From June 13-20, The National CNA Nursing Assistant Week will be celebrated. It recognizes nursing assistants, who help the elderly in nursing homes, assisted living centers, and in their own homes as well as the sick and infirm in hospitals. These direct care workers play a major role in helping the elderly and sick live a quality life. They preform many different tasks from meal preparation, assisting with dressing and showers, to taking the person to medical appointments.

We should be thankful for the hard work and dedication that certified nursing assistants provide. They are some of the hardest working people in healthcare but usually do not get the accolades or glory.

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Nursing Assistant History

During World War II, nursing aides were first trained to work in military hospitals. Over 1,000 nursing aide or nursing assistants, served overseas. After the war, these workers were called health aids and they often worked in clinics and for the Visiting Nurses Association. During the 1940s the Red Cross trained them in hospital procedures because they needed more workers. Many of the nursing assistants during World War II worked for the Red Cross.

Today nursing assistants work in various settings and are certified by the state. They often work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and nursing homes. They help patients in and out of bed, with exercise, and using a wheelchair. Nursing assistants often monitor a patient’s vital signs and report changes in physical and mental symptoms. Certified training makes them better candidates and more competitive for entry level jobs.

Ideas to Commemorate National CNA Week

Certified Nursing Assistants have a level of skill that is in demand. Often training takes only seven weeks. The national CNA week is a way to honor those that work in this demanding profession. Training often involves classroom and work experience where students learn to care for patients. If you run a nursing home, assisted living center, or even home health care agency you should plan an event for this week.

  • Organize employees in the facility and have a luncheon for the nursing assistants. When you run a home health agency, arrange a catered lunch or dinner at time when everyone can attend. These are just a few ways you can celebrate national CNA week. You can design a bulletin board with photos of the staff taking care of patients, and biographies of their interests and hobbies. The display can also be a table that visitors can see when they enter the facility.

  • An award ceremony can be planned where you invite some important officials like the mayor of your town or city to attend. The ceremony can be followed by a catered lunch or dinner. Write and produce a video about the nursing assistants in your organization. Let them participate and star in the production. You can use the video to promote their services and your medical facility.

  • Give your nursing assistants gifts during the week tote bags, gift baskets, hand sanitizer spray pens, costume jewelry, wine, candy or a cell phone. The gift should have the name of the organization they work for. Provide free training in some new technology or treatment methods to give your employees new skills. This is another way to thank them and advance their careers.

  • Plan a movie night where nursing assistants see free movies of their choice along with a buffet dinner. Plan a recreational activity, where nursing assistants learn a craft or even take dance lessons. A low key activity that is enjoyable is another way to thank the nursing assistants for their hard work.

Remember it’s a tough job that many people could never do. Nursing assistants need patience, tact, and the skills to do the job correctly. It is a demanding and the hours are often long. The nursing assistant deserves the respect and recognition for their services. Celebrate national CNA week by recognizing your employees who dedicate their services to the elderly and those with chronic illness.