5 CNA Inservice Ideas

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To develop a team of top-notch CNAs, it’s important to go beyond what is necessary or mandated.

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Like it the old fashioned way?

Chances are, you have presented inservices to your CNAs on the typical topics: standard precautions, confidentiality, nutrition, pain management and dementia.  Without question, these are all necessary inservices for nursing assistants.

However, to develop a team of top-notch CNAs, it’s important to go beyond what is necessary or mandated. Coming up with pertinent topics can be a challenge when you’re trying to fit inservice education into your already busy schedule.  Here are 5 ideas for inservices that will get your nursing assistants thinking outside the box and, in turn, have a real impact on the quality of their client care.

1.   Teach Your CNAs about Being Assertive

Why?   Because top-notch CNAs are assertive people.  They understand the difference between communicating passively, aggressively and assertively.  They use their assertiveness skills to deal with difficult people and challenging situations.  And, because they respect the rights of others without ignoring their own rights, they are excellent team players.  Consider presenting an inservice that includes a “personal assertiveness assessment” so that your nurse aides can gauge their current communication style.

2.   Examine Conflict in the Workplace

On-the-job conflict exists in every health care organization, so how about teaching your CNAs how to deal with it? Provide them with practical tips for resolving conflict.  Be sure to cover the dangers of gossip and bullying in the workplace and how they can handle conflicts with supervisors and clients.  Armed with this information, your CNAs will focus less on “workplace politics” and more on the needs of their clients.

3.   Discuss Maintaining a Professional Distance

One of the toughest things for anyone in nursing is to provide TLC to clients without overstepping professional boundaries.  A top-notch CNA knows the difference between personal and professional relationships and can spot the warning signs that professional distance has been lost.  Giving an inservice on this issue will help your nursing assistants be caring without veering from the plan of care.

4.   Promote the CNA/Nurse Relationship

In the same way that the relationship between nurses and physicians continues to evolve, so does the relationship between nurses and nursing assistants.  Outstanding CNAs understand the importance of delegation, assertive communication and mutual respect. They know how to give a great report, how to make the most of their performance review and how to work together with nurses as a team.  Consider presenting this information to your CNAs and your nurses for a real boost to nursing teamwork.

5.   Practice Time Management Skills

Why are some CNAs better than others at completing their work on time?  Nursing assistants who strive for excellence have learned how to avoid time wasters like procrastination, a lack of focus and a negative attitude.  Help your CNAs become time savers by teaching them about setting goals and priorities and providing them with practical tips that help them work efficiently whether they work in a facility or in clients’ homes.

Try incorporating a few of these topics into your current inservice schedule and see what happens.   (If you’d rather not “reinvent the wheel”, give us a call at 877-809-5515 or visit our store.   We have inservices on all of the above topics.)   Remember…when inservice education goes above and beyond the norm, it spurs critical thinking, enhances the quality of client care, and encourages professionalism on the part of your aides.

Happy Teaching!


Linda Leekley BS, RN

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