Staff Spotlight on Laura Smith

Laura Smith, DON
Laura Smith, DON

Laura Smith has joined Barclay Friends as Director of Nursing after serving for almost six years at another continuing care community, first as Charge Nurse, then as Nursing Supervisor.

A Neumann University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Laura already has exhibited her ability to implement best practices at Barclay Friends. Her first effort was to remove all bed and chair alarms from the health care center to increase what the health care community refers to as “purposeful rounding,” and as a result, decrease falls.

“There has been a great deal of research that concludes that alarms do not prevent falls in long-term care and, in fact, can contribute to falls,” she says. “Alarms can cause increased agitation in older adults who may already be experiencing confusion.” Laura says that residents may not understand what the alarms are for, and that a resident awakened by a bed alarm may think it’s an alarm clock—meaning it’s time to get out of bed and ready for work.

Purposeful rounding focuses on five resident safety concerns and on anticipating residents’ needs. These hourly visits help to ensure that residents are safe, comfortable and feel in control of their surroundings.

This approach mirrors a Kendal value—practiced at Barclay Friends—that encourages the involvement of all staff members in resident care. Smith’s supervisory experience and clinical expertise is a valuable addition to the Barclay Friends team.