Lesson Three – Changes in Condition

Alright, let’s dive into the crucial aspect of reporting changes and conditions in our caregiving journey. Given the number of reports we handle daily, this function is a cornerstone in keeping the family and healthcare team updated on any real-time changes in a client’s condition—be it falls, pain, mobility issues, altered alertness, appetite shifts, or expressions of self-harm among others.

So, if you see a change in your client’s condition, what’s your next move? Please report any such change along with the details of your shift on your daily log.

In case of an emergency or an urgent scenario needing your supervisor’s guidance, don’t hesitate—give the office a call.

Onto reporting standards—always stay within the bounds of your profession. For instance, if a client is in pain, get them to rate their pain rather than making a subjective call. Sticking to the care plan is key, and if you have doubts please reach out.

Your care notes are more than just scribbles—they’re solid proof of your attendance. Mark them aptly to reflect whether tasks have been completed or not. Our scheduling team sifts through these logs daily, tweaking where necessary or providing coaching to PSWs if needed.

Life throws curveballs, and sometimes you might not make it to your shift. In such cases, a 24-hour notice is what we ask for, allowing our scheduler to find a replacement and keep the client informed. Here are some common reasons why PSWs might miss work:

Childcare hurdles
Family bereavement
Car breakdown

Now, on to changes in health conditions—these are shifts in a client’s health like loss of appetite, skin breakdown, change in vitals, sleep patterns, memory loss, or medication emergencies. Urgent scenarios such as a wandering and lost client or incidents like cuts, falls, or severe injuries necessitate immediate action. Reporting these to the office quickly is important.

We require PSWs to craft daily care logs through the Axis Care app before clocking out. This practice keeps us in the loop on the day’s happenings during your shifts, and these logs can morph into legal documents if needed for insurance or family documentation purposes.

Here is an example of a reporting template. Take a moment to pause the video and review.

Let’s consider a scenario: A concerned family member calls the nurse care manager about a client’s fall during a PSW’s shift, but there’s no note on the care log as the PSW wasn’t present at the time. How should the manager respond?

This shows the importance of keeping the office informed on any major incidents or accidents.

Call the office for any major incident. Whether be it a fall, accident, changes in the client’s condition a situation that requires attention or immediate assistance.

If you are in doubt or need to make a decision that can affect the client’s health status or your relationship with the client, please call us or send an email in real time.

Now, knowledge check:

The client had a fall and bleeding, what will you do?

What will you do if the client expresses his thoughts of self harm or suicidal ideation?