My Admiral Nurse Journey - Autumn 2017 (part one)


Jakki Whitehead, an experienced care professional, is training to become one of dementia care’s ‘beacons of excellence’ – an Admiral Nurse. This blog follows her journey and thoughts….


My latest blog has a dual purpose:


1. To tell you about the importance of the relationship between the Training Coordinator and the Admiral Nurse in a nursing home setting.

2.  To introduce our Training Coordinator, Natalia, who will be writing an occasional blog for you in our Springhill Care Group Newsletter. 


Natalia has been working at Riversway for one year and over that time has really got to grips with the training programme; ensuring that our staff attend both mandatory courses as well as extracurricular training, both of which will improve the lives of our residents and make work more enjoyable for the staff members.  


When I asked her about the link between her role and dementia care she said: “Everything I do is linked to dementia.”


About 75 per cent of the residents at Riversway have dementia and a lot of the skills in good dementia care are the type of excellent care practices which we would want for all of our residents.


For example:

  • Good communication between carers and residents, carers and relatives and with the multi-disciplinary teams
  • Good person-centred care
  • Carers using empathy and compassion to be aware of residents’ thoughts and feelings.


However, Natalia also has to interpret some of the training received in order to make sure that it is relevant for our residents, with or without dementia.


Over the last year Natalia says that she has become aware that most generic training courses, such as moving and handling training, are too broad in their approach for a lot of our residents. This is something with which I have struggled for a number of years, attending courses but knowing that the techniques do not address the problems which are found every day on the floor in a dementia care area.


We agree that, with good communication between ourselves and also with input from staff on the floor, a balance can be found between legal and safe manoeuvres which can meet the individual needs of the residents.



In the nursing dementia environment at Riversway we find that the focus on person-centred and relationship-centred care enables us, as a staff group, to know the residents’ individual needs.


This means that if it has been seen that a carer is not using the best practise identified for that resident a quick word to Natalia or myself can help to direct training where it is needed, hopefully in a timely but sensitive manner for the carer; thus supporting both the resident and paid carer.


Our Assistant Nurse Practitioners and also the Dementia Champions are good at identifying and raising awareness of these needs which helps to flag up training gaps.


This does not always happen smoothly and there have been some steep learning curves over the last year but good, respectful communication amongst staff does help to achieve the desired outcome.



By Jakki Whitehead, Admiral Nurse, Riversway Nursing Home 


Click HERE to read Part two of my blog



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