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Certified Nursing Assistant with patient

This week’s blog is part three in a series about what you can expect when engaging with Hosparus Health’s care. Click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2.

 When you or a family member decides to engage our services, the first step is a visit from one of our admissions nurses. After you are admitted to our care, you’ll receive visits from each member of your team to customize a plan of care. One of those visits will be with your Hosparus Health Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). A CNA’s job is to make sure patients have their personal care needs met, including bathing, grooming and changing bed linens. CNAs help improve quality of life for both patients and their family caregivers, and serve as an extra pair of eyes and ears for our medical team.

Meeting Your Certified Nursing Assistant

The first visit from a CNA focuses on building trust and setting up a comfortable routine. Before your visit, they will review the information our admissions nurse and other team members have collected about your condition and unique circumstances.

Once they arrive for the first hour-long visit, they will spend time getting to know you and your family members or other caregivers. Questions they ask may include:

  • What days are best to set up regular visits? Do you prefer morning or afternoon?
  • Do you have certain products (soaps, lotion, deodorant) that you want to continue to use, or would you like to use the ones provided by Hosparus Health?
  • Do you have a good supply of towels, washrags and other personal care items?
  • What are your expectations for each visit?

During your first visit, your CNA will check your bathroom for safety concerns, such as the height of the tub lip and whether you have a grab bar or shower chair available. If there are any issues, the CNA will work with you and the rest of your care team to make modifications whenever possible. If it’s not safe to transfer you to the tub or shower for a bath, the CNA will talk you through how they will give you a bed bath instead.

A CNA’s limitations

While your CNA will be a wonderful source of comfort and support for you and your family in many ways, there are some things they cannot do.

During your first visit, your CNA will share clear expectations so there are no surprises later on. A CNA cannot:

  • Prescribe, change, administer or give advice about medications. Those questions must be addressed by your nurse.
  • Provide round-the-clock personal care. Most patients receive CNA visits two to three times per week.
  • Do housekeeping. While a CNA may help keep the bedside free of clutter and occasionally load the dishwasher or take out the trash, most of their hour-long visit is spent focusing on your personal care.

Your CNA can (and will) ask general questions about how you are feeling, your appetite and sleep. Though they cannot provide treatment, they are trained to be aware of possible concerns and contact your nurse right away to address them. If there is support you or your family need that the CNA can’t provide such as housecleaning or respite care on the weekends, he or she can connect you with resources through your Hosparus Health social worker.

The first visit is designed to make you comfortable. We hear all the time that once patients get to know their CNA, they come to think of them as a member of their family. Just like the rest of our care team, CNAs are here to support you and your family as you navigate the challenges of serious illness.

If you or a loved one could benefit from our care, please call us at 800-264-0521.

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