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Should nursing homes have behavioral health professionals on staff?

by | Jan 30, 2023 | Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

As the population of the United States continues to skew older, more people are paying attention to issues such as staffing shortages in nursing homes. While nearly everyone agrees that assisted living facilities should staff healthcare professionals such as nurses to take care of the physical needs of residents, people are less in agreement about whether or not professionals who specialize in fields such as mental and behavioral health should be available to residents as well.

Here are some of the benefits of Arkansas nursing homes employing behavioral health professionals.

They can give better diagnoses

Getting a correct diagnosis is imperative for older adults experiencing behavioral health issues. An incorrect assessment means that the patient will not receive the treatment that they need to manage or treat their condition. There are many accounts of incorrect diagnoses in nursing facilities where there are no behavioral health professionals.

They help address the whole person

Holistic care in nursing addresses the need to take care of not only the physical maladies of a person but their mental, emotional and behavioral health as well. While a nurse can do an outstanding job of caring for a person’s physical conditions, they may not have the training and skills needed to address any behavioral health issues that a patient might have, particularly if those issues are severe.

Nursing homes should have behavioral health professionals on staff to treat and manage conditions in which other staff members may not possess experience or expertise. This leads to better overall care for the patient.