Trinity Homes, a 292 capacity nursing home facility for residents needing acute and long term care, is committed to providing for a resident's overall care. Staff members work together to ensure a resident's safety, health and social needs are being met.
"We (nurse managers) see our patients every day, sometimes several times a day," said registered nurse Marilyn Franklin, nurse manager for Trinity Homes. "We're checking to make sure they're comfortable, their care plans are being followed, they are satisfied with their care, and for any changes in their condition. We have care plans for each resident that are specific to them, and we use them often."
A resident's care plan contains everything from information about how much and what type of help they require in completing personal cares; what their dietary likes, dislikes, and needs are; their diagnosis and medical conditions; and individualized safety plans.
Katina Tengesdal/MDN - - Trinity Homes staffers discuss resident care plans. From left are Brenda Lokken, infection prevention coordinator, assistant director of nursing Vicky Helmers and nurse manager Marilyn Franklin.
"In their care plan, we will look at every aspect of patient care, and the nurses and (certified nursing assistants) work off of that every day," said Vicky Helmers, assistant director of nursing for Trinity Homes. "The care plan coordinator, the charge nurse, CNAs, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and dietary staff are all involved in meetings to discuss the resident as a whole. We also talk to their family for their input."
"With the input, we modify the care plan as their needs change," she added.
Trinity Homes' residents may be staying for the long term, or they may be staying to recover from a surgery or an illness to head back home. The facility has eight different units that cares for residents with various needs, including an Alzheimer's or dementia unit.
"The last few years, we're seeing long term care have more residents in need of acute care, and those needing rehab and physical or occupational therapies," Helmers said. "We're also seeing a lot of younger residents for extended wound care. We still have long term stay residents, too."
With the longer stays, staffers get to know residents and their families, Franklin said.
"You do get to know the residents and their families well, and you'll see a lot of the staff are almost like extended family members," said Tim Seavey, nurse manager for Trinity Homes.
Families are involved as much as possible during residents' stays. Trinity Homes staffers also work to accommodate individual preferences as much as possible to make the transition smoother.
"A lot of people want to know about their independence, and how they can keep some of their routines from their day at home, such as a favorite chair they want to bring," Helmers said. "We work with them individually to accommodate them."
"We pay attention to their personal preferences, because this is their home. We try to accommodate all their preferences and desires," Seavey said.
During the admissions process, residents will also tour the facility and see the gift shop, the court area with birds and fish, and the common areas. They'll also get acquainted with nursing staff, social workers, dietary staff and therapy staff.
At admission, a resident's care plan is developed and any necessary safety plans are put into place from the beginning. They are also checked for infectious disease and their medical conditions are evaluated.
"When we're doing a safety assessment, we're evaluating their risk for falling, if they have poor eyesight or if they have a tendency to wander," Franklin said. "We get it all sorted out so we can put a plan in place right away."
"We see every resident for a tuberculosis skin test," said registered nurse Brenda Lokken, infection prevention coordinator for Trinity Homes. "We look at what wounds they have, and infections they may have had, which becomes a part of their care plan as well."
In an acute care setting such as a hospital, Lokken said, infection prevention measures are important to take to prevent disease outbreaks and control multi-drug resistant organisms. A nursing home is more of a challenge because residents aren't confined to one room, but share common areas as well.
"You have to use infection prevention measures in all areas, not just one room, to make sure your staff and your residents are safe," Lokken said. "If you have a case of influenza or gastrointestinal illness here, it doesn't take long to have an outbreak. So you have to use prevention measures."
Trinity Homes's staff includes over 300 CNAs, nurses, environmental aides and transporters who all work together to provide care. Environmental aides and transporters are fairly new staffing additions, Helmers explained, that help free up the CNAs and nurses so they can spend more time on patient care. Environmental aides perform extra housekeeping duties, and transporters accompany residents to doctor's appointments.
For residents at Trinity Homes, the care they receive can help them live healthier lives.
"We work to make sure nobody is in pain, and on keeping them safe," Franklin said.
"The benefit of care here is the pain management, the onsite care, and better safety than they might have at home," Seavey said. "It benefits their overall health management."