Because our patients and residents typically are older, often have underlying chronic medical conditions and live in a community together, they are at the highest risk of being affected by COVID-19. During this unprecedented time, our residents rely on the members of their interdisciplinary team to ensure that their health and safety needs are met.
With a team approach of collaboration, communication and demonstration of the value and essence of our skilled professions, we will answer the call to protect this vulnerable population in the pursuit of No Patient Left Behind. Whether it’s clinical considerations in the recovery wake of a COVID-19 diagnosis or ensuring they are supported to continue to attain and maintain the highest level of practicable function within this modified environment, nursing facilities are equipped to meet the needs of the residents who call our facilities home.
Each member of the interdisciplinary team – including therapy, nursing and administrative team members – has specific skills that can help meet the residents’ needs. Collaborative efforts to integrate each team member’s contributions allow for greater positive impact on the care provided. Timely and effective communication of changes in function should be ongoing between nursing and therapy to identify emerging conditions and potential symptoms of COVID-19. Each patient is unique and requires screenings relative to their specific diagnoses, history and risks. It is our imperative to ensure dignity, quality of life and the highest level of independence possible. Members of the care team have been empowered to own their distinct role in resident-centered advocacy, which ultimately leads to successful outcomes.
Any member of the interdisciplinary team can lead the advocacy efforts for each resident by observing changes in the resident’s ability, ensuring timely notification, developing a resident-specific plan of care and thoroughly planning for the next level of care. Care delivery must be adapted by team members to occur in bundled sessions with enhanced in-room treatment techniques. By working together, we can help curb the potential anxiety and psychosocial effects perpetuated by a world in pandemic and affirm that no patient is left behind.