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 6 Surefire Ways for CNAs & Nurses to Work as a Team 
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Post 6 Surefire Ways for CNAs & Nurses to Work as a Team
by: Linda Leekley BS RN





Teamwork is great, right? Chances are, everyone at your workplace would agree that client care improves when nurses and CNAs work together as a team. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge! Here are some recent comments from CNAs across the country:

Valnecia said, "I respect nurses for their education but they should realize that CNAs are their eyes and ears with the patients. I feel the nurses at my job do not take me seriously-as if I don't know what I am talking about. We need to learn to work together as a team and not against each other."

Guadalupe said, "Nurses and CNAs should have respect for one another; this would not only help the patients but create a better work environment."

Heather said, "I know we don't have as much schooling as nurses but we're not dumb and that's how I feel that we're treated sometimes. And, some of my fellow CNAs are terrible, too. They throw child-like tantrums when you ask them for some help. I just wish everyone would work together as a team."

Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services completed the first national study of American nursing assistants. This National Nursing Assistant Survey showed that:

30% of CNAs had issues with co-workers that were making their jobs unpleasant.

23% of nursing assistants were unhappy at work because of a problem with their supervisor.

How can everyone in the nursing field get along better? Remember...if you communicate in an assertive manner, you balance the power between yourself and the people around you. You give as much as you get. Here are six surefire ways to come across as an assertive person:

1. Say what you mean. Don't "beat around the bush".

For example:

Nancy, a home health aide, feels she is getting too close to several of her clients and is finding it difficult to maintain a professional distance. She wants to ask her supervisor to adjust her assignment:

Nancy: "I've been taking care of the same clients for a really long time now."

Supervisor: "Yes, you have. Keep up the good work!"

Oops! Nancy will never get what she wants unless she speaks up for herself. Her supervisor can't read her mind!

2. Don't always say "yes" when you want to say "no".

For example:

Celia is a CNA in a nursing home. Her supervisor asks her to work overtime for the third straight day. She wants to say no, but she agrees to stay anyway. She spends the overtime feeling tense and angry at her supervisor. Her anger causes her to snap at a couple of the residents.

3. Think before you speak, especially if you are angry.

For example:

Charles works as an RN in a nursing home. One day, as he is walking toward a resident's room, a CNA bumps into him. Without thinking, Charles shouts, "Watch where you are going! You are so clumsy!"

Shouting at a co-worker is inappropriate. Accidents happen and Charles should control his temper.

4. Don't blame other people for things that go wrong.

For example:

Part of Cynthia's job is to pass out meal trays. She mistakenly gives a tray to a patient who is NPO, causing his surgery to be postponed. When the nurse asks Cynthia about the error, she says, "The only reason that happened is because the kitchen labeled the trays wrong. It wasn't my fault!"

Mistakes with meal trays can happen, but Cynthia made the situation worse by not taking responsibility for her own actions.

5. Learn to accept compliments with a simple "Thank you!" Many people find this difficult.

For example:

Mark's supervisor tells him that she is very impressed with the way he handled a difficult client. Instead of saying "thank you", Marks says, "Oh, I didn't do anything."

While some people might see Mark as just being modest, he is actually putting himself down.

6. Learn to accept constructive suggestions and/or criticism without getting defensive.

For example:

Willa has been a home health nurse for years. One day, a home health aide says, "Willa, when you were at Mr. Taylor's today, you seemed to rush through his visit." At first, Willa feels offended and she wants to say, "Are you nuts? I've been doing this work for years and I am great at managing my time!" But, instead, she takes a deep breath and asks calmly, "Can you please explain what you mean? I would hate for Mr. Taylor to feel that he didn't have my full attention."

Remember: no matter how well you perform technical skills, you will not be completely successful in nursing without good communication skills. A key skill that improves communication is assertiveness.

Assertive people express what they need clearly-without any hidden messages-and without trying to control anyone else. Fortunately, because assertiveness is a skill, even the shyest person can learn to be more assertive. Being assertive means that you can get along with others-including everyone on the nursing team-without giving up your own rights. So, share these six tips with your fellow CNAs or nurses and watch your team become more effective!


About The Author
Linda H. Leekley BS, RN
President, In the Know, Inc.

Do you want help developing a team of top-notch certified nursing assistants? With more than 120 inservice topics, In the Know has what you need. Try our sample inservice topic today! It's popular. It's free. And, it's yours by going to => http://www.knowingmore.com

The author invites you to visit:
http://www.knowingmore.com





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Wed May 19, 2010 9:26 am
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