To be an effective Nursing Assistant, you must have excellent communication skills. You will be communicating throughout your daily activities with patients, their family and friends, and an array of medical staff. You will work directly with the Nursing staff. This will be a very important area to develop strong relationships in. You will also be communicating with physicians, X-Ray technicians, lab staff, surgery units, and emergency services. Therefore, it is very important that you continually work on your communication style and effectiveness. Your job will be much easier if you are able to establish good relationships with other staff members.
As a Nursing Assistant, you will be overseen by the Nursing staff. They will depend on your to report accurate information on patient charts. You need to be sure you are documenting what they ate and how much, their vital signs, and any changes you notice. If you think something requires immediate attention from a Nurse, then you need to be able to communicate that message effectively. You also need to feel comfortable going to the Nursing staff for assistance and questions as the need arises.
Since Nursing Assistants have far more one on one interactions with patients, other staff often depends on their observations to assist them. It is very common for Nurses and Doctors to ask the Nursing Assistant about sudden changes in a patient’s behavior. Therefore, paying attention to detail is very important. You will want to pay attention to your instincts that something is wrong and report it immediately to the proper staff member.
In the ideal working environment, Nursing Assistants are valued for their contributions to the medical field. They are respected by the other staff and informed of changes and important decisions. However, in many medical facilities, Nursing Assistants are frustrated because they feel they aren’t in the loop. The often complain of being left in the dark as to what is taking place among other staff members. The biggest complaint is with the Nurses.
Nursing Assistants claim that when they have tried to explain patient information to Nursing staff, they are dismissed as if they aren’t credible because they don’t have the education to determine such information. They also feel that they report all changes to the medical staff, yet no one is reporting changes to them about the patient such as new medications or a new diet. This can be very frustrating for Nursing Assistants. This kind of issue can lead to a divided work staff who aren’t working together in the best interest of the patients.
There are five ways employers can work with staff to eliminate such issues. Enforcing these goals will allow medical staff to develop better relationships on an ongoing basis, providing better care for patients. It often helps with the moral of the staff as well. Everyone should get a brief overview of what the other medical staff is responsible to do. Too often one group of people feel they do more than another because they just aren’t aware of everything that particular job description entails. This will help staff members value the work of others more. Asking Nursing Assistants for their input and opinion often builds relationships with other staff because they feel part of the overall care process for patients. Recognize the talents of each other and your abilities. This will help balance out strengths and weaknesses, enabling all staff to provide better quality care to patients. It is important to be supportive of other medical staff, not just those with the same title as you. Nurturing new staff is also very important. They need to feel as if they are part of the team from the minute they enter the door on their first day of work.
The relationships Nursing Assistants develop with other staff are very important. This starts will realizing your own communication style, and improving your communication skills. It may also require you to address issues with administration to develop ways for communications among the medical staff to improve. Be ready to offer ideas to make it happen when you approach administration. With the overall goal being to provide excellent care for all patients, communication that works well for everyone is a great place to start.