Here are some tips that will help you manage the night staff:
- Make sure that the staff is trained to meet night care demands: The night care needs of the residents are often very different from their daycare needs. It is important that the night staff is well-trained to fully address the needs of the residents in person-centred ways. There will be some residents who may require increased attention throughout the night while others may need help sometimes. The night staff should be able to prioritise and adapt as per the care requirements change.
- There should be a supervisor for compliance: Many care homes in the UK have a robust management presence in place during the day. However, the same cannot be said about the night. To ensure that night shift staff do not miss out on the guidance of an experienced supervisor, it’s always a good idea to have a manager or supervisor on duty at night. The presence of a supervisor will ensure better compliance.
- Carry out regular audits for the night shift: Quality audits must be carried out regularly to identify areas where care workers and care homes need to improve. Use audits not just to identify poor practices but also to highlight the best practices and share them across all the care workers.
As the clinical needs of residents in care homes are increasingly becoming complex, care homes need to adopt electronic medication system like eMAR at the workplace. The software performs a host of tasks – including documenting the administration of medication, sending alerts when medicines are due and recording carer’s notes. All this eliminates the need for filling up paper-based MAR sheets. As a care home manager, you can audit daily medication activities on a real-time basis even when you are not even physically present in the care home.
- Ensure work-life balance for the staff: Night shifts are very challenging and not every care worker can sustain it for a long time. Night shift workers have to fight fatigue and feelings of isolation as there are fewer people in the shift. Having a team meeting in the night can be a mood booster. Design the roster in such a way that once in a while night staff get to do day-time activities. To make night shift comfortable for your care workers, ensure that they get to take regular breaks. If you have a cafeteria for staff, make sure that it has healthy snacks available to keep the staff energised throughout the night.