Behind the Scenes at Stein Assisted Living: Nursing Department

behind the scenes at stein assisted living logo

The nursing department at Stein Assisted Living on the Wilf Campus for Senior Living provides individualized and attentive care to our residents, while working with our entire staff to keep our residents safe and happy. We spoke with Paula Royal, Director of Nursing and Tatiana Dudjakova, Assistant Director of Nursing, to get a behind the scenes look at how the department operates.

The nursing department at Stein Assisted Living consists of a team of 16 nurses (RNs and LPNs), and 25 certified nursing assistants (CNA) and certified home health aides (CHHA). Nursing staff is on site around the clock, with LPNs always on staff and an RN in the building or on-call 24/7. CHHAs and CNAs are also staffed in abundance, to assist with the activities of daily living.

two women, one standing, one sitting, posing for camera

(from left to right) Tatiana Dudjakova, Assistant Director of Nursing and Paula Royal, Director of Nursing at Stein Assisted Living, wearing red during American Heart Health Month

Our nursing staff begins building relationships with residents the moment that they join the community. In fact, a nursing assessment is completed before residents even move-in. Building relationships is a very significant part of successfully caring for the community.“Our team of nurses, certified home health aides, and certified nursing assistants go above and beyond in their efforts to keep our residents safe. Their daily actions demonstrate  how much they care for the residents, and are part of our  community”, said Jean Leone, Executive Director of Stein Assisted Living. With a person-centered approach, staff is able to care for each individual based on their own needs and learn enough about each person to be able to quickly identify any deviations from their baseline.

With the development of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, a number of changes were made in the typical day-to-day procedure. It’s been the nursing department’s duty to make sure that both staff and residents are educated on safe practices, for the greater good of the community. One major change was the introduction of weekly COVID-19 testing for both staff and residents.

“Although the idea of weekly testing was a little confusing for our residents in the beginning, things have gotten much better. Many of them were simply afraid at first and felt uncertain, but now it’s like second nature. They understand that this is an effort to protect each other, and they really want to do their part to maintain the safety of our community so that everyone can comfortably enjoy their favorite daily activities,” says Paula.

three women, wearing masks, waving at camera

Nursing staff enjoying time with a resident.

In addition to testing, the department has increased the number of staff working at any given time, so that resident symptoms can be more closely and frequently monitored. Staff is looking for typical symptoms associated with COVID-19 and other medical issues. However, they are also now keeping a diligent eye on signs of possible depression.

While activities have resumed in the community and family visitation is welcome, the reduced frequency of these events can still take its toll on older adults. Due to safety protocol, there is less social interaction than one may be used to. To be proactive, the nursing staff is trained to observe changes in appetite, sleep schedule and general behavior. Frequency of psychosocial visits have also increased, so that social workers and psychological professionals are able to screen residents and offer assistance should it be needed.

Keeping the community safe and healthy goes beyond the residents. The nursing administration also takes part in training and educating managers and staff in the different departments on site, through weekly meetings and other initiatives.

“We take pride in the fact that we have a family-oriented, caring staff here in our department, and throughout the community,” said Tatiana. “We’re lucky to have a great staff who really chips in and cares for our residents,” added Paula.

While this is all just a glimpse of the hard work that the nursing department at Stein Assisted Living does each day, it’s clear to see that dedication and care for the community is a driving force in its operation.

Stein Assisted Living is committed to providing personalized assisted living support in a pleasant, homelike environment to Jewish seniors and other older adults in central New Jersey. For more information on Stein Assisted Living and its services, please call 732-586-1155, email info@wilfcampus.org, or click the following link www.wilfcampus.org/assisted-living