CNAs play a significant role in achieving healthy patient outcomes. The help they provide RNs and LPNs is extremely essential so that nurses can provide a higher level of care. Nursing aides give definition to the word ‘service’ with the care they provide their patients. Their strengths must be applauded and recognized.
1. Patience. CNAs are the epitome of patience in the health industry. You see them change their patient’s soiled undergarments only to know that after about half an hour, they need to change them again. Even when helping a patient with Parkinson’s disease get to the toilet and waiting for them to finish takes time, the nursing assistant waits patiently by the door.
2. Stamina. Nursing assistants are known for their above-average stamina. Their physical strength becomes apparent when they move patients about, lifting, turning and transferring them. You see nursing assistants running through the hallway, always on the move. Their average working hours are about ten hours a day, and sometimes, even their lunch breaks are taken away from them by their responsibilities. Not everyone is built to do the same tasks that they do. Nursing aides get tired of course, but their desire to serve others gives them that extra energy boost to finish their shift.
3. Compassion and empathy. Because nursing assistants spend the most time with patients or residents, they form an attachment to them. Their patient’s condition moves them, and the passing of their patient grieves them, too. CNAs understand that anyone can be vulnerable at any given moment, just like their patients, and they live humbly with that realization. Empathy makes a CNA especially aware of what their patients are feeling. Sometimes people they care for in the unit have lost their voice to disease, but with one look, the CNA knows that the patient is in pain. Their compassion and empathy make them outstanding advocates.
4. A rich source of patient data. CNAs spend a big chunk of their working hours caring for their patients at the bedside. Their observations are vital to the development of the health team’s care plan. Nurses rely on nursing assistants to take accurate data of the patient’s vital signs. The patient information that the CNA reports to the nurse regarding the patient’s urination and bowel movements or their intake and output, is very significant information that can guide or derail the results of the care plan. CNAs will know what confuses a patient with dementia and when the symptoms are worse. They also have a way to determine their patient’s preferences as well as their mood.
5. Determination. If there is one thing to be admired in CNAs, that would be their determination. Their ‘can do’ attitude makes them finish their tasks no matter what. They learn as quickly as they can to cope up with the demands of the job. A patient who refuses to eat is difficult to feed, but a nursing assistant’s determination sparks their creativity to encourage and successfully feed their patient.
The CNA’s contributions to healthy patient outcomes cannot be undermined. Their job is a very tough one at that, yet they continuously better themselves, and prove to the organization, that they are worthy of all the respect, and the appreciation of the patient, the patient’s family, and the rest of the healthcare team.
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