A book for the long-term caregiver intent on improving

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James M. Berklan, McKnight's Editor
James M. Berklan, McKnight's Editor

Frosini Rubertino is not your typical registered nurse. She has taken on the task of teaching, coaching and generally improving the care that long-term care staff members deliver. She does it earnestly and creatively between the covers of her book, “Carmelina — Essential Nursing Systems for Long-Term Care.”

She tells you in the very first sentence of the foreword that Carmelina is a fictional character inspired by a treasured Greek great-aunt of another name. “We all know a Carmelina,” she points out. Thus, the stake is created for caregivers' emotional and academic attachment.

"Carmelina" is filled with regulatory information and advice, as well as loads of personal observations and recommendations. Rubertino has been a consultant, educator and regulatory specialist and she holds back nothing.

She calls the 138-page self-published book “admittedly self-indulgent,” but it is clear that any over indulgences are clearly borne of love for her profession.

Her plea is for providers to create person-directed nursing systems. The key is keeping the consumer/resident the focus of all that is done. It is admittedly not an easy task, but one that must be pursued, she points out.

Her “15 House Rules for Great Customer Service” (page 27) should be pin-up material in every long-term care employee lounge. The clincher, at No. 15, grabs the reader by the lapels and shakes: “Never blame others when someone complains. It only shows lack of accountability.”

She is certainly a caregiver's advocate. But she also makes it clear that she wants to be speaking up for honorable, earnest colleagues.

“I challenge you [the reader] to be courageous enough to be influential,” she writes. “Influence others to care enough about people, care enough about their reputation, care enough to be part of the solution, and to care enough to do the right thing.”

Rubertino has done her part with “Carmelina.”

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editor's Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor on Monday and Friday; Staff Writer Tim Mullaney on Tuesday, Editor James M. Berklan on Wednesday and Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman on Thursday.


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