Get Smart About Antibiotics

GET SMART ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS All staff should know the basics about Antibiotic Stewardship Program in your facility.  This is not limited to nursing staff, but must include housekeeping, administration, activities and dietary. Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs that can help fend off bacterial infection, but you can have too much of a good thing.  Inappropriate use of antibiotics can expose patients to unwanted risks of complications, such as Clostridium difficile (diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever) or a serious allergic reaction. Overuse can also cause antibiotic resistance, meaning your body can become drug resistant to prescription treatment. In new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hospitals continue to use powerful antibiotics to fight infections, and bacteria grow increasingly immune to treatment.  The study found that 55% of patients discharged received at least one dose of antibiotic during their hospital stay.   Federal regulation requires nursing homes to have an Antibiotic Stewardship Program and a nurse dedicated to the prevention and control of infections.  The CDC website has excellent nursing home specific tools and information on Antibiotic Stewardship.  A good first step is the Checklist found at  

Working together; NHA and DON

The NHA & DON Relationship Making the best of an “Arranged Marriage” The Administrator and Director of Nurses coupling can be a decision made by management or circumstances beyond your control.  Like an arranged marriage, you need to work to make the relationship successful.  The power of a cohesive Administrator and Director of Nursing is a force to be reckoned with and a great example to the entire staff.  When the opposite is true the results are disastrous.  Nothing can cause a survey to take a nosedive into IJ’s than a NHA and DON that are not on the same page, or worse playing the “blame game”. Tips to strengthen this key relationship resemble marriage counseling.  All relationships thrive on open and honest communication.  Talking several times a day face to face (texting doesn’t count) will quickly improve any relationship.  Making rounds together not only improves communication and operations, it will show strong leadership to coworkers.   It is expected that there will be times of stress while working together.   The Administrator and Director of Nursing do not always have the same priorities and don’t agree on everything.  The worst reaction to disagreements is to stop communication.  If you have every walked into work, wanting to be anywhere else because of a personality conflict, that is your signal to reopen