A Good Morning Animated Picture For A Daughter On Monday Long Term Care Should Focus on Nursing Assistant Efficiency

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Long Term Care Should Focus on Nursing Assistant Efficiency

I remember the days when I was a long-term care nursing assistant. Many days it felt like a race. There have always been questions and statements like: How many people have you put to bed? How many people did you get up this morning? I don’t know why Sally takes so long, when I work on that wing I’m done by 7pm. I hate it when Mrs. Jones’s daughter shows up, it really slows me down.

It is important that we measure the quality of a nursing assistant by the level of care and service they provide, not by the number of cares or the number of people they provide care to.

It’s a catch 22. We’re understaffed. So naturally we want to reward and appreciate nursing assistants who can get more done – faster. “Well, Judy is so fast we can send her to the A wing when she’s done.” Long-term care is about quality, not quantity.

Some may think that I am suggesting that we reward snail nursing assistants. This is not what I advocate. Although for my parents or grandparents, I’d prefer a snail-paced nurse’s aide to one that’s more like a Tasmanian devil. Do you remember the Tasmanian devil, that cartoon character who moved so fast his lower body was a blur and everything he said sounded like incoherent mumbo-jumbo? I have seen many Tasmanian CNAs trade high quality care for quick completion.

We need to help CNAs refocus. We need to encourage them to take the time to do the job right. The easiest way to do this is to help them focus on efficiency. We can all use some lessons from time to time to be more efficient. One of the best ways to improve efficiency is to encourage CNAs to “round up.” This concept is generally left to nurses and doctors, but it can be very effective and very efficient for nursing assistants.

Often long-term care residents will turn on the call light because they haven’t seen anyone in a while. They become worried that they need someone and no one is available. By adopting a rounding process with your CNAs, you can help them improve their efficiency and help residents feel that help will be available when they need it.

Here’s an example… When you go to a restaurant, there are generally 3 types of waitresses. First, you have the waiter/waitress who is impossible to find and never makes eye contact with you when you try to get their attention. Second, you have the waiter/waitress who is always at your table or interrupting you, they are so “in your business” that you feel awkward. Then there is the perfect waiter/waitress who is there when you need them, they let you have your private conversations and best yet, they anticipate and cater to your needs.

Teach your nursing assistants to be like the third type of waiter/waitress… efficient, effective, predictable and friendly. Get this done and your patients and families will give your facility good reviews.

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