Responding to Changes in Condition

A “change in condition” is any change noted to a resident’s physical, mental, emotional, or social functioning or any changes in needs.  Direct care staff are often the first to observe a change since they are caring for the resident continuously and are often more aware of subtle changes observed.

Responding to Changes in Condition:

  • Always follow your Community’s policy and procedures for how to report changes in condition.
  • Generally, when a staff person observes a change in condition, the nurse on duty (if applicable) or supervisor should be alerted.
  • If a nurse is available, he/she should perform an assessment. Depending upon the outcome of the assessment, 9-1-1 may be summoned and the resident’s physician may be contacted.
  • If a nurse is not on duty, a supervisor will determine if the resident’s physician and/or 9-1-1 should be contacted.
  • If a supervisor is not on duty, the responding staff person will determine if it is necessary to call 9-1-1.
  • Any change in condition should be reported to your supervisor and the resident’s physician, even if 9-1-1 has been called. Anytime you report a change in condition to the resident’s physician, be sure you receive instructions from the physician on how he/she wishes the reported change in condition to be treated.
  • The family or responsible party should be updated anytime a change of condition is noted in a resident. However, the family is NOT the first contact in an emergency nor can they give medical advice.

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