Enhancing Trauma-Informed Care in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Consultation Summaries,Trauma Informed Care

A vice president of recreation and life enrichment consulted the COE-NF to help improve the quality of care in 40 skilled nursing facilities across three states. The facilities’ representative recognized the impact of trauma on the mental well-being of the residents and noted that the facilities lacked a proper trauma-informed care approach.

UNIQUE CHALLENGES: During the initial meeting, the facilities’ representative expressed that some of her residents were struggling with the effects of trauma. The facilities were having difficulty obtaining beneficial resources to provide better trauma-informed care to these individuals.

COE-NF SOLUTION: The COE-NF team suggested trauma-informed care training for the staff. With direction from the facilities’ representative and input from a COE-NF subject matter expert, the COE-NF developed a two-part training program specifically designed for facility activity directors, who oversee the day-to-day recreational activities of all nursing home residents.

The learning objectives from the training program are listed below:

  1. Define trauma and its prevalence among nursing facility residents.
  2. Define trauma-informed care (TIC).
  3. Introduce the principles of TIC.
  4. Recognize triggers and signs of trauma in residents.
  5. Learn practical techniques/strategies for providing TIC in their daily interactions with residents.
  6. Develop personalized action plans to implement trauma-informed practices in their work.

OUTCOME/BENEFITS: Twenty-five activity directors across the organization took part in the training session, which was incredibly successful. There was high engagement and participation, and the participants showed a 36.35% increase in knowledge from the pre-test to the post-test. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive, with one person writing,

“We want to thank you for the valuable training on trauma-informed care. As activity directors, we work very closely with the residents on a daily basis, and the information provided will help us to better meet the needs of the residents who have been affected by traumatic situations in their past lives. We want to support the residents and avoid retraumatizing them. We will definitely put the tools you provided into practice.”

The representative’s active participation in the conversation proved highly effective. It increased her sense of involvement in the process and motivated the staff to engage more actively in the training.

the center of excellence for behavioral health in nursing facilities (COE-NF)

Established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in partnership with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the COE-NF offers Certified Medicare and Medicaid Nursing Facility Staff a centralized resource hub with easy access to trainings, technical assistance and additional resources, at no cost.

What We Do

We help nursing facilities to improve the quality of life and care provided for residents who are experiencing a variety of behavioral health disorders, with a focus on Serious Mental Illness (SMI), Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Co-Occurring Disorders (COD).

Who We Help

We provide direct technical assistance, evidence-based training, and resources that are appropriate for every member of your long-term care facility — from those providing day-to-day direct care, to clinical and administrative staff.