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Interruptions During Scheduled Activities

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Hi All!

 

I am sure this is a problem that is not new to any of you, but it has really become a testy subject at my facility.

 

I have a schedule with "personal needs time" built into the daily routine, but my activities are constantly being interrupted by staff to toilet residents, take them out for showers, administer meds, check bp, etc. This is so frustrating!

 

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can approach staff and let them know that this is unsatisfactory? I need these folks to help me throughout the day, so I don't want to alienate them, but they are ruining my programs! :-(

 

I have gone to my authority figure(!) and have gotten no help with this situation!

 

HELP!

Sparkle

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hi, We always had a sign to remind, but the key here is that if State was in the building and you "allowed" or did nothing to prevent activity interruption you could be subject to a deficency, which would cost the facility MONEY, the M word is always a good tool to use with the Administrator.

 

I know that you are not allowing this to happen, but State Surveyors only have 2 speeds, either its happening and its your responsibility or its not happening and its your responsibility.

 

We alway grabbed a Wet Floor Sign off of the maintence cart, and hung a Quiet Sign on it, posted it in the doorways of our activity area. Of course trying to work this out is going to be a game of chess, because most of the time, the nursing staff has little respect for what you are doing, but with a little effort and a little ear pulling, even nursing can be trained. Start off by planting subtle hints, the signs, ask the DON for a schedule of med and shower times for the residents so that you may schedule your activitys better,(a little reverse physco).. be sure to ask while you are in a Careplan meeting or some other meeting where everyone is present. You may not get the schedule because it sounds like they have no schedule, but at least the seed of thought will be planted. Over the next couple of days afterward, start noting which residents are being disturbed, or which interruptions are occuring during which activities, and note the times. Confer with the DON on an idividual resident basis now, take steps to make sure that Resident A is medicated and bathed before she can attend certain activitys at certain times, OR OR ask if the resident could possibly be attended to before the Certain Activity at a Certain Time.. You may get the DON to start leaving charting notes for her staff as to which residents bath in the morn and which in the eve.. A Schedule is Born... Once there is a schedule or the attempt at one, then you can also plan your activitys around this.

With your signs, start off with a couple, in the attempt to get the Admin to ask " why the signs?" if she still doesnt ask , increase the signage... maybe a few leader signs posted in the hallway leading to the activity.. like on the highway... eventully you will get her to ask... and you can explain you not want deficencies...

 

Departmental Harmony is a Dance... make sure you lead... good luck, Pennie :-)

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Pennie, what great ideas!

 

Specifically for Bingo (I really don't have problems other wise, my staff is usually very considerate) we have staff who yell out BINGO! while walking through the dining room. We have come up with the solution that everytime they yell it, they have to give the Bingo players a quarter (which goes towards bingo prizes/cash value). Our ADON actually yells it out every time and then plays off that we are stripping him of his hard earned cash (hahaha) when we have him pay (he actually enjoys it!)

You might want to consider something like this! The residents get a kick out of this and the staff feels like they are contributing.

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Thanks for all the WONDERFUL suggestions! I will certainly start working on implementing them right away!

 

I knew you all could and would help me out! What a great site!

 

Thanks oooooodles!

 

Sparkle

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Oh, Diana, I love that! My Activity Room is the back portion of the DR, and I only recently got back some 4' high portable walls. However, staff usually go through to the back door to smoke on their break. Most of them are considerate and make little disruption, will apologize if they come inside after we have started. But I have one in particular who actually continues to take her trash out (shortest route) this way during activities, take her smoke break, stop and talk to residents each time, and have already told DON, DCE and ADON. No results. One other CNA told me that person said no way was she going the long way out for trash. And with all out turnover, I can't risk being accused of being rude to her, regardless of my personal opinion of her work ethics. However, I do like this idea of "pay a quarter toward bingo if you come through during an activity". That will be fair, I think. Thanks! :P

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Oh, Diana, I love that! My Activity Room is the back portion of the DR, and I only recently got back some 4' high portable walls. However, staff usually go through to the back door to smoke on their break. Most of them are considerate and make little disruption, will apologize if they come inside after we have started. But I have one in particular who actually continues to take her trash out (shortest route) this way during activities, take her smoke break, stop and talk to residents each time, and have already told DON, DCE and ADON. No results. One other CNA told me that person said no way was she going the long way out for trash. And with all out turnover, I can't risk being accused of being rude to her, regardless of my personal opinion of her work ethics. However, I do like this idea of "pay a quarter toward bingo if you come through during an activity". That will be fair, I think. Thanks! :D

Diana, We do some thing similar. If a staff member comes into the activity room while we a playing a word game. They can not leave until they play the game with us. Example:In Boggle... They have to find a word. This doesn't make the disruption seem so bad and the resident and the staff have fun.

