March 13, 2018

Dispelling Myths for the Next Generation of Skilled Registered Nurses | Nursing Home Stigmas

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As a future Registered Nurse you will be considering your options for after you graduate. We wouldn’t be too surprised if a care home provider isn’t the first on your list of potential employers. This is because we know from talking to future graduate Nurses, that there are MANY misconceptions about working with older people in a care home setting which are steering people away from this incredibly rewarding career.

In this blog, we dispel the myths about care home nursing which are deterring Nurse graduates from this challenging and stimulating career path.

Myth: “I worry that I might become deskilled in a care home environment”

Many potential recruits worry that they will become deskilled working in a care home environment, when in actual fact the level of autonomy our Nurses receive means they are offered the chance to assert ‘charismatic leadership’ roles in a multidisciplinary service.

Promoting Nurse leadership

In a care home environment our colleagues must look at not only our residents’ clinical needs but also their holistic person-centred care needs, which are at the heart of Four Seasons Health Care.

In a care home, you are the specialist when it comes to your residents. Seeing a nurse-led unit in action can be a shock to those who have not experienced a nursing home environment. If you have previously worked in a hospital you may be used to being told what to do. At Four Seasons Health Care, you will make the decisions to make a difference, and have complete autonomy over the clinical care of our residents.

You will work alongside a varied and supportive team of Carers, Senior Carers, a Personal Activity Leader and a Home Manager, as well as a care home support network.  As you work with multidisciplinary teams, residents and their families on an ongoing basis, you will develop communication, management and interpersonal skills, in addition to your clinical expertise.

Working in our residents’ homes, you are actively encouraged to spend time talking to them, putting them at ease and really getting to know them. Knowing the person is often the best way of sensing when a problem might be starting or escalating. And maybe even more importantly, it helps to understand their emotional wellbeing.

Rachel graduated as a Nurse from Salford University in 2016, here she explains her experience: “What I enjoy most about care home nursing is the one to one time with our residents and their families, which you don’t always get so much of when working in an acute environment. I have been doing lots of wound care and caring for residents at their end-of-life. I also work in collaboration with GPs to ensure our palliative care residents are receiving the best possible care and communication to ensure their wishes are being listened to. Palliative care is so rewarding and I couldn't be prouder to do my job.

“It is an immense privilege to care for someone and to get to know their life story - it feels great to give back. I develop close bonds with my residents, as well as supporting their family and friends.

“I love the fact that I can take a holistic approach with my residents, ensuring that all their needs and preferences are met, and making sure they have the best quality of life they possibly can.

“As part of a care home nursing team, I can work independently and I get to think for myself. At times it can be daunting and challenging but I get lots of help and support from my colleagues and I thoroughly enjoy it.”

Myth: “Care Home Nurses tend to be older or approaching the end of their careers”

Another widely held misconception is that care homes are for those Nurses who are looking for a step-down in their career and for less responsibility. Again this is far from reality…  

Supporting your career progression

Care homes are dynamic fast paced environments for those who are looking to step-up, take accountability and truly make a difference to people’s lives. Not only that, but you can develop yourself massively working within a care home environment. Craig Priestly joined Four Seasons Health Care when he was 16 as a ‘Domestic Assistant’, he has progressed through the company and is now our ‘Intermediate Care Support Manager’. Craig explains why he would recommend Four Seasons Health Care to future graduates: “Working for Four Seasons Health Care as a Nurse allows you to make a difference to those in your care; working autonomously allows you to grow personally and professionally. Working as a Nurse in a care home is a speciality in itself, and will certainly give you the skills and knowledge to care for the most vulnerable.  It is so rewarding and a privilege to be part of so many people’s lives.” Read more about Craig’s Career here.

Myth: “If I work in a care home I am likely to struggle with revalidation“

Students often report that they believe nursing homes are less prestigious clinical settings and unfulfilling places to work. These biases make it harder for health care providers to recruit, further contributing to workforce shortages, and as people are living longer they are coming to us with more complex conditions and therefore the job requires a much more varied skill set.

                Training and Development

Here at Four Seasons Health Care we want our Nurses to feel valued and progress with us. We invest heavily in the training and development of our Nurses starting with our Preceptorship Programme. Ongoing development is driven through our Nurse Academy and our e-learning platform SOAR. You can also find engaging material to help with revalidation in our award winning Care Home Nursing Journal. As well as benefiting from the support of your mentor these resources are focused on helping you stay up to date with best-practice and supporting the revalidation process.

Myth: “Nursing homes are boring and depressing”

Whether fuelled by fright or propaganda, many people assume nursing homes are depressing and isolating establishments for a generation who have little to contribute. This couldn’t be further from the truth! These assumptions are compounded by ageism, a major social problem that needs to be changed. To combat this stereotype there needs to be a greater focus on the positive aspects of nursing homes.

                Every day is different

There is evidence to show that having personal encounters with nursing homes and the elderly can reduce ageism and challenge stereotypes. If you follow the Four Seasons Health Care news feed or you have read any of our ‘Care Home Life’ articles you will be well aware that care homes are filled with activity, with a focus on our residents’ physical, spiritual and social wellness. There is nothing depressing about that! You can follow our activity here or read our ‘Care Home Life articles to find out more.

Graduate Nursing with Four Seasons Health Care

Now that we have bust some of these common myths it’s down to you to decide…  Modern nursing has a range of opportunities and it’s important that you find the right career path for you. Four Seasons Health Care offer our Nurses opportunities for a rich, rewarding, and satisfying careers. Four Seasons Health Care has the potential to help fulfil both your personal and professional development needs through our Nurse Academy. We recognise that our newly qualified Nurses play a critical role in our integrated, positive and progressive teams. For more information regarding Nurse careers at Four Seasons Health Care contact us or visit our careers website to search our current vacancies.

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Four Seasons Health Care has over 260 care homes across the UK with 17,000 colleagues providing care and support for 16,000 residents

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