What was most evident to me during my hospital stay is that, along with the rest of the team, CNAs leave a lasting impression on a patient’ and this impression can be good or bad. It can also color how the patient feels about the healthcare organization as a whole.
In August, I had routine surgery in one of the country’s best hospitals, (according to U.S. News and World Report) which just happens to be in the city where I live. Naturally, I expected the upmost in quality care from the entire medical team, including the nurse aides. I had never had any surgery up to this point and had no idea what to expect. Did the CNAs deliver top-notch care?
My first experience with a nursing assistant occurred when I was wheeled from the recovery area to my room. CNA #1 (as I will call her) took my vital signs and made sure I was comfortable. Unfortunately, she also complained about being tired and let me know she only had thirty minutes until quitting time. She also mentioned she had the next day off and she could not wait. Not a great impression. Even in my groggy state, I thought she could use some training geared towards professionalism.
CNA #2 was my nurse aide through the night and very early morning. She came into my room with a huge smile and a great attitude. Not only did she take my vital signs, she also asked if I needed anything. She even asked my husband if he was comfortable in his chair as he was staying the evening with me. Since I was feeling a little better, I decided to ask her why she decided to become a CNA. She said that she completely switched gears professionally, loved being a CNA and hoped to become a registered nurse one day. Her love for patient care was obvious by her enthusiasm and demeanor.
CNA #3 woke me up bright and early the next day to take my vital signs. She seemed competent, but very rushed; professional, but a little cold. She came across as someone who was having a bad day. Did she enjoy being a CNA? I did not feel comfortable asking her. Our interaction together was the briefest among the ones I had with nursing assistants.
What was most evident to me during my hospital stay is that, along with the rest of the team, CNAs leave a lasting impression on a patient’ and this impression can be good or bad. It can also color how the patient feels about the healthcare organization as a whole. My experience with CNA #2 was memorable because she seemed to really enjoy her job. Even though we all look forward to quitting time, no one should express that sentiment to a client or patient, as CNA #1 did. And, if CNA #3 was feeling hurried or having a bad day, I should not have picked up on it.
Think about your nurse aides. Are they a CNA #1, #2, #3, a combination of all three or completely different? What do you do to make sure they give exceptional care (and top-notch customer service) to their clients every day, regardless of circumstances? How do you keep them excited about performing their job responsibilities? We would love to hear from you!