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I am so glad to see this subject addressed here. It's been a problem since I started at my facility, but only recently has it really started to bother me. I was getting ready to discuss this situation with my supervisor soon and this will be good information and solutions to present.

 

Thanx much!

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Sparkle~

 

They may be totally unaware of what they are doing. Maybe you could talk to them and let them know about "personal needs time." It may also be helpful to give them a schedule of your personal needs time. ie:(The days for the activity, resident you will be working with, and the time.)

 

cbishop5120

Hi All!

 

I am sure this is a problem that is not new to any of you, but it has really become a testy subject at my facility.

 

I have a schedule with "personal needs time" built into the daily routine, but my activities are constantly being interrupted by staff to toilet residents, take them out for showers, administer meds, check bp, etc. This is so frustrating!

 

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can approach staff and let them know that this is unsatisfactory? I need these folks to help me throughout the day, so I don't want to alienate them, but they are ruining my programs! :-(

 

I have gone to my authority figure(!) and have gotten no help with this situation!

 

HELP!

Sparkle

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Sparkle~

 

They may be totally unaware of what they are doing. Maybe you could talk to them and let them know about "personal needs time." It may also be helpful to give them a schedule of your personal needs time. ie:(The days for the activity, resident you will be working with, and the time.)

 

cbishop5120

 

Can you get your resident council involved? We used to have this problem many moons ago, and then the resident council started complaining about it - and amazingly, the problem that "couldn't be fixed" was fixed within a matter of weeks!

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Can you get your resident council involved? We used to have this problem many moons ago, and then the resident council started complaining about it - and amazingly, the problem that "couldn't be fixed" was fixed within a matter of weeks!

 

 

Well I'll tell you guys a story :

One year during survey Nurses , Nurse Tech's and even a Doctor kept coming in during Bingo to get ice from our ice maker. The Surveyor asked me if I had a "Do not disturb" sign or "Activities in Progress" sign , I said no but that I could go make one real quick , she said good idea because this is my warning to you that if another person walks in during this activity I will have to tag you. I wrote the sign and told the Nurses station and the problem was solved. I didn't know that they could tag you for this but they can and they will, so tell your facility that the State will cite you for Activity interruptions !!!!!!! BartMan in Tally ;o)

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If people interrupt my music sessions they can expect to be asked to participate!

 

It is a problem at almost all facilities that unnecessary background noise- I don't mean emergency care or sick patients or even visitors- makes disturbance, over the years I've had people clean carpets around me, staff sit down and have a loud conversation, hammering and maintenance...once a dog pooped under the piano!!

 

I've always found the same approach to be successful-

 

*unfailing intent to maintain good relationships with residents, staff and visitors

*let people know politely when they are disturbing things ( don't get irritable )

*talk to managers about the set-up and routine to minimise through traffic and schedule unbroken activity time

 

If the problem is a wider issue of passive aggression then it will need tackling as a team- but mostly it's going to be just someone's preoccupation with one task and not realising it's interrupting another.

 

'Manners maketh man!'

 

Good luck!!!

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Wow...I didn't know you could get tagged for activities being interrupted. This is a constant problem for me. PT comes in and takes people (he's always really apologetic about it and asks if it's OK, but I almost always say yes because I know he has trouble getting their hours in because people nap so much here), housekeeping vacuums, staff and visitors talk and laugh extremely loudly in the next room....and on and on. I don't have an activity room; they apparently didn't think it was necessary in the floor plan, so I hold activities in the living room or the "country kitchen", but they're both very open and near areas where people get loud.

 

It's funny, because actually today, I was trying to do Crosswords with the residents, and the nurse was yelling back and forth with a private sitter; they were laughing, howling, etc. Coupling with that, the housekeeper was running the vacuum right outside the room. I finally yelled, "Can y'all be quiet?! I'm trying to do an activity here," and immediately laughed it off; but it worked. They quieted down, and no feelings were hurt (I think.)

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Hi All!

 

I am sure this is a problem that is not new to any of you, but it has really become a testy subject at my facility.

 

I have a schedule with "personal needs time" built into the daily routine, but my activities are constantly being interrupted by staff to toilet residents, take them out for showers, administer meds, check bp, etc. This is so frustrating!

 

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can approach staff and let them know that this is unsatisfactory? I need these folks to help me throughout the day, so I don't want to alienate them, but they are ruining my programs! :-(

 

I have gone to my authority figure(!) and have gotten no help with this situation!

 

HELP!

Sparkle

 

They need to know that A/D is important part of the daily routine and they need to include you in. But what I do is if the nurse is with my patient I just go to the next one.

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Hi All!

