480750745This week Halcyon Hospice honors our Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) for National Nursing Assistant Week.

These dedicated caregivers are the unsung heroes of hospice and many other fields in the healthcare industry.

The responsibility of physically caring for the terminally ill isn’t a job that can be done half-heartedly. The job is hard and laborious. The hospice CNA spends more time with patients than any other member of the interdisciplinary team. The role requires patience, compassion and an inherent desire to help people.

We asked Christy Morgan, Halcyon Hospice CNA “What are some of the skills one must possess to be a good hospice CNA?”

“Here are some things I’ve read and really take to heart in how I perform day after day…”

1) Be Adaptable.

No day is quite like the next when you work as a CNA, so you need to be able to adapt to circumstances. People are unpredictable at the best of times, but under stress become even more unpredictable, so a CNA’s typical workday will require flexibility and adaptability.

2) Have Physical Endurance.

Breaks for CNAs are few and far between. We are on our feet all day, sometimes for 8 or more hours at a time, so we must have good physical endurance to succeed.

3) Be a Quick Thinker.

When a CNA notices something is not right with a patient, we need to be able to make decisions quickly and put our plans into action instantly.

4) Have Great Judgment.

A CNA must be able to look at a patient’s current state and accurately assess what is or is not needed; Call the RN, Chaplain, etc. This must happen quickly during emergencies.

5) Be understanding of people’s feelings.

Our patients are going through a very rough time in their lives and it’s going to take time for them to accept what’s happening to them. Take the extra 10-20 minutes that it’s going to take for them to pick out what outfit they will wear for the day. It makes them feel like they still have control with something in their life.

Halcyon Hospice knows that our CNAs work tirelessly to provide comfort to our patients. They are, without a doubt, an invaluable part of the hospice team. We honor and thank you for your strength and dedication and know that you make a difference every day in the lives of our patients and families. THANK YOU ALL!

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded. – Ralph Waldo Emerson