Guest Columns

Preparing CNAs for success

Share this article:
Susan LaGrange
Susan LaGrange

Adequate preparation, communication of expectations and ongoing monitoring is certainly essential for our certified nursing assistants. Holding them accountable for their assignments, proper technique and interpersonal skills should be a given, yet many times nurses and managers will complain that over the years we have gone from the “nurse is in charge” to the “tail wagging the dog.” 

Fear of CNA turnover and recruitment of qualified staff will sometimes prevent managers from holding employees accountable for ongoing concerns. After all, even a poor CNA may pick up an additional weekend shift!

I often ask nurse managers the question, “Do you think that the fast food establishment down the street would allow an employee to give out the wrong change multiple times each week without some type of intervention?”  What about if they forgot those fries with the burger and there were complaints multiple times per week?

How long would the restaurant allow that to go on? Then I ask, “is resident care more important than fries?”

I also ask nurse managers if problems with Activities of Daily Living tracking relates to their CNAS, and if that's causing more than pocket change to be left on the table.

I firmly believe that most CNAs could be nurses if given the opportunity. They are smart enough and have insights into resident care.

It's not just about more education, or re-education. Facilities must have a good monitoring and system for oversight, mentoring, coaching and holding staff accountable. This needs to start at the charge nurse level.  Nurses need to be consistent! If one nurse doesn't follow through it makes it hard for the nurses who are holding the CNAs accountable.

Teaching charge nurses and CNAs professional respect and courtesy, setting expectations, and then backing it up with kind, firm and consistent follow-through is essential! By having high standards for CNAs and managers, resident care will improve.

Susan LaGrange, RN, BSN, NHA, is the national education coordinator at Pathway Health Services.

Share this article:
close

Next Article in Guest columns

Guest Columns

Guest columns are written by long-term care industry experts, ranging from academics and thought leaders to administrators and CEOs.

ALL MCKNIGHT'S BLOGS

More in Guest columns

The tie between revenue and risk managment

The tie between revenue and risk managment

By providing the best level of care, a provider will help ensure resident satisfaction as well as foster a positive work environment for employees. Poor quality will affect a provider's ...

Intern gains life lessons on retirement living and memory support

Intern gains life lessons on retirement living and ...

When I came to Baltimore-based Erickson Living to work as a public relations summer intern, I imagined I would enrich my PR experiences and skills, but I never dreamed I'd ...

Focus on preventable readmissions

Focus on preventable readmissions

Readmissions have become an increasingly urgent concern for skilled nursing facilities not only because they are traumatic for residents, but also because under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals' Medicare reimbursements ...