Q:

What is restorative nursing?

A:

Restorative nursing is a program available in nursing homes that helps residents maintain any progress they've made during therapy treatments, enabling them to function at a high capacity. Potential therapies include speech, physical and occupational treatment. A therapist determines the specific plan that a patient receives.

A restorative aid is the responsible party designated to carry out the plan. This professional provides these services in addition to certified nursing aid services. However, the restorative aid must be specifically trained by the therapist in the exact plan of each particular patient. A restorative aid helps with range-of-motion exercises, walks with patients, helps at mealtime if the patient needs assistance swallowing and assists the patient with schedules or appointments.

Restorative aids work with nurses to ensure that all the documentation of the prescribed aid is logged properly on patient charts. Restorative services often take a back seat if the nursing home is short-staffed. The restorative aid commonly must focus her attention on certified nursing aid duties during these times. Some nursing homes have restorative aids on staff all the time for ongoing programs, but many only have them available part-time. In some cases, nursing homes cannot afford a restorative nursing program at all.

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