Are Your CNAs In the Know about Sexual Harassment?

Regardless of your political leanings, there is no denying that the current presidential election has brought the issue of sexual harassment to the forefront.  As healthcare professionals, we know that sexual harassment is an important topic, mandated as part of every employee’s training by the Joint Commission, OSHA and state regulations.

Still, it seems as if most women (and some men) have at least one story to tell about a time they were sexually harassed.  Mine occurred many years ago, when, as a 22-year-old college senior, I landed an internship at a well-regarded children’s hospital.  Back then, parents weren’t allowed in the pre-operative area, so my role was to stay with the children and tend to their physical and emotional needs prior to surgery.

One day, as I was comforting a seven-year-old boy who was frightened about his imminent operation, the anesthesiologist assigned to his case came up to the boy’s stretcher.  Loudly enough for the patient to hear, he said to me, “I sure wish you’d hold my hand, lean over me, and talk softly like that…but I’d want you to loosen another button or two on your blouse.”  His words shocked me; I blushed, feeling both embarrassed and angry, but kept my attention on my young patient.

Later that day, I told my supervisor what had happened.  In turn, she relayed the episode to the Chief of Surgery, who asked to meet with me.  He apologized on behalf of the department and said that the offending anesthesiologist would also apologize.  I was told that he had been reprimanded both verbally and in writing in his personnel file.  Soon after, the anesthesiologist did apologize.  He kept his distance for the remainder of my internship and I suffered no repercussions from reporting the harassment.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if I would have been so quick to report the incident had I been an employee at the hospital (instead of an unpaid intern).  Would I have potentially jeopardized my job and/or risked escalating the problem by reporting a man with whom I would have to work, day after day, month after month?  I’d like to think the answer is “yes,” especially because the physician’s offending behavior happened in front of a scared child whose life was soon to be in his hands.  But, of course, I’ll never know for sure.

Do your nurse aides understand what constitutes sexual harassment and how to respond if it happens to them?  Is “locker room talk” okay because it’s just words?  What types of actions are considered sexual harassment?  What if the offender is a person of power in your workplace?  What if the offender is a patient?

If your nurse aides could benefit from a better understanding of this important issue, consider our inservice, Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.  It answers all of these questions, and more.  And, because it is such a critical topic these days, we are offering it at a 25% discount now through November 11th.

Sexual Harassment in the WorkplacePlease note that while the inservice was written for nursing assistants and provides them with one hour of inservice credit, the information in the module would be useful for any and all of your employees.

Best wishes,


Linda H. Leekley BS, RN, President, In the Know


Are Your CNAs Prepared for the Diabetes Epidemic?

Diabetes is an epidemic.  That’s not news.  But have you seen the latest global statistics? 

  • Someone dies from diabetes every six seconds.
  • Diabetes kills more people every year than HIV, tuberculosis and malaria combined. 
  • And, in just one generation, the number of cases of type 2 diabetes has exploded. In 1985, there were “only” 30 million people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  That jumped to 415 million in 2015.  And, if nothing changes, the projection is that there will be 642 million type 2 diabetics by 2040.
  • Most countries are spending as much as 20% of their healthcare budget on diabetes.  Twenty dollars out of every $100 on just ONE disease!

It’s clear that we are not winning the battle against this preventable condition.  No doubt, every healthcare organization–including yours–has clients who are dealing with type 2 diabetes.  And, chances are that you also have employees who have diabetes…or are pre-diabetic.

When it comes to diabetes, knowledge is power.  In the Know inservice modules give your aides the tools they need  to help clients control their diabetes.  Here’s what one nurse manager had to say:

“After completing the ‘Understanding Diabetes’ inservice, one of our home health aides recognized the signs of hypoglycemia and impending insulin shock in her client. She called EMS and literally saved the client’s life because of the information she learned from In the Know!”       ~Tamika Y., Generations Solutions

Here are some inservice modules that can help keep your nurse aides “in the know” about the diabetes epidemic and how to prevent it:

Understanding Diabetes

Understanding Blood Sugar

Basic Nutrition & Hydration

Nutrition for Diabetic Clients

Personal Wellness for Nurse Aides

Working with Non-Compliant Clients

Cooking for Your Clients

As healthcare professionals, we need to take the lead in educating people about the effects that nutrition and lifestyle choices contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. And that includes educating ourselves and our employees.  

