I have been working as a health care assistant at Renfrew Care Home providing administrative support to the institution. I recently had an experience at work that revealed the significance of equipment management in care homes (Getzen 2013). I will be using the Gibbs' reflective model to reflect on the events. Bassot (2016) explained the Gibbs' reflective cycle has six stages.
I arrived at work as usual in the early morning. After my daily check-up routine, I reported to the receptionist's desk. All patients were in their rooms having breakfast before taking their morning medication. My colleague and I decided to visit the canteen and get a few snacks. No sooner had we left our desk than we heard an emergency alarm from one of the patient's room. I ran towards the room and offered my assistance.
The patient had suffered a stroke and required immediate medical assistance (Bielen & Lathrop 2011). The nurse in charge requested for the transfer of the patient to the emergency unit for first aid. I quickly went to the storage room to get a wheelchair, but to my surprise, I could not find any. The care home had allocated all available wheelchairs to patients with walking disabilities, and there were no extras. I was forced to borrow a wheelchair from another patient. Upon arrival, the empty beds in the emergency unit had no life support equipment. The nurses provided first aid while waiting for the response team ambulance to arrive. The response team was on time to place the patient on life support and take him to the hospital for further treatment. I could not believe what I witnessed. My colleague later told me the care home cut down the cost of equipment that we did not need since the local authority could not invest more capital (Getzen 2013).
When I heard the emergency alarm, I was impressed by the response of the nurses and other staff in the care home who ran towards the patient's room and offered assistance. However, I was shocked not to find any extra equipment such as wheelchairs in the storage room. The emergency unit also had no life support equipment. I was agitated by the lack of concern from the care home to provide essential equipment to its patients. The availability of staff without equipment would not save patients during emergencies (Bielen & Lathrop 2011).
The nurses' first aid and the arrival of the response team on time saved the patient's life. Their determination to help the patient was inspiring. I was amazed by how dedicated the response team was while helping the patient. The spontaneous response during the emergency was a significant factor (Vitoriano 2013). If that was not the case, the care home might have lost the patient due to ignorance and poor management.
When the patient suffered a stroke, a staff member pulled the alarm which alerted the nurses on duty. The nurses and staff responded and ran to the patient's room to offer assistance. The immediate response provided enough time for first aid during the emergency. However, the nurses had to transfer the patient to the emergency unit which required a wheelchair. The shortage of equipment posed a threat to the life of the patient and had everyone worried. According to Harris (2017), a care home is expected to provide all essential equipment to its patients and have extra in case of any emergencies.
The emergency unit also lacked life support equipment. The nurses could only provide first aid and rely on the response team for further medical treatment. Due to the lack of equipment, the patient's life was at risk. The arrival of the response team provided some relief to everyone at the care home. The team was determined to help the patient, and this gave hope to everyone that everything will be alright. The patient was able to get further treatment and taken to a nearby hospital for monitoring.
I was highly disappointed by the ignorance of the lack of essential equipment in the care home. The nurse and staff were determined to take care of the patients but were unable to. The care home should have, therefore, found alternative ways of reducing costs without risking the lives of its patients (Rossi 2003).
The poor management of Renfrew Care Home is the cause of inadequate essential equipment (Buchbinder & Shanks 2007). The local authority should have found alternative ways to reduce the cost of managing the care home other than cutting down equipment costs. The nurses and staff were determined to help the patient but limited due to inadequate equipment. The patient's life was therefore at risk during the emergency. The local authority should have allocated capital for extra equipment such as wheelchairs, hoists, and life support machines in the emergency unit. The nurses would have been able to provide first aid and further medical treatment to the patient after he had suffered a stroke.
