The 41st Annual National Nursing Assistant Week will take place June 14-21, 2018. It allows medical professionals, patients, and their families to acknowledge and applaud Nursing Assistants across the country.
Nursing Assistants are vital in providing excellent health care. The National Network of Career Nursing Assistants states, "Each day, more than 4.5 million caregivers provide hands-on care to our nation's frail, elderly, or chronically challenged citizens in nursing homes and other long-term care settings."
Nursing assistants are front-line caregivers; they serve as the eyes and ears for the entire medical team. Because they spend nearly all of their time providing direct care, they are often the first to notice and report even a subtle change in a patient's condition.
They also build strong relationships with patients, who become comfortable discussing their feelings and concerns. Because of their wide range of training and experience, nursing assistants are able to adapt to the individual and changing needs of patients and their families.
Nursing assistants work in many settings; after training, they are welcomed in home health, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and clinics. They are skilled in observation, as well as, providing daily tasks for geriatric, chronically ill, or rehabilitation patients who cannot care for themselves. Many choose to work in the field of hospice care, assisting patients and their families during the end-of-life transition.
During National Nursing Assistant Week, the first day is always dedicated to Career Nurse Assistants, those who have worked for at least five years to help clients. In 2017, there were Career Nurse Assistants who had been making lives better for 61 years! In 2018, Career Nurse Assistants will be recognized on June 14.
William Painter, Past President of the Board of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants, encourages all nursing assistants to promote awareness about the true scope of the job and responsibilities of nursing assistants:
"What really changes things is when people come to a genuine understanding of the fundamental role that direct care workers have in creating quality in long term care in this country. Real change for the better only starts when people begin to understand the actual skills it takes to do this work.
The very best way for this kind of genuine recognition and real change to happen is for direct care workers to advocate for themselves! Direct care workers have to take it upon themselves to partner with public, state and federal government agencies, and, in particular, their elected officials about the nature of the work and what workers need to do the job right."
What can you do to promote your profession?
• Look for opportunities to speak or set up displays at your church, school, and senior centers.
• Join with your peers and ask your Mayor to sign a proclamation during National Nursing Assistant Week. Then, proudly hang it up where you work!
• Always speak respectfully and politely in every conversation with patients, families, co-workers, and people in the community.
• Continue to take classes and workshops on new topics so your knowledge is current. CNAClasses.us offers a variety of courses, in a convenient online format.
Please join us as we celebrate 2018 National Nursing Assistant Week. We want to acknowledge and honor each of you. Thank you for helping make lives better!
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