Category Archives: Employee Wellness

Nurse Assistants and Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases are those that can be transferred from one individual to another. These include the common cold, tuberculosis, the flu, and HIV, herpes, measles, chicken pox, lice, and strep throat. Are of these are highly contagious. For those who already have medical issues, their immune system has a hard time fighting off anything else, so they are very susceptible.

Communicable diseases spread by human waste including saliva, stools, urine, blood, and other bodily fluids. Airborne droplets from the nose and mouth are also a common transmitter.

Since communicable diseases often spread like wildfire if not properly contained, it is everyones responsibility to do all they can to maintain their own health. Washing your hands often is a very good place to start. Most germs cant survive soap and water. Nursing Assistants are encouraged to wash their hands more than most people because they are in constant contact with other people.

As a Nurse Assistant, it is your responsibility to immediately notify your supervisor if you develop the symptoms of any communicable disease. They can then determine a course of action. It may be recommended that you dont come to work until the communicable disease has run its course. Depending on the disease, you might be able to continue working with a respirator to prevent passing it to anyone else. In some cases, it may need to be reported to the health department.

Some communicable diseases can be cured with antibiotics such as strep throat. Others including the common cold will have to run their course. You can do your part by remembering to wash your hands, taking your vitamins, being current on all immunizations, and getting an annual flu shot.

Learning about these types of diseases is an important part of the Nursing Assistant program. Most medical facilities train all new employees in the area of communicable diseases. There is also ongoing training. While preventing the spread of communicable diseases is important in any work environment, it is especially important in a medical setting.

Each medical agency will have different processes and procedures for handling the spread of communicable diseases. Make sure you are well trained in identifying them, noticing the onset, and knowing how to handle each type of situation. Epidemics of communicable diseases require emergency procedures to take place. It is very important that you agency trains all employees in that area as well.

Nursing Assistances come into contact with bodily fluids of patients on a regular basis, and this is the most common method that they are infected with communicable diseases. You should always use rubber gloves when doing tasks such as changing soiled bedding and clothing and empting bedpans. The use of a sterile disinfectant while cleaning is important as well. If you do get bodily fluids on you, immediately was the area with soap and water, then report the incident. Your report needs to include what took place and what bodily fluids you came into contact with.

Communicable diseases are an area many people dont know much about. It is important that Nursing Assistants do some research on their own to make sure they fully understand the health risks involved with coming into contact with communicable diseases. While it is very rare, there have been reports of Nursing Assistants being infected with HIV and other potentially deadly diseases.

Home Health Employment with a Nursing Assistant Certification

Many individuals who are certified as a Nursing Assistant become frustrated with the medical facility environment. The often have to work as scheduled including holidays, deal with internal issues among staff, want more pay for the work they are doing, and dont feel appreciated.

Home health care offers a great alternative to Nursing Assistants who want more freedom as well as the opportunity to get to know those they are caring for on a more personal level. Home health care is exactly that, offering basic assistance to those who need it in the privacy and comfort of their own home. Nursing Assistants will be performing many of the same tasks including feeding, bathing, and dressing the patients.

Most Nursing Assistants interested in working for home health seek employment with a home health agency. These agencies contract with the patient or their family to offer them services to be able to remain in their home rather than an assisted living facility. However, Nursing Assistants need to be aware home health care agencies generally offer additional services that they will be required to perform including paying bills, running errands, picking up medications, and taking the patient to scheduled appointments. In addition, there may be cooking and light housekeeping involved.

Many Nursing Assistants love home health care because it allows them to develop a schedule that works for them and they get to know their patients. Home health care generally allows you to make your own schedule. It will be reviewed by your supervisor as well as checked with the patients. Every effort is made to accommodate all involved. It is very likely you can customize the schedule around holidays and other events, giving you those days off.

Getting to know your patients while doing home health care is a perk you dont often get in a medical facility. You sometimes can if you work in a long term care facility, but even then time is often limited and Nursing Assistants have to run to complete the workload they are given. Getting to know the patients in home health care can make the job more enjoyable.

Since home health care takes place in a persons home with very little supervision, the background check is more intense than what is done to work in a medical facility. This is for the complete protection of the patients. You will have complete access to their home as well as be interacting with them one on one. Therefore any time of issue on your background check can keep you from being employed in home health care.

Nursing Assistants are more likely to earn more at a home health agency than in a medical facility. On average $2.25 more per hour. They are also more likely to be treated respectfully by their employer and co-workers. They want employees to be happy as this will help keep them as quality employees. Patients do not like for their assistant to continually change. They dont like having that many new people in and out of their home. The home health care agency has to properly balance keeping the employees and the patients happy.

