5 Tips for Developing Top-Notch CNAs

Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

It’s a new year and time for a fresh look at how you present your CNA inservices. Here are a few quick tips to help you develop a top-notch team of CNAs.

Like it the old fashioned way?

It’s a new year and time for a fresh look at how you present your CNA inservices.  Are you making the most out of your inservice meetings?   Do your nursing assistants come away from your inservices knowing more about their clients and excited to put that new knowledge to use?   If not, here are a few quick tips to help you develop a top-notch team of CNAs in 2010:

Convey your passion for nursing during inservice presentations. If your nursing assistants sense that you are excited about client care, they are more likely to be enthusiastic, too.   On the flip side, if you seem bored while presenting inservice materials, your CNAs are likely to be bored by you and the inservice!

Help your CNAs bridge the gap between learning and doing. It’s great to present an inservice full of important facts, but how does that information translate to the “real world” at your workplace?   For example, you can teach your nurse aides that they should observe for the signs and symptoms of depression, especially in older clients.   But, what do you want them to do with their observations?   Go beyond the facts and have your CNAs practice documenting and/or reporting their observations.   Get a discussion going about what resources are available if a client is depressed.   By thinking outside the box, you’ll do more than teach; you’ll develop CNAs who think critically and follow thoughts with actions.

Listen when your CNAs voice their opinions. Some of your nursing assistants may have worked in health care longer than you have!   Show them that you respect their experience by encouraging them to voice their opinions about client care.   For example, you may feel like “tuning out” when an aide says, “In my previous workplace, we did it this way.” Instead, take notice.   Ask the CNA what makes the “old way” better.   This opens a discussion and creates an atmosphere where you both might learn something.

During your inservices, make use of real-life situations with the names concealed or changed to protect client confidentiality. For example, when teaching about diabetes, prepare an example of a current or former diabetic client.   Give a scenario that calls for action from a CNA and ask for suggestions as to how they would handle it.   As you discuss each response, relate it directly to the information in the inservice.

Have a system for following up. To ensure that your aides retain what they learn during your inservice meetings, come up with a simple way to “test” them on what they know.   For example, at each inservice meeting, start out by asking three or four key questions about last month’s topic.   Offer a small prize or treat for the right answers.   This will ensure that your CNAs come prepared to answer your questions!

How do you make the most of your inservice meetings?   Do you have some tips to share with fellow educators?   We’d love to hear from you.   You may make a comment below or email me at [email protected].   Thanks!

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