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Using two way radios in care homes and other nursing settings

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Two way radios have many uses in a vast range of healthcare settings. In this article we will concentrate on the effect radios can have in the nursing home environment.

We have split this article into two sections. The first will focus on the radios features that make a real difference in the care home setting. The second provides you with a brief overview of how we can help work with small scale care operations (such as one carer) right up to a huge fully integrated operation (multi-site hospitals). We work with businesses of all different sizes so whether your care home is a small outfit or an extensive one we can work with you to discuss a solution.

A summary of some of the top radio tools for care homes

Emergency Features for staff and resident safety

Care homes can be a real ‘home away from home’ for residents and a fulfilling place to work. However, with the physical and mental complexities of your residents needs there will inevitably by times when healthcare or safety emergencies occur.

Below are three scenerios to demonstrate the use of radios in this case:

  1. A Healthcare Emergency

A nurse is with a resident when the patient becomes unwell. They don’t want to leave them as they need to perform first aid care but they need to alert staff for back up and may also need to call an ambulance. They use the emergency button on the radio instantly alerting other nurses for backup. Open Mic is another safety feature where no push to talk is required during emergencies so the nurse can communicate with others regarding location and status.This option can also be useful in a hospice or palliative care setting so the best possible end of life care can be provided.

  1. Managing Patient Aggression

Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s can feel confused or become threatened without warning and situations can go from a happy interchange between a nurse and resident to a dangerous situation very quickly. The carer can discreetly press a button without further escalating the situation to tell other staff members that they need support. This allows the team to consistently provide that patient and their family with the best possible care and maintain the safety of the patient and the staff members. In an emergency the Man Down feature on a radio can inform the team that the nurse is in real difficulty and can react quickly.

  1. For an Evacuation

A fire alarm may alert everyone to an emergency but can it tell you all the details? If a nurse has additional information, for example the location of the fire or a blocked exit, they can send an All Call message to all staff to alert them and carry out the evacuation more smoothly and quickly.

Communicating to different groups of people

Two nurses discussing communications

Depending on the size and type of care home there will be different groups of people who need to communicate. In smaller homes this may include direct care employees, managers, kitchen staff and cleaners and in larger settings other users may include security and porters.

Two way radios can be programmed with channels to allow different groups of people to talk amongst themselves without alerting others who don’t need/or aren’t privy to that information. For example, a security guard may need to communicate to a receptionist about a relative trying to enter the building or a resident trying to leave but doesn’t need to alert the whole team of direct care employees that aren’t in the reception area. A cleaning staff member may want to share a health and safety concern such as a broken chair. There may be a confidential piece of information required for care, such as a sensitive healthcare issue, that is only relevant to a specific nursing team and for safeguarding and dignity should be kept to the primary caregivers knowledge only.

Using radios can vastly increase productivity and efficiency using instant communication as well as improving standards of care.

We can provide solutions for 2 radios through to over 100 radios

Two radios – Zycomm recently provided a carer and their partner with two radios allowing the carer to receive instant communication from a different part of the house; increasing the quality of life for the carer and their partner.

A few radios – We can provide unlicenced PMR radios for effective indoor and outdoor communication where simplicity and cost effectiveness is key.

Several radios for different staff teams – If you’re a larger home with different staff teams such as security, cleaners and nurses we can provide licenced radios which talk on different channels so teams can share confidential and relevant information.

A full integrated system – We have provided radios and repeaters for full job management systems in large hospitals settings such as Leicestershire Hospital. If you have a very large care setting or want to look at multiple site communications, we can help you with this.

Things to consider when choosing your radio

We will guide you through the process to choose your perfect radio. We have 40 years experience and will talk you through the process making it a quick and enjoyable experience. Below are just some quick-fire things to consider in case you are interested in finding out more.

Here are some questions to ask yourself (or us!)

Do you need to keep your communication secure? If you don’t need to share sensitive details via radio then licence free can be a cost effective and useful option. However if you need to keep information private from other groups or other radio users a licence option may be preferable.

Do you prefer display functionality? If you want your staff to be able to share information without talking verbally and prefer the ‘feel’ of a mobile phone without the distraction and lack of security surrounding them a radio display model may be best for you.

We know care homes can range significantly from assisted living facilities to palliative dementia specialist and vary in every way. Speak to our team of experts today to find the right solution for you. Contact Our Team