Counseling for Nursing Assistants

The day to day activities of a Nursing Assistant can be rewarding and draining. Most of us only know that they offer assistance with feeding, dressing, and bathing patients. However, they do so much more. They develop ongoing relationships with the patients as they have more one on one time with them than any other medical staff. They also provide comfort to the patient and their family. They do all they can from reading to them, helping them write letters, and holding their hand as they move from life to death.

Experiencing the negative activities that occur in the Nursing Assistant profession can really take a toll on an individual. It is especially hard when someone they have been caring for takes a turn for the work, becomes terminally ill, or dies. They still have to go on with their other patients, but they can be left feeling empty and at a loss.

Many medical facilities are aware of this issue. With being compassionate comes true feelings of friendship and loss. Counseling is a good way to help Nursing Assistants deal with the events that take place in the working environment. This counseling can be conducted through the employer or at the expense of the Nursing Assistant from an outside resource.

Counseling services offered on site to Nursing Assistants is generally offered free of charge, as long as the information being discussed is work related. The employer may have several paid counselors that only provide services to employees. Others use their counselors to provide services to their employees, patients, and the family and friends of patients. You will need to look into how it is set up at your place of employment for specific details.

These counseling sessions can be ongoing or set up only when a Nursing Assistant feels the need to do so. It is important to understand that the information you discuss with the counselor at your worksite will not be shared with your employer. Too often, Nursing Assistants avoid this type of support and help because they are afraid their boss is going to get a transcript of the entire session. All counseling sessions are held in strict confidentiality. They only time anything is reported is if the counselor feels you are in danger of hurting yourself or others.

Since counseling is important in the medical profession, you may be able to encourage administration at your place of employment to set up services for employees. While they may argue that it is costly and not in the budget, be prepared to discuss the benefits to the overall effectiveness of the staff. Employees with good mental health will do a better job. They will also choose to continue employment longer than staff that needs counseling but does not receive it.

If your employer does not offer counseling services, it is important that you look into an outside resource for such services. The Nursing Assistant field can be draining and emotional. A key to staying on top of the game is to take care of yourself. This means both on a physical and emotional level. In reality, you arent going to be effectively caring for patients if you havent been taking care of your own needs.

Counseling services can be expensive, but most health insurance plans cover them. If yours doesnt or you dont have health insurance, check in your area for discount programs and sliding scale fees.

Dental Assistant Relationships with other Staff

Having a career as a dental assistant is a great opportunity to work with others in the dental profession. The most common staff you will work with in a dental facility are Dentists, Dental Hygienists, and the Receptionist. It is very important that you forge quality relationships with the other staff you work with. The smaller the dental facility, the more important it is as everyone will have to work well together to allow the facility to function properly.

Since you will be present for the procedures conducted by Dentists and Hygienists, patients will quickly pick up on any staffing issues. I went to a dentist for years. He was great to me and my children. However, he continually was impatient with his staff, especially the Dental Assistants. We went for cleanings every six months. We loved the Dental Hygienist. However, she was often in tears over is behaviors. We also noticed that the Dental Assistant staff changed almost every time we came in. It didnt take too many years before he went out of business because patients were tired of seeing the behaviors and he couldnt find help that would work for him.

Communication skills are a great asset for any profession, but as a Dental Assistant it is a must. You will be interacting with patients, staff, insurance companies, and family members of patients. It is very important you are able to make everyone feel comfortable and that you convey the message that you are approachable. Poor communication skills can result in your career as a Dental Assistant not working out for the long haul.

To ensure proper communication among staff members, dental facilities need to arrange trainings. These should be informative, explaining to everyone what is expected as far as interoffice relationships. It should be clearly stated that lack of respect for co-workers will not be tolerated. Policies and procedures should also be in place for employers to resolve any conflicts with other employers. Everyone should know where they are to report and such issues that they cant work out with the other staff member or members.

Many dental facilities require staff members to attend communication workshops. These are often very fun and interactive workshops, showing more effective methods of communication. They generally include information on individual communication as well as group efforts. These workshops are conducted by individuals who customize the workshop to meet the needs of your group. This makes the sitting more intimate and usable in your dental facility.

To help alleviate stress and issues among co-workers, each staff member should be made aware of what other staff members are responsible for. Many inter-office struggles are the result of workers believing others are not carrying the same weight. Most employees complete tasks behind the scenes, so this assumption is based only on what is being seen on the front lines.

Effective communication is essential in the role of Dental Assistant. It is imperative to your career that you understand various communication styles. It is also very important that you are aware of your own communication style. You want others to view you as enthusiastic about your job and willing to assist in anyway possible.

Most issues that arise from communication is assuming you know what the other person means or what they will say. Make sure that you reflect back what is being said to you by other staff members. This way any misconceptions can be resolved up front before they escalate into major issues that affect everyones work performance. Since we all spend so many hours at our place of employment, it is very important to make it a comfortable place to be.