Professional Care Providers
It’s all about people
Professional care providers at all levels deliver vital care and help ensure a positive quality of life. In addition to physical assistance or medical attention, care providers offer compassion, companionship and comfort. Different types of care providers have different levels of education, training and experience. While qualifications are essential, bedside manner or soft skills are equally important considerations.
Your unique care needs may require the assistance of a certified nursing assistant (CNA), licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), therapist, dietitian, activities director or social worker.
Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) provide assistance with personal care needs, such as bathing, dressing and eating. Responsibilities may include activities such as changing linens or transporting a care recipient. CNAs are licensed and trained to work under the supervision of a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN).
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are certified professionals who have completed at least one year of post-high school education. LPNs often provide basic bedside care under the direction of a registered nurse (RN) or physician. Duties may involve monitoring vital signs, changing dressings or collecting samples for medical tests. Licensed practical nurses can also assist with personal needs, such as bathing, dressing and walking.
Registered nurses (RNs) provide medical care, education and comfort to patients. They have completed a nursing program and meet state licensing requirements. RNs are qualified to address an array of medical situations and administer medications and IVs. They may direct other medical providers, technicians or volunteers.
Therapists provide treatment to improve health conditions or prevent health issues. Therapists may specialize in a number of areas, such as occupational therapy (OT), speech therapy, physical therapy (PT) or infusion therapy. Hospice care therapists might focus on spiritual guidance or pain management. Therapists use different methods ranging from counseling to physical exercise. Education, training and licensing requirements vary.
Dietitians focus on healthy eating and proper nutrition. They prepare meal plans, offer nutritional guidance and oversee meal service or diet programs. Dietitians typically have at least a bachelor’s degree. Education, training and licensing requirements vary.
Skilled Nursing Care centers are not limited to medical professionals. A number of roles focus on social well-being and quality of life. Activities directors oversee events and activities in various assisted living care and Skilled Nursing Care settings. On-site opportunities may include entertainment, education and social interaction with other care recipients. External events can range from shopping to religious services.
A social worker in a Skilled Nursing Care center, also known as nursing homes, interviews center patients and their families and primarily is responsible for providing family crisis intervention and assisting families in understanding the implications and complexities of the medical or social situation and its impact on lifestyle. This kind of position requires a master's degree in social work and 2-4 years of experience in the field or in a related area.