CNA, but often the CNAs have not been trained on the restorative care plan, which could make providing such care dangerous to the resident. One reason why many nursing homes do not have such a program is because they cannot staff it. Nursing homes that provide quality care tend to attract and retain enough staff that they can provide restorative nursing services.