Skilled nursing facilities, or nursing homes, are the healthcare alternative for the elderly who need constant medical care. In the nursing homes, people of senior age are provided with qualified medical care, the state of their health is monitored by nurses and doctors, and besides, the elderly are provided with some daily activities, appropriate for their health state. The nursing homes all over the state are financed from federal funds, and to receive the money, they need to keep within several laws, which were adopted to protect the elderly. Aiming to protect the elderly from abuse in the skilled nursing facilities, there were designed and adopted more than one hundred fifty regulations, both on the federal and state levels. The US Code states that there has to be the appropriate number of nurses, which are ready to help every person; if there is not, the nursing home is to pay a fine of $483. Besides, all the nursing facilities in a state have to prove their ability to work independently. The state laws determine that a nurse in skilled nursing facilities has to prevent health problems, which means: helping the old people to eat, take bath, communicate, encourage them for some action, for example trying to take care of themselves, and help when a resident is not able to do that on his or her own. The nurse has to create the health care plan for every resident, which will help the other nurses to understand the abilities and needs of a resident. It is required for a nurse in a nursing home to be healthy, which means not to have any infections, sores, or injuries. Besides, it is prohibited for a nurse to verbal abuse an elderly resident, especially, about the bladder function of a resident. This may lead to fines and losing of state license for a nurse. One of the main requirements for skilled nursing facilities is being well provided with medications; medical care should be on a high level to keep the residents healthy. To provide the residents with proper medical care, and to communicate with them, some theories of communication are applied. To understand which theory may be applied the best, one should distinguish six basic principles of nursing:
- Promotion of healthful living;
- Prevention of health problems;
- Treatment of disorders;
- Research.” (Theories Applied in Community Health Nursing, n.d.)
The most appropriate theory is the theory of administrative behavior, designed by Herbert Simon. The main idea of the theory is an “administrative man”, who follows his interests, but does not know what it means and knows just few possible decisions and is ready to alter his interests for seeking the optimal solution. He divided people into two categories, according to the kind of decision a person makes. There are low category people, who make decisions, asking the question “how” and emphasizing the factual component; opposite to them is those who emphasize the value component and asking question “what” while making a decision. Though, it depends not on a person, but on a kind of choice of the goal, whether it is an order or a consensus. Herbert A. Simon divides decisions, made by a person, into two categories: decisions which are made by a person who wants to leave or enter a particular organization and decisions, made by a person, who is a participant.
“Organizations simplify decisions and support participants in the decisions they need to make. Organizations simplify decisions by restricting the ends toward which activity is directed. Goals supply the value premises that underly decisions. Value premises (assumptions of desirable ends ) are combined with factual premises to make decisions. The more precise the value premises, the greater effect they have on decisions.”
This theory may be successfully applied into managing of, and working in, a nurse home, mostly because the nurses have to be communicative with residents, offer them help. The main idea of skilled nurse facilities is to make the elderly not to become frustrated, alone, to take care of them and help living, even though they have health problems. In his book Herbert A. Simon states that making decisions is “the heart of administration and that the vocabulary of administrative theory must be derived from the logic and psychology of human choice” (Simon, 85). Therefore, one may conclude that those who want to help people, become nurses in skilled nursing facilities, and are eager to halp the elderly. That is why it is necessary for them to now the basis of the administrative behavior theory to make their help more effective. Nurses should be taught this theory, because it will help not only them, but also residents to communicate, which, in turn, will help them to understand each other better and to cure and be cured.