Five Reasons Supplemental Staffing Can Be the Answer for Ventilator Care
Staffing needs, especially in hospitals and long-term care facilities, are carefully calculated in order to make sure that patient needs are met adequately. But there are some needs, such as a dramatic increase in patients using ventilators, that require additional help to manage. That’s where supplemental nursing staff can be especially helpful.
Adjusting Settings and Communicating with Patients
If patients are conscious, it’s important to know whether they’re comfortable and whether they have what they need. Each patient has different requirements in terms of oxygen saturation and settings on the ventilator itself. That’s a lot to manage and supplemental staff can take care of that efficiently and thoroughly.
Assessing Pain and Related Concerns
In addition to overall comfort, patients may be in pain that they can’t express easily. Some patients may even need to be sedated while they’re using a ventilator. For many people, the discomfort can be severe or they may be agitated by the ventilator. If a patient is only partially conscious, it can be difficult to help them understand why they’re on a ventilator at all.
Providing Suction as Necessary
Suction is a vital part of keeping a ventilator clean and operational. Each facility has guidelines regarding timing and it’s crucial to adhere to those recommendations as closely as possible. With additional staff when more than a few patients are on ventilators, this is much easier to manage.
Reducing the Risk of Infection
Preventing infection is a huge part of every medical procedure. Experienced nursing staff know exactly what to do in order to help patients on ventilators to remain as healthy as possible while dealing with their other health conditions. Keeping the ventilator clean and well-maintained is a big part of those duties.
Caring for the Patient in Other Ways
There is so much that nursing staff does for patients using ventilators. They may require specific nutritional assistance in order to maintain both health and weight. This is especially important because ventilators often interfere with swallowing. When it’s time to remove the ventilator, special procedures help patients to wean appropriately. All of this can strain staff that have other duties they’ve got to handle.
Existing staff are swamped with so much already. Add a few patients with ventilator needs and that taxes them even further. Supplemental staffing can help to ensure that when a facility needs extra hands on deck to manage ventilator care, they’ve got what they need.