I am an LPN charge nurse in a LTC facility for the elderly. I absolutely love my residents and my staff. I believe all CNA's are terribly underpaid for the services they are expected to render under often difficult situations. So, I try very hard to let my staff know I notice their hard work and that I appreciate them. Not one shift passes without me thanking them for all they do. After all, don't we all like to be thanked? Let's face it, most of us seldom here those words, but when we do, we try a little harder and walk a little taller. I also like to express my thanks in other ways, such as surprising them with a carry-in of good munchies, special gifts for holidays, etc BUT I would like feedback from all of you on what you do to let your staff know you care. Let's face it, nurse's aren't made of money, and we usually have a big turnover, so on a budget, got any ideas?
Jan 30, '01
This is such a nice post. I am a CNA and I want to thank you for being so kind to your assistants. I believe that nurse aids want respect from their nurses. Someone who is understanding and appreciative of the hard work we do. Encourage us to better ourselves by going to college. Realize that some of us love working as CNA's and have no desire to become nurses. Some of us have other career plans in mind,encourage us to pursue those goals. Yes, we could make the argument that CNA's are not paid well. Some I have worked with are on welfare and are living below the poverty line. That is wrong and it needs to change!
Jan 30, '01
I agree. I think CNA should be praised for getting all of their secretary work done and all of the daily weights, I & o's, baths, and all of the call lights they answer. My unit recently had one of the best CNAs leave. She was great and efficient. She found time to do everything and she will be greatly missed. It is too bad that more duties keep getting added to their already heavy load. I am thankful for the hard working CNAs.
Jan 31, '01
Just keep doing what you are doing. I always treat ALL staff members with support and respect. I'm an RN with a busy assignment. I try to help my nurses aide(s) as much as I can, but I do feel guilty with the amount of work they do. I remember to thank them on a daily basis. I consistently speak (or put it in writing) to my manager that so-and-so went above and beyond the call of duty. I also insist that they take their break,lunch, etc. (even when I'm not able to.) I'm always bringing in small treats for the staff (5 pounds of home-made hot wings on SuperBowl night), and I remember the secretaries and PCAs with very small treats at Christmas. It's the little things that count. Again, a little kindness goes a long way.
Jan 31, '01
One thing that disappoints me is that sometimes a very large effort is put forth on the part of the nurse or the aide- to successfully treat a patient with respect/pacify an upset family member- work with a difficult patient. And then no one seems to notice at all! A short but very specific thank you note stating- I noticed you worked very well with Mr so and so while encouraging him to bathe or whatever, can work wonders. Some times saying thanks for your hard work starts to sound rehearsed- even when it isn't. This is especially so when staff hears it all the time. Pointing to something specific when you know about it is great- because many times patients cannot express thanks- they may not even realize what was being done for them.
Feb 1, '01
I agree with the written note--it's simple, effective, and doesn't cost a thing!--but I would also add that, if a special "thank-you" is called for, make sure a copy of the note goes into the employee's file.
One of the best thank-you's I ever got was a full-page letter written by the charge nurse after I came in to do a 4-hour on-call shift and ended up staying 12 hours. She detailed all the things I had done that shift and emphasized what a huge help it had been, and sent a copy to my file and one to my supervisor. It was really nice because it was so unexpected.
And once I wrote a very detailed, positive eval of my preceptor, explaining exactly how she supported me and helped me set and meet my residency goals. She came up to me later and thanked me, saying it was the nicest eval she'd ever gotten and the nurse educator was so impressed she was putting a copy in her file. It doesn't take a lot of time to write something positive and it really means a lot to people.
Feb 1, '01
AT A FACILITY I WAS IN THEY HAD A BULLETIN BOARD THAT WAS THE "THANK YOU AND ACTS OF KINDNESS" SOUND OFF. IT WAS DISPLAYED PROMINENTLY AND WHERE IT COULD BE READ BY EVERYONE. THE STAFF SHOWED THE CARING THEY HAD FOR THEIR PATIENTS AND ESPECIALLY FOR EACH OTHER.I ALSO FEEL CNA'S ARE TERRIBLY UNDERPAID FOR THEIR HARD WORK. I APPRECIATE THEM.
Feb 2, '01
Being in a Supervisory position I have the same problem as Duckie. I try to tell the staff (at all levels) "thank you" as often as I can. Most of them work very hard. I also try to take the time to personally speak with the staff of other departments. It takes all of us to take good care of the patients. At times I have issued memos and sent them to all the units when someone or a specific unit has done something outstanding. It seems to make them feel more proud when the other staff members or units have been made aware of their outstanding performance.
One thing I do try to do is something a little more personal at times. I bake them cookies. Not for every unit every time but all of them over a period of time. I try to give them when the units are especially busy and stressfull and at times that are not Holiday related.
Of course it could be that it is easier for me to do this since my children are grown with their own families and they all live out of state. (No kids wanting cookies anymore)Empty nest syndrome?? Maybe, but the staff seem to enjoy it.
If you have any other suggestions please post them--I am always looking for new and unique ways to reward our staff.
If you enjoy word puzzles come visit me at www.CrosswordsForNurses.com
Feb 2, '01
All the little perks we give CNA's, sweet notes, notes to supervisors, cookies, baked goods, gifts on holidays, nursing assist. day, etc. are great. I did it and I could tell it really meant a lot to them. But the bottom line is this. I seem to see the really good CNA's leave. They have a hell of a job. And they have found more fulfilling jobs making more money. Most of us are single or need both parents working just to survive. Very few of us can be missionaries/volunteers these days.
Feb 5, '01
I love the bulletin board idea. That way not only does the employee in question get a warm fuzzy, but everyone who passes by, from MD's to visitors, can see it as well.
My unit used to award--and post on a bulletin board--a "clinician of the month" certificate for outstanding work. It was awarded variously to nurses, docs, techs, RT's--and after a month, the original was given to the employee and a copy was sent to his/her file.
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