Florida Health Care Association is excited to recognize Carlyn Registe, CNA at Rehabilitation and Health Care Center of Tampa, as the 2018 winner of FHCA’s CNA Essay Contest. This year’s contest focused on the theme, “CNAs: Creating a Community of Caring” where participants were given six topics around which to write their essay – Dignity, Respect, Compassion, Listening, Communication or Standards of Care – and write about how these words translated into their daily practice of caring for residents. Carlyn has been a CNA for 11 years and focused on “compassion” as the key to quality care for her residents. Read her submission below.
Compassion embodies every aspect of care rendered by Certified Nursing Assistants to residents. Compassion is also the fuel which enables the mechanics of Certified Nursing Assistant care to be receptive and appreciated by residents. When done compassionately, the emotional warmth that accompanies loving acts like greeting residents with smiles, helping residents with Activities of Daily Living, listening to residents’ stories or offering residents’ compliments, creates an amicable environment for both residents and Certified Nursing Assistants alike. However, in the instances when care is given in the absence of being compassionate, the interpersonal aspect of care is sadly stripped off its emotional touch, in exchange for insensitive care which is often performed as a duty or task.
As a Certified Nursing Assistant, I pride myself in being compassionate to the needs of my assigned residents. This practice enables me to care for both the obvious and in some instances the unforeseen needs of my residents. For example, if I know my resident likes their bath water very hot, I ensure that their water is ran as soon as they agree for help with being washed up. Compassion is also a driving force in upholding the responsibility of ensuring that adequate charting and engaging walking rounds are done on behalf of the residents. Regardless of the absence of direct emotional benefit to the residents through these activities, compassionate care is definitely upheld when they are done.
During my Certified Nursing Assistant experience, I have been privileged in offering care to hundreds of residents. I am appreciative of the skill I have developed in giving compassionate care to those in need. One of my most prized experiences was the opportunity to care for a resident who was very aggressive despite their petite figure. Over the past months I consistently approached that resident with a warm smile and greeting. Although the resident spoke very rarely I remained steadfast in maintaining verbal communication with the resident while giving care. Eventually I began getting a crack of a smile, warm eye-contact, a very low-pitched response to my greeting and less aggression from the resident.
Currently, I care that resident with very little aggression, we exchange happy smiles, hold hands, and I am receiving outspoken warm responses to my greetings. This warm transformation slowly unfolded from saturating every aspect of care rendered to that resident with loving compassion. I am always touched by such encounters with my residents. When compassionate care is given to residents, the gap that once existed between the resident and the Certified Nursing Assistant is beautifully bridged through compassionate trust and the opportunity to experience the person who is now a resident.
These heartfelt experiences have permanently imprinted my heart and conscience with a mixture of joyous and heartfelt emotions. Indeed, the opportunity of offering well rounded and loving care to residents is a prized vocation which flourishes when laced with compassion.
FHCA’s CNA Essay Contest helps to raise awareness about the important role of Certified Nursing Assistants and their contributions toward the exceptional care and quality of life for
Florida’s long term care residents and patients. Carlyn Registe earned a grand prize of $500 for her remarkable essay thanks to the Florida Health Care Education and Development Foundation. We also would like to recognize Maletide Mirtil of Medicana Nursing and Rehab Center, Jackie Spradley of Brynwood Health and Rehab Center and Robin Coker of Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans Home as our second-place, third-place and honorable mention winners, respectively. For more information about FHCA’s CNA Essay Contest and to read these award-winning entries, click here.