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Blog Feature

By: Elizabeth Bemis on June 12th, 2013

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National Nurse’s Assistant Week: What to Expect from a Skilled Nurse

nurse's assistant | assisted living | senior living | skilled nursing | Aging & Caregiving

 National Nurse’s Assistant Week: What to Expect from a Skilled NurseAs National Nurse’s Assistant Week kicks off June 13 – June 23, in recognition of those dedicated to ensuring the well being of our loved ones, we use this opportunity to shine a light on what seniors can expect when in the capable hands of a nurse’s assistant. 

Part of the Skilled Nursing Team

A nurse’s assistant is an important member of the nursing team. When illness or aging compels regularly scheduled or 24-hour care, a nursing assistant is usually on hand to provide professional support for a loved one and their family. The nursing team first develops a care plan for the senior, to which the nurse’s assistant is empowered to carry out many of the duties. This includes maximizing the comfort, security and well-being of a loved one in a dignified manner, often with a personal touch.

The Many Roles of a Nurse’s Assistant

If you or a loved one is getting the support of a specialized care provider, it may mean your ‘home’ setting is either at an assisted living facility, in-home care, board and care or perhaps skilled care. In anyone of these settings you are likely to find a nurse’s assistant.

To break down the many moving parts to this specialist role, there are four mainstream categories that a nurse’s assistant fall within, depending on his or her level of training, education and licensure. These are described here:

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs): are certified by the State Board of Nursing. They can be found in hospitals, assisted living, in-home care and Board and Care. CNAs are your ultimate jack-of-all-trades, cuing medications and providing support with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, ambulating, housekeeping, grocery shopping, appointment reminders and lots more.

Home Health Aides: provide assistance for seniors in their own residence. Oftentimes, when special medical equipment must be operated to maintain health, home health aides are a good fit.

Home Maker Companions:  provide companionship and support for the home care client, nurturing their mental, emotional and spiritual health and assisting them with many of their daily needs.

Patient Care Assistants (PCAs): are certified or licensed by the State Board of Nursing. Their duties are similar to a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and include specialized equipment training and blood work (phlebotomy).

The need for nurse’s assistants to work in skilled care, assisted living facilities and to help older adults live in their own homes will increase significantly in the years to come. They will continue to be specialist intermediaries relieving some of the awesome responsibilities shared by adult children caregivers.

Key Takeaways:

  • A nurse’s assistant is an important member of the nursing team.

  • The nurse’s assistant is empowered to carry out many roles which include maximizing the comfort, security and well-being of a loved one, often with a personal touch.

  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are certified by the State Board of Nursing. They can be found in hospitals, assisted living, in-home care and Board and Care.

  • Home Health Aides provide assistance for seniors in their own residence.

  • Home Maker Companions provide companionship and support for the home care client.

  • Patient Care Assistants (PCAs)are board certified. Their duties are similar to a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and include specialized equipment training and blood work (phlebotomy).

     

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About Elizabeth Bemis

In 1998, I drove past an assisted living community construction site, learned that it was part of United Methodist Homes and realized the next stop on my professional journey was to work for a mission driven organization. Soon after, I joined the team as Executive Director of our Middlewoods of Farmington community and later served as Regional Manager for the Middlewoods properties before accepting my current role as Vice President of Marketing, Promotions, and Assisted Living Operations. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking, reading, walking, and love working alongside our staff, residents, and families to build strong communities that reflect the mission, vision, and values of United Methodist Homes.

Our Blog is a 2016 Platinum Generations Award Winner! The Generations Award is an annual international competition for excellence in senior marketing recognizing professionals who have communicated to the 50+ Mature Markets.