If you have an idea for an inservice related to diabetes that you would like us to add to our library, please let us know.  All of us at In the Know are committed to doing our part to turn the tide against this rising epidemic.  We look forward to your feedback!


17 Facts about In the Know CNA Inservices

THANK YOU!! Because of you, we’ve been a leading provider of CNA and HH inservices for 17 YEARS! It’s been our mission from day one to offer cost-effective inservice training without sacrificing quality.  Your nurse aides work hard every day and deserve exceptional continuing education to help them succeed! Scroll down for seventeen facts about In the Know!

17 Facts about In the Know!

  1. CNAs, home health aides and other frontline caregivers remain our sole focus. Why? Because they deserve our undivided attention.  And, because nursing assistants play a crucial role on the health care team yet they have the least amount of pre-employment education of any clinical employees. Effective continuing education is crucial for their professional growth!
  2. In 1998, Handwashing was our first topic. Now, our library exceeds 200 modules. And, new topics are added monthly!  Here are our latest offerings.  Do you have a new topic suggestion?  Click here to tell us what topic you’d like to see in our library!
  3. A 60 day guarantee has been in place since our first day in business.  We believe in our product.  If your are unsatisfied for any reason, we offer a 60 day money back guarantee.  Just ship all of the materials back to us and we will offer you a full refund.
  4. Our “Classic” format was introduced in 1998 and is still our bestselling format!  Initially, it was offered in paper format only. Over time, based on your feedback, we added different delivery formats. Keep reading for more info…
  5. Floppy disk was our second format offering.  Of course, over the years, that evolved into CD Format! Having a CD filled with inservice PDFs keeps your files together in one place and allows you to print topics at will.
  6. About ten years ago, we added the option of email delivery.  Email format is perhaps our most convenient choice, and perfect for organizations who need materials quickly. Your inservice purchases are sent to the one email address of your choice.  Educators may then save the files to a computer for future use!
  7. Some customers still choose our original “Paper” format.  With paper format, a master copy of each inservice is sent, already printed and assembled within a clear plastic binder sleeve.  It is then the educator’s responsibility to photocopy the modules for their nurse aides–and to maintain that master paper copy. Generally, paper format is chosen only by organizations who do not have easy access to a computer.
  8. Based on your feedback, we added E-Learning to our offerings.  In the Know introduced a brand new E-Learning program within the last couple of years.  Your CNAs can complete inservices on our website. Educators can track each nurse aides’ progress to ensure that everyone is up to date!  Check it out here.
  9. Registered Nurses continue to write all In the Know inservices. Our team of writers have experience in home care, hospice, long-term care, hospital nursing, healthcare management and staff development. They perform extensive research to make sure each inservice contains the most recent information. We choose our inservice topics based on suggestions from customers as well as current “hot issues” in medicine, Medicare and JCAHO.
  10. In the Know maintains an Advisory Board consisting of registered nurses, human resource professionals and desktop publishing experts. In addition, we regularly solicit and encourage feedback from all our customers.
  11. In 1999, we began offering a free sample module on our website.  Today, you can still try us for FREE!  If you haven’t tested our inservices with your nurse aides yet, why wait any longer?  Right now our topic “How to Prioritize Your Work” is free and ready to download.  Just pick your format (or try them both!): Classic or E-Learning.
  12. Our goal has always been to keep CNAs in the know.  Periodically, we create free Fact Sheets.  You can find a number of these free ‘fact sheets’- 2 page info sheets spotlighting important and timely topics–on our website.  See the list of titles here.
  13. Our prices have been stable for more than a decade–so that we can offer your facility a cost-effective inservice program. For 17 years, our mission has been to meet the learning needs of your paraprofessional staff, encourage their critical thinking and professionalism, and save you valuable time and money.  We offer several different inservice plans- such as our bestselling GOLD Plan which offers your aides 13 hours of inservice credit!  Compare plans here.
  14. Clients like you tell us repeatedly that we provide great customer service! If you have any questions or comments about In the Know, please feel free to contact us at 877-809-5515 and one of our friendly associates will be happy to help.
  15. In 2012, In the Know published a book!  And that book became the basis for our Civility Training Program, an important tool to help you rid your workplace of incivility. The Joint Commission recommends education for all healthcare staff members on appropriate professional behavior. This program–complete with our book, ‘The Real Healthcare Reform‘ is the answer to that recommendation.
  16. In the early 2000′s, we began serving organizations with more than one physical location.  We offer significant discounts when you purchase materials for more than one office. Our Director of Corporate Relations, Maria Easton, is happy to answer any questions you may have about this program.  Or, contact her for your free consultation today! Click here to send her an email!
  17. In the Know keeps things current! We review and update our topics every two years. When an inservice is found to be out-of-date, our writers update the topic with at least 25% new information, a new quiz, new discussion questions and activities. If you are interested in purchasing updated inservices to titles you already own, call us and we’ll give you 50% off!  When you sign up for our Platinum Plan, you will receive these updates for FREE.
Thanks again for allowing us to meet the learning needs of your nurse aides–and, in turn–to make your job easier!  Our first customer in 1998 was a skilled nursing facility in Mississippi and, 17 years later, that facility remains a loyal customer.  That means more to us than we can express!
We appreciate all our customers–whether you are new to us or you have been with us for years. Should you have questions, comments or other feedback for us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


