Trained nurses in care homes – are rigid ratios achievable?
Proposed national required standards for care homes set staffing ratios at one-third nurses to two-thirds non-nurse carers. Marion Witton says using nurses in the role where they are most effective may be a better strategy. Questions revolving around nurses in management roles, relating to care homes, continue to be matters of ongoing debate. Should the person in charge, for example, still be a registered nurse, or should the role be to oversee clinical nursing practice, leaving administration to a non-nurse? In Sweden, where most care is given in what we would consider to be sheltered accommodation, the nurse in charge deals only with assessment of nursing care needs of residents and the delivery of such. (There is no divide or recognition of any difference between residential and nursing homes). The nurse in charge also decides who can carry out the tasks – which tasks need a qualified nurse, and which can be provided by suitably monitored care staff. The administrator deals with all other aspects of runni