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Hamaspik’s Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) Approved for Community Nursing Tasks

On Dec. 4, 2017, a brief e-mail from the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) to Hamaspik of Rockland County greenlighted the agency’s new level of care for people with disabilities.


The e-mail, from OPWDD Standards Compliance Analyst Ellie Smith, confirmed that Hamaspik of Rockland County was approved to provide community delegated nursing services.


In plain English, that means that Hamaspik’s DSPs are now allowed to do certain medical care procedures on individuals with disabilities that otherwise only a nurse is allowed to do.


To allow them to do so, though, the agency employing the DSPs must have a detailed written plan in place.


The plan requires an agency registered nurse (RN) to review the medical needs of the individual(s) in question, and then select and train DSPs in the involved medical procedures.  Once the nurse oversees the DSP(s) satisfactorily performing the procedure(s) in question and signs off on it, the DSP is good to go.


The approval is important because it grants considerable medical authority to Hamaspik DSPs who support individuals in non-certified community settings—in plain English, meaning supermarkets, doctors’ offices, day trips or locations otherwise outside of Hamaspik facilities. 


The OPWDD’s community delegated nursing services provision grants considerably more freedom and flexibility to the Hamaspik DSPs out in the field on the front lines of care. 


Without the approval, DSPs would have to summon an on-call agency RN in the event of any minimal medical need that requires professional know-how.


But with the new approval, duly trained DSPs at Hamaspik of Rockland County’s popular and successful After-School Respite (ASR) program, for example, can now change a non-sterile dressing or even provide basic respiratory care for the boys and girls they support every day.


The approval is also sure to build on Hamaspik’s existing track record of compliance, with the agency’s residential and day program DSPs fully versed in all current rules and regulations.


The approval just makes their excellent work a little easier to do.