CNAs on TV!

Shelly Sun, CEO of BrightStar

Shelly Sun, CEO of BrightStar

Did you happen to see Undercover Boss on CBS this past Sunday?  That’s the show where executives from large companies go incognito in their own businesses.  They do it to learn firsthand how their employees really feel about working for them.  It’s always interesting, but this week’s episode revolved around BrightStar, a nationwide company that offers home care, child care and health staffing.

The CEO of BrightStar, Shelly Sun, disguised herself and shadowed several BrightStar Caregivers in different areas of the country.  One was a certified nursing assistant, Arlene, who had been assigned temporarily to a nursing home in California.  Arlene represented CNAs quite well, performing her job with warmth, sensitivity and professionalism.  She was honest with “Linda” (Shelly’s alter ego) about the pros and cons of the job, while always maintaining a positive attitude.

The hour-long show also showcased Caregivers in home health, assisted living and child care.  It was so good to see health care workers on television doing what they do in real life–rather than the fictionalized stereotypes we see so often.  You know what I mean…those shows where all the health care workers forget about their patients and spend their time “making whoopee” in the supply closet!

So, a big thank you to CBS for showcasing health care workers in such a good light.  All of us at In the Know send a heartfelt congratulations and shout out (Woo Hoo!) to Arlene for her dedicated work as a nursing assistant.  And, we are proud to be the CNA inservice provider chosen by BrightStar to serve all of their locations nationwide.

If you missed Undercover Boss with BrightStar, you can watch it on the CBS website.  You can also see more of Shelly’s thoughts about her experience here.

Home Care Rising to the Top

Twenty years ago, when I worked at Duke University Medical Center, I remember clearly how some of my co-workers viewed their colleagues in home care.  I was precepting a newly hired nurse to our oncology unit.  A number of the “old timers” on the unit whispered to me, “Good luck training her!  She doesn’t have any skills…she’s been working as a home health nurse!” The general consensus seemed to be that home care was the “red-headed stepchild” of the health care industry.

Things have definitely changed!  Home care has now taken the lead as the fastest growing sector of the health care industry.  Here are some statistics to prove it:

  • According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the number of patients needing home care after hospitalization is up by a whopping 70 percent!
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 22 percent employment growth through 2018 for health care in general, but home health jobs are expected to increase by more than 46 percent.

Many of those job openings will be for home health aides.  As home care agencies struggle to fill positions, it will be more challenging than ever to develop and maintain a team of top-notch HHAs.  That’s where In the Know can help.  With more than 140 topics, we’ve got an inservice that addresses nearly any issue that might arise for your home health aides.  If you would like assistance in putting together either an orientation program for newly hired aides or a continuing education program, please give us a call.

Oh…and my colleagues at Duke were wrong.  That former home health nurse did just fine on the unit!  And, a couple of years later, I moved on from the hospital to work in home care myself.

Congratulations to home health for finally being recognized in the media as such an important part of our health care system.  And, a big thank you to all you home health nurses and aides out there for the vital work you do!