Florida Health Care Association is pleased to recognize Tiwana Mutch-Miller, Certified Nursing Assistant at Brynwood Health and Rehabilitation Center, as the First Place winner of FHCA’s 2019 CNA Essay Contest. This year’s contest focused on the theme, “CNAs: A Caring Touch That Means So Much.” Participants were given six topics to choose from – Dignity, Respect, Compassion, Listening, Communication or Standards of Care – and write about how these words translated into the caring touch they offer to their residents on a daily basis. Tiwana has been a CNA at Brynwood in Monticello, Fla., for 11 years. She learned at an early age that to be successful in whatever role you carry out, you must be caring and passionate. As a CNA she says, “you must go overboard in this chosen line of work…by all means there’s no limit in providing the type of care for all residents.” Read her winning submission below.
The Role of a CNA
According to Google, the definition of respect is, “A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievement, or the state of being admired or respected.” The definition continues as, “A person’s polite greetings, due regard for the feelings wishes, rights, or traditions, or beliefs.” As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), I learned at an early age that in order to carry out the role that you must be caring and have a deep deliberation for passion, and go overboard in this chosen line of work. This means, by all measures that there’s no limit in providing the type of care and for all residents.
As a CNA, arising in the morning with the agenda to discover what the needs of my residents are that I am providing service to, is my priority, and that I fulfill every desire that I have control over for them. Upon approaching the building, my mind is established to respect their home. To walk in with a positive appearance, a smile and to project warmth in their home. Before entering a room, I shall knock and make myself known, and await for permission to enter from those that can respond, and from those that can’t. I will explain who I am, and why I am in their room, and the purpose of my role. This demonstrates that I respect their environment and their privacy.
Respect teaches you how to demonstrate personal accountability for yourself when providing quality care to those that require and expect it. Respect builds a relationship between you and the persons you’re providing service for and allows you to implement great performance. It creates a strong work environment with great productivity, by making them feel important.
When planning to implement care, I ask my residents what their desires are for the day, what clothes they prefer to wear, and give them choices to make. I ask my residents what’s their preference. For those that are not capable of responding or comprehend, I dress them the way I would want to be dressed, with respect, dignity, or what the family prefers. Respect is showing concern that you care about what they think or what they want. Being a Certified Nursing Assistant, it’s not about completing a task at a fast pace. It’s about how you complete the task. It’s about making sure that your resident’s are respected while receiving care.
Anyone can be a Certified Nursing Assistant, but only the ones with passion and good morals, exceptional work ethic, will respect the role they are in.
Another measure of respect is when I provide their meals I ask them if they are satisfied with their meal, and if not, what could I do to make sure they are satisfied. I could ask dietary for an alternate, or what replacement would they prefer that we could provide that fits their diet. Over the years I had to learn the importance in providing the type of care that makes an individual feel, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are respected. This care is also known as quality care. Many may think that, residents that can’t respond, may think that it doesn’t matter. But what you may fail to understand is that, that resident is human too, and that they also deserve respect, regardless if they can’t communicate. Imagine if it was you, or your loved on.
How would you want to be treated? Rather comatose, have dementia, Alzheimer’s, memory loss, or stable. When you provide respect and know the real meaning of it, you can walk into a room and know there’s an issue with your resident because you know them, and when you begin to know someone, you know it’s all about respect. You will know when they are not the same, or when something is not right. It’s like when a mother knows her child. When the child isn’t feeling good, she can sense it. When you are passionate about your work, and your role, then you can discern the same type of feelings when giving care and communicating with others effectively, especially your residents. Communication shows that you are concerned about what they, and what they
expect from your service and your role as a CNA.
Being in charge doesn’t always give you the right to take control, but should teach you how to manage, pursue a task, or activity with good results. A plan without a passion to respect yourself, and others is a plan to fail. Respect is all about dignity, rights, beliefs, and traditions. Knowing what your resident’s beliefs are, and what their religion or spirituality is, are a major part of respect. No matter their age, respecting them is vital, and is always necessary. Don’t only respect the resident, respect their family, their relationships, and their beliefs. You should never attempt to change how they view the world, but with respect you can inspire and respect them with politeness, kindness, and service. Respect is inspiring them to engage in what is right in their hearts, not yours. In this field you cannot judge, but you can respect. You don’t have to condone, but you must respect.
Respect gives you the ability to ask a resident before pushing them into a church service, for those that could respond to ask for their permission. Along with respect in a building, all residents are your residents, and your responsibility, and to make sure that their needs are met daily, and no resident is left behind, because they all matter. You should never walk by a resident and ignore a need because you’re not assigned to them. Growth helps you understand why respect is so important in every aspect of providing assistance to your residents.
Being a CNA, showing respect is a great form of expression that provides an accurate expectation, which also helps to develop an indispensable component with high performance with residents and families. They will recognize the attitude, and personality as you display respect in your daily tasks. This also promotes memorable moments to those around, including new CNA’s or staff, but mostly to the one you provide care to.
In closing, respect is a must. Work with passion for caring. There’s no limit when providing the best care for those that you are responsible for. During my many years of being a CNA and in Life Enrichment, respect takes precedence before all, because before you can provide yourself to give care, you must respect their concerns, wishes and needs.