Part of my role as the staff development coordinator is to conduct on-going education and in-servicing for all nursing staff. As more data and evidence is gleaned through clinical studies and new advances in medical technology come to light, there is a plethora of educational information available that can help our nurses improve the care they provide as well as the quality of life of our patients.

In order to educate staff, it is imperative for me to be well-informed on all the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Additionally, I need to be well-versed on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) policies and procedures. Since DPH is the licensing authority over all nursing homes in the state, it is crucial that we remain up to date and informed of all changes to its regulatory guidelines. I utilize both of these agencies to gather information, which I then teach to the staff via in-servicing.

Continuing education is not just a requirement for nurses—it’s the pillar that drives excellent care and improves patient outcomes. Nurses do not practice by the same standards that they did 25 years ago—or even 5 years ago. As a result, it’s crucial for nurses to be informed about all impending changes to their nursing practices. To keep nurses up to date on new and best practices, I use services such as the Massachusetts Senior Care Association (MSCA). The MSCA offers monthly conferences on revised topics that pertain to overall nursing, nursing home care and, most importantly, the specific demographic we cater to in our facilities: seniors.

I take great pride in my role as staff development coordinator not only because I understand the significance of on-going education for nurses, but also because I recognize how imperative it is long-term. Keeping abreast of the latest information improves the care and quality of life of our residents. What could be more important than that?

This blog is courtesy of Lauren Herd, Staff Development Coordinator at the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home.

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