10 Ways to Show Your Appreciation During Nursing Assistants Week
When healthcare is represented in the media, pop culture, and education, “doctors and nurses” are often the predominant roles that are mentioned and portrayed. However, as anyone who actually works in healthcare knows, there is a much larger array of professionals, all performing unique and specialized tasks, that keep the healthcare industry running smoothly and efficiently. One of the cornerstone roles, combining the hard work of hands-on patient care with critical thinking, solid assessment skills, and excellent organization are nursing assistants.
These professionals serve an incredibly important role in coordinating patient care. They not only assist patients with activities needed to maintain their dignity, comfort, and hygiene, but they serve as the direct link between patients and nurses, getting to know patients well and being able to pick up on subtle changes or client needs and start the chain of action needed to optimize their outcomes. While it may sometimes feel that CNAs are not the most widely recognized role in healthcare, those who work with or have been cared for by CNAs know their importance to be indisputable and those who serve this role should be proud of their contribution to quality, heartfelt healthcare.
It may be surprising to learn that nursing assistants have been around since World War I, when several thousand nurses were deployed under the Red Cross Program to work alongside Army nurses caring for wounded soldiers. The role was recognized as one of bravery and strength and remained for several decades before exploding in popularity when President Ronald Regan passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act, which set new and improved standards for the training of nurses and quality of care provided in nursing homes.
As healthcare has evolved over the years, so has the role of the CNA. The importance of these professionals, however, has remained steadfast, and the basic art of humanity and caring for others will always remain important. Since 1977, a national day of recognition and appreciation has been observed for CNAs and has expanded to include an entire week of celebration and pride in this ever-needed role.
How Can Administrators and Colleagues Show Their Appreciation?
We encourage hospitals and healthcare facilities to show appreciation for their hard working professionals all year long, but having a week of dedicated focus and celebration can be especially great for morale. Nursing Assistant Appreciation Week instills a sense of pride in those doing often-thankless work and is also just plain fun for those involved. Here are several ways that administrators and colleagues who benefit from the work of their CNA peers can show their appreciation:
How Can Family and Friends Show Their Appreciation?
For anyone who doesn’t work in the healthcare setting or have the influence to pull off a department-wide celebration, there are still many ways you can express your appreciation and admiration of the CNAs in your life. You may have a spouse, a friend, or a family member who is a hard-working CNA and you are looking for a way to celebrate them and encourage them to feel proud of their chosen career.
No matter your relation to them, take the time to consider the CNAs in your life this year during CNA week and make your appreciation and admiration known. It is a hard job that sometimes goes unseen, but it is integral to the dignity and compassionate care of patients everywhere. The people who choose this career deserve our thanks and recognition all year long, but this week provides a special opportunity to make them feel loved, appreciated, and proud. And if you are reading this and YOU are a nursing assistant, know that we are sending a big THANK YOU your way, this week and always.