POC STNA typically refers to long term care software used by a State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA) to deliver point of care services to nursing home residents. Different states use different terminology for the same role. For example, in Ohio, the term STNA is used instead of a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant), while, in New Hampshire, a CNA is referred to as a Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA). Therefore, it is useful to learn the different job titles when addressing other states.
While an STNA has many responsibilities in a long term care facility, the primary duties include:
- Monitoring the condition of residents in a nursing home
- Changing residents’ bedding
- Helping residents move around
- Helping residents with meals, including feeding if they require assistance
- Monitoring and documenting resident vitals into a long term care EHR
- Cleaning and dressing of wounds
To ensure the effective use of POC STNA, leaders in long term care facilities need to ensure all STNAs are trained in effective POC charting, documentation and the best practices for using point of care devices. Meanwhile, leaders themselves also need to possess qualities like integrity, honesty, and kindness, as the STNAs will mirror these in the facility.
A great example of leadership is Fee Stubblefield, founder and CEO of The Springs Living. In a recent appearance on the LTC Heroes podcast, he offered insights on Business Management and Leadership Styles. Below, we will highlight some additional tips to improve leadership while enhancing the use of POC STNA.
5 Effective STNA POC Leadership Tips
Leadership at the point of care is crucial in ensuring that residents receive effective care. This is especially true during POC testing. Some of the advantages offered by STNA POC testing in nursing homes include a faster diagnosis for residents, faster access to treatments, less time spent transferring residents to external facilities for tests, and reduced risk of medical complications
Effective STNA POC leadership not only positively impacts a nursing home’s environment (better care for residents and better relations between co-workers), but it also results in higher levels of job satisfaction and lowers staff turnover.
When nursing homes face a staffing crisis, administrators should do all they can to retain their workers while creating an environment that entices new employees. STNA POC leadership can employ some tips to enhance their workplace environment, such as:
- Building relationships and trust: Effective leadership begins with building relationships and establishing trust. Leaders should talk to, listen and address any concerns raised by the nurses under them. Effective communication is one of the most effective methods that help foster relationships and build trust in the workplace. Families and residents can pick up the non-verbal cues of nurses, and when nurses trust their facility leadership, it is reflected in how they act and in how they provide care to their residents.
- Empowering others: Career advancement is at the forefront of every employee’s mind, making it particularly important to address in a workplace. Nurses want to know there is room for growth and professional development in their careers. Leadership should, therefore, offer training opportunities to nurses in their facility, enabling nurses to advance in their roles. It is also essential for nurses to feel empowered and supported by leadership to speak out if they observe any bad practices in the workplace or see signs of conflict. In such cases, leaders should act as mediators between the opposing parties to resolve the issues.
- Creating an environment that supports knowledge integration: Using nursing home software, such as an EHR, makes it easier to share knowledge amongst nursing home staff. Doing this enables staff to analyze organizational and care processes, discuss what works, improve it, and discard processes that aren’t working. Leaders can further enhance knowledge integration by providing more opportunities for nurses and physicians to share resident progress updates, such as in staff meetings and team-building exercises, where staff is encouraged to collaborate and solve problems.
- Supporting sustainable change: Studies show that there has been a shift towards person-centered care in recent times. Leaders should, therefore, support this change, as it leads to increased resident satisfaction, higher job satisfaction amongst nursing home staff, and better care outcomes for residents in a nursing home. Additionally, leaders should also encourage the adoption of eDocuments to improve accuracy, especially if the long term care facility is still using paper documentation.
- Managing competing priorities: Sometimes, there can be conflicting values between the staff, leadership, and residents. In such cases, leadership must communicate effectively and provide clarity of the organization’s values. It is also crucial for STNA POC leaders to ensure that their staff understands that their personal values and professional responsibilities must be separated. Furthermore, STNA POC leaders should provide additional support to help nurses navigate any ethical dilemmas they are experiencing when caring for residents. Leaders can keep tabs on residents and nurses, ensuring that all medical decisions are made without compromising their mental state.
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The Rules of CNA Charting and Documentation in Point of Care
Point of care CNA charting is an essential part of POC STNA. In order to reap all of the benefits of point of care, nursing home administrators should never overlook their facility’s STNA POC documentation practices. Also, when using long term care EMR software, clinical staff should always keep in mind that all treatments and medication must be HIPAA compliant. Therefore, they need to know what POC login methods can be used and the available documentation and reporting features.
There are some golden rules of documentation that clinical staff must follow when implementing POC STNA in a nursing home:
- Document everything. If care is not documented, it effectively did not happen, leading to medical errors and fatalities.
- Include the date, time, and signature on every entry made in a resident’s records via the care plan software.
- Chart as soon as possible after providing care to ensure no details are forgotten or lost.
- Be objective and systematic by using precise terminologies, formats, and approved methodologies to ensure accurate documentation
- Use only abbreviations approved by the facility to ensure that all staff members understand what care has been documented.
- Include all notifications and observations about a resident, and never alter any resident charts, even if there is an error. Instead, staff should follow the facility’s protocol rather than trying to correct past mistakes.
- Never chart on behalf of someone, or let someone else chart on your behalf. Charing for others will lead to inaccurate documentation, thus, resulting in medical errors and fatalities.
POC STNA and Its Importance in Long Term Care
STNAs play an essential role in long term care facilities. Nursing homes and SNFs that implement a POC STNA can benefit from using long term care software to provide a better point of care service to their residents and improve overall care outcomes.
Leadership also plays a vital role in ensuring that the nursing home software is effectively implemented. It is their responsibility to ensure that all clinical or not staff feel empowered when using the long term care EHR, so they can thrive in their roles and environment, creating a more trusting working environment where staff can aid and help each other.
When POC STNA is appropriately implemented, there are many benefits, such as accurate documentation, workflow efficiency, improved care outcomes, and higher employee job satisfaction. When nursing homes are experiencing a staffing crisis, now more than ever, facilities need as many hands on deck. POC STNA software does just that and more with improved workflows and reduced staff turnovers, ultimately providing a better quality of care in nursing homes.