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Educating Home Health Aides In The Coronavirus World: Your Key To Help Prevent The Spread Of Infection


For all of you familiar with this blog, you know how much we promote education to all disciplines. Today, we want to focus specifically on the aide population and their role in the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s look to see the difference it makes when you take the time to really make the aides part of your front line of infection control.

Let’s Talk About Time:

The time an aide spends in the home with patients is significantly more than any other clinical discipline barring outliers like IVIG infusions etc. So, when you consider your agency and it’s response to the pandemic, how much time was spent educating the aides? Most agencies spend the majority of teaching time on professional disciplines. These are folks that already have the educational background and understanding of transmission of infectious disease. What did your education to the aides look like? Was it phone calls telling them to come pick up additional masks and an instruction sheet with things to do and not do in the home? If so, then it is time to take a step back and make sure everyone understands why and how to properly comply.

Ok, So We Didn’t Do Much Education, What’s Next?

Now is actually a fantastic time to check compliance to your pandemic related interventions. Get your supervisions of aides in now. Are the aides wearing masks when the nurse walks through the door? Are they being worn properly? How effectively are they hand washing and using sanitizer? Are gloves being used according to your agency’s COVID policies?

The nursing staff should quiz the aides on potential issues that may arise while caring for someone with coronavirus. Do your aides know and recognize symptoms associated with coronavirus? Are you having the aides take temps on patients when they enter homes? Are you having them ask any type of screening questions to report back to the nursing staff? These are all ways to make them more engaged in the process of infection control and  prevention. We as a nation may think everyone knows and understands everything about coronavirus since it is on television, social media, and the internet everywhere, but this is not the case. We have all seen conflicting information and statistics. We have seen the differences from one expert to the next regarding what is safe and what isn’t. Make things clear to aide staff and follow the CDC guidelines.

Kenyon Homecare Consulting Is Your Educational Home Base:

At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we have long provided extensive education tools for the individual clinician and for agencies as a whole. The main goal with aide education is to provide the knowledge base and to integrate them into a coordinated care plan where all interventions and goals are addressed by all team members. This is not an easy task to change the flow of your clinical staff, but doing it provides better care and more effective use of face-to-face time with the patient. Call us at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can help improve the value of your aide visits from safety issues to infection control and chronic disease.

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