Retraining programme for Moscow’s nursing home staff

Employees of Moscow nursing homes will be retrained according to a new programme

Anna Bitova, the Chairman of the Board for the Centre of Therapeutic Pedagogy, spoke with news agency ASI to discuss whether the new programme will improve the situation in Moscow’s nursing homes.

13.08.2021 reported on the creation of the new training programme. The programme will be used to train full-time care givers in Moscow’s nursing homes (a position which has been permanently established in Moscow’s care homes since January 2021), as well as re-train those already working in such institutions. The programme was developed in a competence centre under the jurisdiction of Moscow’s Department of Labour and Social Security Protection.

Anna Bitova, the Chairman of the Board for the Centre of Therapeutic Pedagogy, maintains that training staff is a necessary step forward.

“Currently, most employees work according to an outdated system, and are permitted to do so until they leave. But these people are central to life on the wards of care homes. They are the ones who decide the fate and quality of life of patients,” says Bitova.

How the training is conducted

The training takes place in simulation classes. The teachers are clinical trainers from the competence centre, specialists with medical education and additional teacher training. They all have experience in the care and welfare sector.

“Since January 2021 we have stopped outsourcing, leaving only the best employees. Now, when hiring new specialists, if they do not have the necessary qualifications but would like to work with us, we are able to train them ourselves “, explained Anastasia Rakova, Moscow’s deputy mayor for Social Development. 

In total, around 3000 specialists will be trained. The training for the first groups has already begun.

What needs to be taught

“It is necessary to discuss with staff those things which seem natural to us. For example, before changing a patient, a screen needs to be put up. We also need to explain how to use modern care products. It is vital we impart the need to respect the patient, to emphasise that an elderly or disabled person is still a person nonetheless,” highlights Anna Bitova.

What else needs to be improved

One of the main problems is the lack of staff. According to data from the foundation Enjoyable Aging, some care departments in nursing homes have only one member of medical staff for 20-30 patients.  

“The number of personnel needs to increase. Moscow has the means to do this. The question is whether they will choose to spend the funds on the construction of new care homes, on increasing staff uptake, or on rehabilitating patients so they can leave the care home,” says one expert.

“Currently, we are creating a prison with golden bars. The more comfortable the care home, the more dangerous the situation is,” notes Anna Bitova.

Two thirds of care home residents do not require constant medical supervision. Therefore, we need staff who are able to rehabilitate the ward residents, to introduce them to the outside world, so that they can eventually leave the care home, explains Bitova.

Another area requiring improvement is prevention. There needs to be support for those who are receiving care at home, to allow them to remain in the comfort of their familiar surroundings, without increasing the workload of those inside the nursing homes.

There are currently 31 care homes in Moscow with around 8000 employees. This includes more than 3000 nursing assistants, more than 2000 nurses, about 500 doctors, and the same number of specialists in social rehabilitation.


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