Did you know that, for many nursing assistants, their number one complaint about work is that they don’t feel appreciated? There’s an easy fix for that. On our sister blog, Embracing Civility, we’re offering a simple template for some cute “thank you” cards that you can download. Try printing them on thick paper or card stock. Then, on the back, jot down some words of appreciation for each of your nursing assistants. Here are a couple of ideas:
Praise a CNA for his or her outstanding patient care.
Give kudos to an aide who embodies the spirit of teamwork.
Let a nursing assistant know that you recognize improvement, especially if it’s an issue for which you had to counsel the person.
Acknowledge loyalty for those CNAs who are longtime employees.
Once you’ve readied your cards, think of creative ways to give them out, such as:
Hide the thank you card between pages of inservice handouts.
Slip it in with the person’s paycheck.
Put the card on the employee’s clipboard when his or her back is turned.
Tape a card to a piece of equipment that you know that person will be using soon.
Of course, you can also simply hand it to the employee! The important thing is to show your appreciation. By taking the time to show your gratitude, you’ll help to combat one of the main “gripes” of all nursing paraprofessionals–regardless of their work setting.
The dictionary defines compassion as “a deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve that suffering.” So, for someone to be compassionate, he or she must be able to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, AND act on his or her desire to lessen that person’s suffering or unhappiness.
It can be hard to always know whether or not your nurse aides act in a compassionate manner while on the job. That’s why it’s so important to encourage compassionate behavior. By studying our newly added inservice called “The Caring Qualities of a CNA,” your nurse aides will learn everything they can do to have more empathy, compassion, patience, dedication and respect for their clients.
A Peek Inside the Inservice:
Whether or not you can TEACH compassion is a question that is hard to answer. However, as a nurse educator, you can ENCOURAGE your nurse aides to be more compassionate. Try sharing the following tips with your CNAs:
Remember to put your clients’ needs before your own.
Treat people fairly and with respect and dignity.
Show kindness without expecting rewards.
Get to know your clients.
Comfort your client’s family members who may be stressed and/or grieving.
Be sensitive and allow people to vent their frustrations.
Listen when people confide in you.
Be friendly to any new co-workers who seem to be overwhelmed.
Help a co-worker without being asked.
Try to understand someone you don’t like or with whom you disagree.
Accept people for who they are–faults and all!
Click here to see a sample page of “The Caring Qualities of a CNA.”
We all know that ongoing education leads to reduced turnover and greater job satisfaction. Not to mention that
Do your CNAs retain knowledge from inservices?
continuing education is a yearly requirement for nurse aides! But, how do you know the information you provide to your nurse aides “sticks?” Here are some staggering statistics regarding adult learning retention. Over a period of three days:
Adults retain 10% of information that is read
Adults retain 30% of information that is seen
Adults retain 50% of information that is seen and heard
Adults retain 90% of information that is said and done (applying learning to real life situations)
Many factors affect adult learning retention including age, level of prior education and motivation. In some of our previous posts, we have given you ideas on how to motivate your nurse aides by keeping education fresh and interesting. Below are some additional strategies your organization can take with continuing education to ensure that your nurse aides actually retain the information you are giving them.
Touch upon a medley of learning styles – As you know, our inservices may be used in a group setting or as self-study modules. If you choose self-study, perhaps get the group in a few times a year to interact in team activities.
Encourage nurse aide participation – If using the self-study option, set aside time to address any questions your nursing assistants may have regarding the inservice material. If using group participation, use real-life situations, etc. to stimulate discussion.
Use variety – Adding visual aides to reading material, such as PowerPoints, greatly enhances learning retention.
Use active learning – Group discussions and activities, problem solving activities that involve critical thinking skills, games, etc. all lead to greater learning retention.
Review job performance – Check for retention by making sure your caregivers are applying what they have learned to their responsibilities. Give continuous feedback and address any issues as they arise.
What do you do to make sure your nurse aides retain the information you share with them? Please share any tips and suggestions with us. We would love to hear from you!
As you are well aware, a nurse aide’s job can be quite stressful. Being on the frontlines of client care is tough! Most nursing assistants are not fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead on a daily basis. As a result, job burnout and quick turnaround of CNAs are very real problems being faced by many administrators.
One way to help reduce the stress felt by your nurse aides is to implement a relaxed (but professional) continuing education program. Here are some ideas for doing just that:
Home Study…Having the flexibility to study the material from the comfort of home is a great option. With In the Know inservices, you have the freedom to make as many copies as you need (within your single facility) of the inservice topic. You can send the learning materials home with your aides. (If you have email addresses for your CNAs, you can also simply email the “learner’s section” of the inservice to each of them.) All you’ll have to do is grade and file their quizzes! This method allows your CNAs to complete their necessary continuing education at their own pace.
Grab a Partner…Allow your aides to partner up (or assign them a study partner). Most of the time, having to work with someone else creates a higher sense of accountability. Working as partners also fosters teamwork, promotes problem-solving skills and gets your CNAs talking amongst themselves about the learning materials. They can think out loud, share ideas and learn from one another.
Take It As It Comes…Another idea is to create a library of inservices that is accessible to your CNAs during their work hours. Develop a “sign up sheet” (or use the one provided by In the Know). Then, allow your nurse aides to complete the inservices at work “on the clock” as time allows. Not only will you have more time for other aspects of your job, but your aides will feel like they are in control of their own learning.
With a flexible inservice plan, you’ll head off burnout and CNA turnover at your workplace. For more information, give us a call at 877-809-5515.
Do you have any different methods for inservicing your CNAs that you’d like to share? We would love to hear them!
Lack of support has often been cited as a major factor in the turnover of nurse aides. One way your organization can reduce the crushing expense of nurse aide turnover is to implement a quality inservice program. Think about this…….it costs on average, a year’s wages to replace an employee. Do you know your nurse aide turnover rate? It’s easy.
Divide the number of CNAs who terminated with you (for any reason) during the past 12 months by the average number of CNAs you had on staff for the same 12 months. You will get a percentage number. Ideally, the closer you are to 0%, the better, however, that is nearly impossible for any employer. Did you know the industry average for CNA turnover is 93%? That means that at least 9 out of 10 CNAs leave their employment within a 12 month period of being hired!
What can you do to keep the turnover rate low in your organization? Consistent on-the-job training can make the difference between a CNA staying or leaving. Certainly, competitive pay ranks as equally important but many employers find that their workers care very strongly about the training and education opportunities available to them at work. Ongoing training is imperative to keeping nurse aides enthused and informed about their job responsibilities. Most importantly, it gives them the tools they need to perform their duties properly.
Nursing assistants are the heart of your business! Time is precious in the healthcare field, however, your nurse aides are on the “front line” everyday with their clients. Empowering them with a solid, quality education program will result in lower turnover rates, and most importantly, enhanced client care.
How is the nurse aide retention rate in your organization? Please share any tips you have for keeping quality nurse aides. Or, share the challenges you have with your organization’s retention. We would love to hear from you!