Letter to the Editor

National Certified Nursing Assistant Week June 12-19

Thursday, June 5, 2008

June 12-19 is National Certified Nursing Assistant Week and on June 13, the Arkansas Health Care Association sponsors a CNA Appreciation Day in Little Rock.

Our CNAs were asked to submit a letter to the director of nursing as to why they feel they should be chosen to attend the rally. I feel Steve Hilton's letter represents the CNA profession and reflects his love of the profession. I hope you will find space to publish it.

Linda Hall, administrator, Eaglecrest Nursing and Rehab Center

What it means to be a CNA

I saw the note on the bulletin board and was encouraged by Kathy to enter a submission for attending the CNA Rally that is going to be held in Little Rock. So, I thought I would write about what a CNA means to me.

CNA, of course, is short for Certified Nursing Assistant. This means that we who have this title have successfully completed a training program that covers a specific body of knowledge concerning the care for the sick, injured, convalescent and disabled under the supervision of physicians, licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. There are standards in place, there are skills which we are required to be competent in. We are professionals and are held accountable as such.

But, there is so much more to the profession. CNA can also stand for Compassionate Nursing Assistant, for we are carrying out our duties and responsibilities upon other human beings, who have names, and faces, a history and a future. It is not enough to carry out our responsibilities such as bathing and dressing and assisting a resident to the dining room, make beds and answer call lights. Our residents are more than "Assistance is needed in room 302." They have individual needs and desires, dreams and goals, that ought not to end because they have entered a long-term care facility. Their quality of life is as valid and as important as anyone's. Compassion is a key ingredient in carrying out the daily responsibilities of a CNA.

CNA can also stand for Creative Nursing Assistant. Part of being compassionate is recognizing the uniqueness and individuality of every resident and accommodating each resident to the greatest extent possible. It means "thinking outside the box," coming up with innovative solutions to unique situations, often on the spur of the moment, to enable the resident to enjoy greater freedom, greater access, a more improved quality of life.

Certified. Compassionate. Creative. This is what it means to be a CNA.

Steve Hilton, Horseshoe Bend