6 Ways to be a Good Nurse (From a CNA Perspective)

Nurses, have you ever been a CNA? If not, you may wonder what they see from their perspective. What do CNA’s appreciate from a good nurse? Here are 6 things I think all nurses should do when working with a CNA.

  1. Give me Report. Sometimes nurses are so busy giving each other report, that they forget a CNA would like one too. You don’t have to go over all the patient’s history, but a quick rundown on why they’re here and any special needs would be nice.

  1. Let me in the Loop. When making a nursing decision that involves the CNA, let them know the rationale behind what you decide. It involves them in the patient’s care. Plus, CNAs like to learn new things. Many of them are students, and even if they aren’t, they gain expertise if you explain things to them.

    For example, you decide a patient needs to get out of bed today. You could say: “We need to get Mike out of bed today. It’s his second day post-op, plus his family is coming to see him.”

    CNAs would appreciate that much more than a curt “We need to get Mike out of bed today. Thanks.” CNAs are not there to blindly take orders. Giving them rationales makes them part of the team.

  1. Help me Out. Here’s the truth: Both CNAs and Nurses are equally busy. Everyone is busy. I really appreciated a nurse who could just take 20 seconds to help me pull up a patient or with a tough transfer while all the other CNAs were tied up. You have meds to pass, and doctors to call. But just a few seconds of your time can save CNAs a lot of stress. I was very impressed with nurses who would answer call lights or help with toileting when they had the extra time.

  1. Kindly Remind. I didn’t mind when nurses reminded me if I forgot something or made a mistake, as long as they were nice about it. I appreciated it. Everyone forgets, and everyone needs to be reminded. That’s how we get better.

  2. Teach me Something. I liked it when a nurse would teach me something new. It could be about a disease process, how to discontinue an IV, or a rationale behind a standard practice. A lot of these things can be explained quickly in passing, or demonstrated. As an experienced nurse, you’re a source of a wealth of healthcare knowledge.

    Your CNA might not ask you (they don’t want to be a bother) but I know when I was a CNA, it was a pleasure to work with nurses that explained things to me as I assisted with a dressing change, foley insertion, or a sterile procedure.

  1. Say thank you! Don’t forget to thank your CNAs. I try to thank all my CNAs before they leave with a simple “thanks for all your help today.”

    No matter what kind of shift you’ve just had, they did help you out. When nurses thanked me for my help, I felt great leaving my shift knowing that I was able to help the nurses and the patients.

Readers! Are there more things that CNAs appreciate from Nurses? Leave a comment below. I’ll update the blog with your idea and credit you!

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Also, keep reading my next section of this two-part series:  5 Ways to be a Good CNA (From a Nurse’s Perspective), hosted by the CNA Training Channel.

1 Comment

  • Excellent article! I think it’s all too easy sometimes to forget to thank our valuable support staff when it comes to working in such a hectic environment as health care. Treating others as equals – regardless of qualification or professional status – will also go a long ways towards commanding respect in the workplace.

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