Nurse Companionship Call Service

Posted
by viera101 (New) New

Nurse Companionship Call Services

  1. 1. Would you join a nurse companionship call service for lonely and stressed-out elderlies?

    • 1
      Yes, talk therapy is part of nursing.
    • 1
      No, not really.
    • 4
      Maybe, but I need to learn more about it.

6 members have participated

The aftermath of the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone's mental health, especially the elderly who had been left alone and isolated from their families and society. I wanted to see if there's a gap that can be filled through a companionship call service wherein the elderly don't have to use laptops or video calls to avail counselling from a licensed healthcare provider.

dream'n, BSN, RN

Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych. Has 29 years experience. 1,162 Posts

I would need to learn more about it. Is it companionship only? Like spending a day talking, going to the grocery, helping with cooking? If so, you wouldn't need a nurse but perhaps a home assistant. If it means counseling, then I think that should be having a MCSW or LPC. I have a family member that provides counseling therapy and trust me, she knows so much more than I do as a RN in providing mental health care, even after me working in psych for a few years previously.  My family member is trained in so many different psychological treatments (many that I've never heard of) and has certificates in these types of treatments. 

I would need to learn more about it. Is it companionship only? Like spending a day talking, going to the grocery, helping with cooking? If so, you wouldn't need a nurse but perhaps a home assistant. If it means counseling, then I think that should be having a MCSW or LPC. I have a family member that is licensed and provides counseling therapy and trust me, she knows so much more than I do as a RN in providing mental health care, even after me working in psych for a few years previously.  My family member is trained in so many different psychological treatments (many that I've never heard of) and has certificates in these types of treatments. 

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 20 years experience. 3 Articles; 4,366 Posts

Like @dream'n I would have to know more. There are many lonely Seniors out there now just as there always has been. If you are talking about help with light house work, food prep, visits to Drs and general companionship it's a great idea but at the end of the day most of the nurses I know are so burnt with compassion fatigue they really have nothing left to give or what precious personal time they have is used on their own errands, families etc....

The idea of nurses or anyone untrained in psychotherapy providing counseling scares me. One can do a lot of damage if they don't know what they are doing. I have been a psych nurse for twenty years but maintain a boundry between therapy and therapeutic communication. If they truly trying to provide psychological counseling, something you are required to use your license for and something goes wrong you could face BON censure, lose your license or even worse face criminal charges.  Wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole.

Hppy

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 1,784 Posts

On 3/5/2022 at 2:18 PM, viera101 said:

through a companionship call service wherein the elderly don't have to use laptops or video calls to avail counselling from a licensed healthcare provider.

Yes! in Illinois we have the warm line as I linked above. The vetted, degreed  counselors are an ear to listen.  No psychotherapy, no physical presence, just a service to say "I hear you"

viera101

5 Posts

Hi thank you all for your responses. I appreciate them! Yes, it's just a companionship phone call for low-medium stresses but with nurses instead of certified home assistants since sometimes patients do talk about their meds or conditions which nurses have basic knowledge of. So not really a mental health crisis hotline either.

Also, psychologists or counsellors usually have bundled sessions (6-12 sessions) which can be too pricey for patients who would just need an hour or so to talk about their day twice a month or whenever they feel like it. (Although some counselling sessions are covered by insurances for up to 15 sessions/year only.) 

Anyways, with what has happened these past few years, there's a sharp incline in mental health, but maybe nurses can address the low stressors such as loneliness, uncertainty, & isolation, within our scope of practice of course, to help unburden the other mental healthcare professionals in this field. And if the nurse assesses that the patient needs further assistance, they can be referred to a licensed counsellor within the area. 

Counselling can be expensive for some and free counselling can take awhile to schedule. The warm line is a great resource but I'm not sure if other states have it too. (Is it just certified support specialists only?)

So why not nurses?  There's many of us and we can be utilized this way without overstepping our scope. I know nurses are burnt out at the end of the day but I'm thinking that this companionship phone call can be like a part time gig, or for new graduates, or for nurses in between jobs. 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 1,784 Posts

1 hour ago, viera101 said:

The warm line is a great resource but I'm not sure if other states have it too. (Is it just certified support specialists only?)

From what I hear from my friend employed as a "Warm Line Counselor." There are at least 6 of them, very busy all day. Each phone call can last at the most 20 minutes. Most callers are daily recipients. My friend explained how they offer support to say some with depression who does not want to get out of bed or shower. She talked to her every day..1) get your towels out, 2) put your shampoo and soap in the shower, 3) get into the shower. Sometimes this activity can take 2-3 days but it does get done with a lot of coaching. 

Another example, was a spouse hoping a wandering/divorcing spouse to come back. Lots of talk about the reality of this in a conservational tone. 

I can admit I could not do this job, day after day, the the counselors are dedicated.

John2018

Specializes in Occupational Health Nursing. Has 4 years experience. 102 Posts

This job is not for all, you really need to be careful and knowledgeable of the therapeutic communication and flow of conversation.