Communication between patients, staff, and management is significant for the smooth running of a health care organization (Barbour & Lammers 2007). The Renfrew Care Home staff had a good relationship with their patients because of their daily interactions. The relationship improved service delivery in the care home. The nurses were always ready to help patients. In response to the emergency alarm, the nurses and staff ran to the patient's room and offered assistance. It was the spontaneous response that provided enough time for first aid. However, the relationship between Renfrew Care Home management and its staff is not good because of bad communication. The local authority had ignored the staff's request for equipment in the care home to reduce management costs. It was the local authority's responsibility to ensure the provision of essential equipment to its patients in the care home. I was able to help during the emergency by providing the wheelchair required to transfer the patient to the emergency unit. My colleague and I later had to calm the other patients who were worried. I also urged the nurse in charge to request for extra equipment from the management to avoid such a case from happening again.
The local authority should not have cut down the cost of extra equipment. The availability of equipment would have helped the nurses to provide medical assistance during the emergency. The care home should have been committed to protecting the life of the patient by addressing the issues of equipment in alternative ways (Getzen 2013). I think the care home should have asked for volunteers willing to provide pieces of equipment to the care home. The management and staff should have also maintained a good relationship and communicated on the best solution to reduce management costs without risking the lives of patients (Barbour & Lammers 2007).
I should have improved my organizational techniques and ensured the availability of equipment during the emergency (Issel 2007). I learned that lack of equipment is a problem faced by many care homes, but it should be countered by good organization thereby allowing the provision of medical services efficiently especially during emergencies. The timely response from the nurses was effective in saving the patient. The staff's determination and dedication is required to run the health care home. I was able to calm the other worried patients because of the relationship among us which is essential in health care homes.
The local authority needs to invest in equipment in Renfrew Care Home. They can reduce the cost of management by other alternative ways. For example, the local authority can invite foreign investors who are willing to provide capital for new equipment and renovations of the care home. The care home can request for volunteers from the neighboring community. The volunteers can provide help through part-time labor or new equipment. The management cost would significantly reduce due to shared responsibility (Blocher et al. 2019). The staff will be able to provide services to patients with no limitations caused by inadequate equipment.
The management has to improve its communication with the staff. A good relationship between the management and staff would ensure problems are solved effectively. The care home would efficiently run while considering the interest of patients, staff, and management. As the health care assistant at Renfrew Care Home, I should have improved the institution's organization and equipment management. Regardless of inadequate equipment, I should have organized the patients' routines and free-up equipment in case of an emergency. The response of the nurses taught me that it is essential to be determined and dedicated to helping a patient regardless of the conditions to save their life. I suggested a new emergency plan which incorporates coordination between staff and patients to avoid unnecessary tension and commotion during an emergency (Kadri 2010).
Reflection is significant to know and understand how much you have learned and achieved in an experience (Glassburn et al. 2019). As a health care assistant, I was able to understand the importance of organization and emergency planning in a care home. The care home had alternative ways to improve the management of the institution.
Barbour, J. B., & Lammers, J. C. (2007). Health care institutions, communication, and physicians experience of managed care. Management Communication Quarterly, 21(2): 201-231. http://doi.org/10.1177/0893318907308747
Bassot, B. (2016). The reflective journal. London: Macmillan Education-Palgrave.
Bielen, R. P., & Lathrop, J. K. (2011). Health care facilities code handbook. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.
Blocher, E., Stout, D. E., Juras, P. E., & Smith, S. D. (2019). Cost management: a strategic emphasis. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Buchbinder, S. B., & Shanks, N. H. (2007). Introduction to health care management. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Getzen, T. E. (2013). Health economics and financing. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
Glassburn, S., Mcguire, L. E., & Lay, K. (2019). Reflection as self-care: models for facilitative supervision. Reflective Practice, 1-13. http://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2019.1674271
Harris, M. D. (2017). Handbook of home health care administration. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Issel, L. M. (2007). Health administration knowledge. Health Care Management Review, 32(3): 191. http://doi.org/10.1097/01.hmr.0000281630.07278.67
Kadri, S. (2010). Emergency response. Emergency Planning Preparedness, Prevention & Response, 3-3. http://doi.org/10.1002/9780470924839.part1
Rossi, P. (2003). Case management in health care. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Vitoriano, B. (2013). Decision aid models for disaster management and emergencies. Amsterdam: Atlantis Press.
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