Restorative nursing and the DON

Many individuals can work with residents with restorative nursing care needs. Their role, responsibilities, and the number of hours devoted to restorative care vary with the facility and the nature of the program. The director of nursing (DON) is responsible for overseeing nursing service and its programs and evaluating their effectiveness. He or she is responsible for making modifications or improvements to the overall program. The DON must be in tune with the program, promote the restorative philosophy, and continuously evaluate the need for providing specialized restorative nursing education for additional nursing assistants. He or she must create an environment of positive feedback and encouragement for both the residents and staff members.

The DON or his or her designee should also ensure that:

  • RNAs will be trained in all areas of restorative nursing care and successfully pass competency testing designed to validate specific training.
  • Ongoing continuing education is available to meet the specific needs of RNAs and the designated restorative nurses.
  • Ongoing education and training are available for all direct caregivers (unit staff members) in restorative nursing care.
  • Restorative nursing techniques are included in the nursing service orientation program.
  • Monitoring tools are in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the restorative nursing program.
  • Sufficient qualified staff members are available and assigned to the restorative program.
  • Restorative staff members are prohibited from being used as replacements for absent workers, except during defined emergencies.
  • Restorative nursing participates in the quality-assurance committee and reports activities to this committee. As performance-improvement needs develop, action plans will be developed to ensure that the goals of the restorative nursing program continue to be met.
  • A licensed nurse is designated as the facility restorative nurse to oversee the restorative program. The RNAs will meet with the restorative nurse at least twice monthly to review all residents receiving restorative nursing care services.
  • Documentation reflects the provision of the nursing process in the provision of restorative nursing care.

This is an excerpt from HCPro’s book, The Long-Term Care Restorative Nursing Desk Reference, written by Barbara Acello, MS, RN.

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