Sad statistics. Part of the problem is those with learning disabilities have challenges recognizing and articulating signs and symptoms of illness. Then, if treatment is sought, they have difficulties following advice on maintaining health related to lack of understanding of the importance, inability to remember instructions. There is a shortage of responsible people in their lives.
I graduated in the '70's and was taught to rarely wear gloves. I found the change-over difficult but gave in after I acquired a herpes infection in one finger from and unknown source. I have been on Valtrex once a day for more than ten years because without it I could have a reoccurrence at any time. The infectious disease doctor I saw asked if I wore gloves for mouth care and I said no. That's likely how I picked it up, a small open area along the side of one fingernail was all that was necessary to pick up the herpes virus which will never leave me now. So, a lesson learned, and one I pass on to nursing students whenever I have the opportunity.
Comment on: Training HCAs to recognise patient deterioration
Where I work as a Registered Nurse we do not have unregulated health care workers and I hope we never do. Their place is in non-acute care centres such as residential care and long term care fascilities.. What the proposed course is trying to do is train a nurse with a crash course and still pay for a support staff. Does the increased training lead to increased responsibility? Accountability? Nurses are needed at the bedside to adequately assess the changing needs of acute care and possibly critical patients in out hospitals.
If a Chest x-Ray is policy in this facility then, unfortunately, the nurse is guilty of proceeding with the feeding without the x-ray. In Canada, where I live, I would be held responsible as the RN.
The nurse needs to insist that the hospital policy be followed, without the x-Ray the nurse is prohibited from proceeding with the feeding.
I agree with measures which should be taken to ensure patients dignity is maintained when at all possible. I think the common practice among students to buddy up for bed bath and procedures affects the dignity of the patient negatively. Certainly there are times when a second pair of hands is needed but not in every situation.
Another habit many patients have of keeping the curtains pulled around their bed all the time has an opposite effect on privacy. Staff get so used to the closed curtain when the patient is not doing something which requires privacy that I have seen housekeeping, dietary, lab, volunteers, nursing and doctors " barge " in behind curtains regularly. It is like keeping a wet floor sign up continuously- we stop being cautious since the floor is usually dry.