Most Nursing Assistants work very hard to ensure the safety of patients as well as provide them with quality care. However, consumer complaints often happen, resulting in the profession not getting a fair look. Too often the focus is on the negative that takes place during interactions with Nursing Assistants than reporting good staff to the proper people.
One of the biggest complaints about Nursing Assistants by consumers is that they are too rushed. They often have to hurry through bathing and dressing because they have too many demands on their time in a given shift. This often results in patients getting cared for, but quickly and robotically. The personal touch is often smothered in an effort to get it all done.
For patients, simple requests are one of the few perks they have in a medical facility. It also allows them to still exercise some control over their decisions. This is very important to someone who no longer is able to be at home or do basic tasks for themselves without assistance. These requests can be as simple as helping them from the bed to a chair or bringing them a pen and paper to write a letter. It is easy for Nursing Assistants to get sidetracked or forget. However, since these simple requests are important to the patient, it is very important that Nursing Assistants follow through with them. Carrying a pen and notepad to jot down requests is a great way to remember them.
Patients don’t like to be kept waiting. It is very hard to adjust to. They may forget they are not the only patient. Nursing Assistants do the best they can to stay on schedule. However, working short-staffed and medical emergencies can quickly put them behind schedule. Nursing Assistants have to prioritize, so sometimes helping someone who has fallen is more important than giving the patient a shower on time. Since confidentiality is so important, the Nursing Assistant can’t tell the patient why they are running late.
Never discuss a patient with another staff member or family member in a manner that makes the patient feel as if they are not in the room. Speak with them in mind. It is important to carefully choose your words, even when you think they are asleep or in a coma. Many patients have filed complaints regarding conversations they overheard while Nursing Assistants thought they were sleeping or unresponsive.
One huge area of controversy is that many consumers are uneasy with who quickly a Nursing Assistant can obtain a license. They do not feel there is adequate training time to do an effective job. Federal guidelines require all Nursing Assistant programs to have a minimum of 75 hours of training. The actual amount will depend on the program coordinator and the state requirements for a particular program. However, it is often debated that to be certified as a manicurist, it takes over 1000 hours of training, but so little to become a Nursing Assistant.
Medical facilities and program developers defend the hours required to earn a certificate as a Nursing Assistant. They feel the training builds on an individual’s basic concepts of feeding, bathing, and dressing individuals. It is routine tasks we have all done at some point in our lives. They also stress that the clinical hours are hands-on training in a medical facility with close observation. This type of training is more effective than just classroom curriculums of other programs. In addition, Nursing Assistants are closely supervised by nursing staff on a regular basis.