Tuesday, March 06, 2012
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Christian Village pioneers use of nurse practitioner

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[March 06, 2012]  The Christian Village is pioneering a new approach to keeping nursing home residents healthier -- by having a nurse practitioner on staff.

Residents are arriving at nursing homes sicker than ever -- with conditions that used to require longer hospitalizations, according to Dr. Mark Canty, medical director at The Christian Village. It's critical for these residents to have ready access to medical care, he noted.

HardwareNurse practitioner Jennifer Scales began treating residents at The Christian Village this week. She evaluates residents' medical conditions, prescribes drugs and writes orders.

Scales earned her MSN as a family nurse practitioner from Southern Illinois University. She has experience as a nurse practitioner working in the cardiac care unit at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.

Although having a nurse practitioner on staff is common in other parts of the country, it is rare in the Midwest, Dr. Canty said. The Christian Village is the only nursing home in Lincoln with one.

Receiving prompt care from a physician or nurse practitioner has always been a challenge for nursing home residents. They've either had to travel to their doctor's office -- despite their weakened condition -- or wait for the doctor's monthly visit to the home.

Scales sees residents at the Christian Village every Tuesday, and Canty sees them on Thursdays. This allows residents to have their medical problems addressed quickly. Having a relationship with residents also allows Scales and Canty to see subtle changes in their health, which helps in diagnosing problems more quickly

"This keeps residents healthier, because their illnesses don't get out of hand," explained Canty. "We can nip problems in the bud."

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The Christian Village offers skilled nursing care, including short-term rehabilitation, respite care, hospice care and the Haven Center Memory Care Unit. Garden homes and apartments also are available for independent older adults.

The Christian Village is one of the 14 senior living communities of Christian Homes Inc., the second-largest not-for-profit long-term health care provider in the U.S., with campuses in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.

[Text from file received from The Christian Village]

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