Into the Depths of Nursing Homes

Since Covid-19, employees in the medical field have had to endure such drastic changes throughout this pandemic. One thing that people overlook in the medical field is the bottom of the healthcare team, which are certified nursing assistants.

They are the backbone of it all. Their main goal is to assist residents in nursing homes, give them company, focus on their personal needs, and promote independence. 

I’ve personally taken a CNA (certified nursing assistant) class this semester and got to experience hands-on learning in three different local nursing facilities.

The first things to scope out in facilities are smells, tidiness/organization, how well the employees work together as a team, and how they treat the residents there.

The first facility I experienced was called StoneHenge, which was a combination of assisted living and memory care patients. The facility was pretty good  besides being short-staffed. There was a gym, salon, activity area, and dining area. Each room has its own shower, bathroom, and essential needs, which helps contain the spread of disease and increases the level of comfortability for each resident.

The second facility was called Pine View, which was a rehabilitation nursing home. This facility was really small and most of the residents were pretty independent. They also had everything they needed in their own rooms just like they would in their own house. There were also a lot of employees there for such a small facility.

The last facility was called Lomond Peak. This facility was solely based on medicare patients and had a mix of assisted living, memory care, and people recovering from an injury or substance abuse. They had three hallways and the majority of the patients shared a room with someone else. They had communal showers in each hallway and poor equipment to work with when caring for the residents.

In comparing all of these facilities they all have the purpose of helping and maintaining good care for their residents, but there’s a lot of differences in how they are helping and maintaining each facility. 

A CNA employee from Lomond Peak named Tania Cervantes, who has been a CNA for three years, explains her experience working with some of the poor equipment and conditions within the facility and how stressful it can be.

“It is difficult working in an outdated facility. Most the time our equipment works improperly and needs to be fixed. We also struggled to have sufficient staff and there lacks a lot of communication and teamwork. However, I do my best to provide the residents with the best quality of care I can. I feel that if this facility was properly staffed with CNA and we improved on teamwork and communication there would be a positive change in the work environment and in the care we provided to our residents”.

Most importantly, being a CNA is a lot harder than perceived and the job gets more demanding as you experience more in depth of how the facilities really work.

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