Temporary workers - such as the nurses and carers you work with via Florence - are an essential part of the health and social care system. This is especially true now, as they continue to fill staff gaps left by sickness and vacancies.
However, there remains little information as to how to manage such workers during the coronavirus outbreak, and what steps need to be taken to get the best service possible.
So, using the available guidance around COVID-19, here we’ll explain the key elements of good practice for managing Florence workers during this time.
This will help protect residents and keep healthcare workers well, whether they are permanent or temporary.
7 steps for working with Florence staff
1. Transparency with Florence
Tell us if you have symptoms or cases in the home, we will continue to support you and provide staff to fill your vacancies wherever possible. You will receive a pop-up every 24 hours of your login to Florence, asking if you are experiencing symptoms at your home. Please answer this accurately.
We have found that when staff are informed ahead of booking that your care home has potential cases, they are more confident about continuing to work.
2. Block book in advance
Reducing the number of different nurses and carers coming into your home will improve continuity of care, and reduce the level of new interactions residents face. Workers will become more familiar with residents, and the level of risk will be reduced as a result.
3. Reduce prolonged exposure
Avoid using agency nurses or carers for episodes of care that will require prolonged exposure to residents experiencing symptoms. This will help to reduce the potential for transmission externally to other care homes.
4. Thorough induction and handover
Ensure nurses and carers are fully aware of the conditions of all residents and in particular those with symptoms or confirmed cases of COVID-19. This will enable them to plan their workload and support permanent staff in delivering the care required at the start of the shift.
Provide orientation if the worker is not familiar with the home layout - specifically ensure they are aware of where essential equipment such as PPE is stored.
5. Provide PPE and uniform bags
Please ensure that you have sufficient PPE available for the care of residents who are suspected as having COVID-19. This includes aprons, gloves and masks. Find advice on getting PPE supplies here.
Ensure there are signs on residents' doors if they are being isolated to prevent unnecessary exposure to healthcare workers not wearing PPE.
Please ensure nurses and carers do not leave the home in their uniform - let Florence know if this happens by emailing [email protected]. Provide workers with a disposable alginate bag to transport their uniform home in, if available.
6. Maintain social distancing
While we acknowledge this is difficult in a care home, every effort should be made to ensure the guidance around social distancing - keeping 2m away - is upheld. This includes when taking breaks and using communal areas.
7. Keep well hydrated and take breaks as required
There is much written about the importance of healthy workplaces. However, taking breaks and being well hydrated is good for physical health, immunity and mental wellbeing. It is an essential part of the shift and feeling well cared for is not just for the remit of the residents.
We understand how busy this period will be, but at Florence we’re always available to assist and support you through any challenges. Please call us on 020 3911 2555, or email us on [email protected] if you would like to discuss your situation. Together, we can continue to provide the best care possible.