Visiting ban, strict hygiene regulations, rapid tests and vaccinations – the care facilities Altenzentrum Heilsberg and ASB Wohnen und Pflege in Karben are fighting the pandemic.
Infected or quarantined personnel, rapid tests, more paperwork due to the requirements for visitors and the preparation, implementation and follow-up care of the vaccinations. There is already a shortage of staff in old people’s and care facilities – the corona pandemic is exacerbating this emergency even more.
“The shortage of staff and skilled workers has been a major problem for years, which has been worsening due to the pandemic and increasing the frustration of the constantly overworked employees,” emphasize Uwe Brömmer and Gernot Ruffing. The two facility managers of the Altenzentrum Heilsberg and ASB Wohnen und Pflege Karben and their employees provide high performance in continuous operation and are constantly energized. “For years we have not been able to fill our vacancies with adequately trained staff. The market has been swept clean.”
Additional duties for care workers during the pandemic
Shortly before Christmas, the Board of Directors of Diakonie Hessen once again informed State Minister Kai Klose in a letter about the nursing emergency in Hesse and asked people from aid organizations who are otherwise involved in disaster control to mobilize to support the staff in the nursing organizations. In times of the pandemic, the care employees also take on additional tasks, such as hairdressing the residents. Emotional encouragement, taking time for the elderly and their worries, is more important than ever and takes time.
On January 3, employees and residents – provided they agreed – were vaccinated against the coronavirus by a mobile vaccination team. The date for the second vaccination within three to four weeks has not yet been set in the ASB home, says Gernot Ruffing.
No vaccination yet
on the Heilsberg
Things are different on Heilsberg: “We have not yet been given a vaccination date for our 140 residents and our 120 employees,” says Brömmer. The forms for preparing for the vaccination already fill seven folders. “In some cases, the forms like declarations of consent have to be filled out again because they have been changed.”
In the Altenzentrum Heilsberg, seven residents and one employee were infected with the corona virus in the course of 2020. “None of them showed any symptoms. We are happy that there have been no new cases so far,” says Brömmer. So far, there have been no Covid 19 diseases in the ASB-Heim Karben.
In the facilities, all employees and physiotherapists are tested once a week, residents if they suspect. In addition, the Karben staff has been taking part in weekly hygiene training courses since April. Nursing manager and nurse Manuela Lachnit has been carrying out the tests in Karben since the beginning of December. Dominika Glender, the quality officer and deputy head of care, does this on the Heilsberg. In both facilities, the ban on visits continues to apply except for exceptional cases, which are then also tested. The test result is available after 20 minutes. But the two facility managers put the time required for the point-of-care (PoC) antigen tests at up to seven hours per week plus additional hours to disinfect everything afterwards.
The Altenzentrum Heilsberg works with temporary workers who support the 60 nursing staff. “We have not found any external staff with a doctor delegation for rapid tests,” says Uwe Brömmer. This is exactly how you get along with the staff “under the most difficult conditions”. This also makes Brömmer proud of its employees. “You lend a hand over a long period of time and adapt to new regulations at short notice,” he says.
Constant exchange with the carrier
The two porters, ASB and Diakonie, would have equipped the facilities well with material such as disposable gloves, protective gowns and shields, FFP2 breathing masks and rapid tests for one month each. In addition, online conferences with participants from business, facility and care service management have been held in the ASB facilities since March 2020. “This means that we are in constant contact and are up to date,” Ruffing informs.
The residents of old people’s and nursing homes are particularly at risk in the corona pandemic because of their old age and their often existing previous illnesses. For this reason, visiting bans, strict hygiene regulations and rapid tests are carried out in many facilities. The following applies to the Covid 19 vaccination: There is a voluntary vaccination offer, but no vaccination obligation. cf.