“What does a nursing assistant do?” I asked 20 people on the street. Here are the most common responses:
- “They work in hospitals.”
- “They bring your meals when you’re in the hospital.”
- “What’s a nursing assistant?”
Truth is nursing assistants play a vital role in creating quality health care in this country and around the world. As members of an interdisciplinary medical team, they provide hands-on care that affirms the patient’s life and builds trust for the team. Nursing assistants are sometimes the first to recognize a potential problem and as such are the “eyes and ears” of the medical team. So, if someone asks you what a nursing assistant does, here’s what you can tell them:
- Provide or assist with patient bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, oral hygiene, mobility and skin, nail and hair care in a variety of settings from private homes to care facilities.
- Assist patient and family with safe administration of medications.
- Handle emergency and end-of-life situations.
- Provide companionship, camaraderie, comfort and caring.
- Assure patients have all the medical and personal care supplies they need.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) must also fulfill ongoing educational requirements and adhere to scope of practice regulations. They need great communication skills and must demonstrate at all times professionalism, integrity, courtesy, and compassion. At Heart ‘n Home, our patients and families not only rely on the expertise of our CNAs, we often hear that the CNA visit is the highlight of the patient’s day. Learn more about what the Hospice CNAs do for Heart ‘n Home patients and families.
Please join Heart ‘n Home June 13-20, 2014 in celebrating the 37th Annual Nursing Assistants Week. Let’s give recognition and praise to those whose hard work often goes unnoticed and under appreciated. If you haven’t already, chances are you will at some point interact with a nursing assistant, either as a patient or through a family member, and it will be a life-affirming experience.
“It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” Mother Teresa (1910-1997)