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Lonhala Magnair

Post Acute/Long Term Care

Clinical Pearl: Certified Nursing Assistants

By Linda Keilman

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide the majority of hands-on and personal care for residents in long-term care.

CNAs typically are the first to recognize a change in the resident's demeanor or health status based on providing assistance with activities of daily living.

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) should get to know these frontline workers and encourage the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and "gut feelings" about residents they care for.

Engaging CNAs as members of the interprofessional team is extremely important and actually saves providers time and effort in determining triggers and events that may lead to behaviors and poor outcomes.

It is reasonable the individual on the team who spends the most one-on-one time with the resident would have a very valuable and important contribution to make to the overall quality and plan of care. This strategy represents true individualized resident-centered care!

The APRN might also want to know the housekeeping, maintenance, dietary, and laundry personnel as well because they too see the resident on a regular basis and are able to judge "change."

The more eyes on the resident, the faster APRNs can diagnose and treat! Win-Win for all!

Linda Keilman, DNP, GNP-BC, FAANP

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