 

I am sure this is a problem that is not new to any of you, but it has really become a testy subject at my facility.

 

I have a schedule with "personal needs time" built into the daily routine, but my activities are constantly being interrupted by staff to toilet residents, take them out for showers, administer meds, check bp, etc. This is so frustrating!

 

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can approach staff and let them know that this is unsatisfactory? I need these folks to help me throughout the day, so I don't want to alienate them, but they are ruining my programs! :-(

 

I have gone to my authority figure(!) and have gotten no help with this situation!

 

HELP!

Sparkle

They need to understand that A/D is very important, to the patients, and they need to include you in the daily routine of things. But, what I do is if the nurse is with my patient I just go to the next one.

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Maybe your "authority figure" needs to be reminded that interuppting activities for any reason is a regulatory issue, and if any of the aides mention that the resident is being ( medicated, toileted, dressing change, etc.) that the surveyors will nail you on several tags. Including HIPPA, dignity and privacy.

 

 

bigCHRIS

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I have had this issue in the past. When each employee is hired and on their anniversery we have to attend what we call "Intouch Training". This gets us all acqainted with the way things work in our facility. Each Director has a part in this training. When I do my part I ask them all questions like when is it ok to remove someone from an Activity? Depending on the way the group answers I can tell them a little about our federal guidelines and educate them. Most do not understand why it is so important. At my facility they now understand that they can not take them or interupt them during an activity. This process has worked for the most part. I still now and again get someone that thinks they are above the regulations and I have to tell my staff to be ferm on the matter and not allow them to interrupt.

I make sure everyone from Diatery to our Therapy Department understands we are not doing it to ruin their day. But because this is our residents home and that it is federally mandated.

 

Vickie

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Hi All!

 

I am sure this is a problem that is not new to any of you, but it has really become a testy subject at my facility.

 

I have a schedule with "personal needs time" built into the daily routine, but my activities are constantly being interrupted by staff to toilet residents, take them out for showers, administer meds, check bp, etc. This is so frustrating!

 

Does anyone have any ideas on how I can approach staff and let them know that this is unsatisfactory? I need these folks to help me throughout the day, so I don't want to alienate them, but they are ruining my programs! :-(

 

I have gone to my authority figure(!) and have gotten no help with this situation!

 

HELP!

Sparkle

 

 

 

Well Sparkle I don't mean to be extreme or harsh but if your authority figure does not want to address this situation you can always call your local ombudsman. By letting them know they will randomly keep visiting you. You can call as anonymous. Just hope they will come often enough that your team will learn to do the correct thing.

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I must say that activities is an integral part of any successful home/facility. In some facilities, it is the obligation of the caregiver/cna/caremanager to make sure that a resident is toilet a certain number of times a day......IF it is written in the care plan.

 

The duty of the caregiver/cna/caremanager is to follow what is written down. Maybe it may help, to read through the residents care-plan so that you know what issues a resident is dealing with. This may help to understand why a resident must be taken out of an activity.

 

A smart activity director will work with the nursing/caregivers/cna's because as we all know, if activities aren't happening the way the RESIDENTS want, then census will really, really go down.

 

But, you do an awesome job and thank you for working with the Elderly. Things are getting better even though it may not seem like it.

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Well Sparkle I don't mean to be extreme or harsh but if your authority figure does not want to address this situation you can always call your local ombudsman. By letting them know they will randomly keep visiting you. You can call as anonymous. Just hope they will come often enough that your team will learn to do the correct thing.

ARE YOU SERIOUS? whoever this is, I would be scared to hire you. call an ombudsman when there is abuse taking place or mismanagement of funds or tying a resident down without documentation. drugging a resident without their consent...these are reasons to call an ombudsman.

 

We need to learn how to communicate in front of eachother and not "snitching" on eachother. We are in the same industry and if we're careful and don't screw up. there is enough work for everybody.

 

Stop watching tv and let's spend our time learning better skills, for a time. watching tv can make you jealous of people and angry. Your ED would love to know you tell on him without having the guts to address him/her or his/her staff that are put in place for you to communicate with and to KEEP TRYING.

 

and leave your work at work, unless you're like us.

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Remember the care plan & residents rights. Residents are asked when they prefer to take their showers & what activities they prefer to attend. It is their right to attend the activity w/o interference. State can get you on both of these if they want to. Usually they tag the department that is breaking the regulation. Once the nurses learned about this you can see where they redo their schedule on res. showers, taking to restroom, taking meds. Therapy also had to start working with activities & the res.

They need to remember that residents look forward all day for their favorite activity & they have a right to go & enjoy it in peace.

So place your signs at all of the entrances prior to activities starting. Place this info. in newsletter & hold a in-service on this. Have Res Council address it. You have pretty much done all you can.

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