We love and appreciate certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and understand the value they bring to a healthcare team because, truly, the basic care and dedication that certified nursing assistants provide to patients day in and day out make their line of work irreplaceable. With that in mind, CNA Week 2023 is just around the corner, and it’s the perfect time for healthcare facilities and individuals to recognize the work of CNAs.
When Is National Nursing Assistants Week?
CNA Week, also known as National Nursing Assistant Week, is a time to appreciate and honor the work of CNAs. CNA Week typically falls on the second week of June, and this year, CNA Week will be held from June 15th to June 21st.
During this week, many medical facilities and healthcare employers provide recognition to their CNAs for their hard work and dedication. Likewise, if you happen to work alongside a CNA and want to give them a token of appreciation, this is the week to do it!
Keep reading for a few creative ways to celebrate National Nurse Assistants Week 2023.
The History of Nursing Assistants Week
During World War I, the American Red Cross founded the first nursing assistant organization known as the “Volunteer Nurses’ Aid Service.” These nursing assistants helped with tending to soldiers who were wounded during the war. After witnessing a significant increase in demand for nursing assistants across the nation, President Reagan passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act and officially recognized the profession of certified nursing assistants (CNAs). In 1977, Nursing Assistants Week was officially declared, and it remains a week-long observance that occurs every year to recognize the vital role that nursing assistants play in medical settings.
What’s the Role of a CNA?
A CNA, or certified nursing assistant, is a healthcare professional who assists patients with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and toileting. They may also help with monitoring vital signs, feeding, and mobility. Generally, CNAs work under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and other healthcare professionals. Today, CNAs are in high demand due to a significant increase in the elderly population. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 5% from 2021 to 2031. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve and the demand for care increases, the role of CNAs is becoming increasingly important to ensure that passionate and quality care is provided to patients.
What Can You Do to Celebrate National Nurse Assistants Week?
Some ideas for celebrating CNA Week can include saying a simple “thank you,” organizing a potluck or BBQ, or hosting a CNA award ceremony. However you choose to celebrate nurse assistant appreciation week, there are numerous ways to show your gratitude for a dedicated certified nursing assistant.
Organize a Spa Day
A great way medical facility employers can show their appreciation for CNAs is by organizing a spa day to boost employee morale and promote a healthy work-life balance. A spa day can be arranged as an outing, or management could plan a spa day at work. For example, a CNA appreciation spa day could begin with a calming yoga class followed by a variety of spa treatments and healthy snacks and beverages available in the break room. Additionally, a free meditation class could be provided for CNAs during break time. Treating your CNAs to a relaxing spa day will let them know how much they are valued and leave them feeling rejuvenated and refreshed!
Create a CNA Wall of Fame
Creating a CNA wall of fame is one of the most fun and easiest ways to show your appreciation for all the hard work a CNA does. Plus, a CNA wall is an excellent way to promote employee recognition and can help with employee morale and motivation. To put together a CNA wall of fame, you will need a snapshot of each member of the CNA team. For a more creative spin on things, you can ask each CNA to submit their baby picture. From there, you can post each photograph on a CNA wall of fame that is visible to all nursing staff—for example, by the main nursing station. Under each CNA’s photo, make a list of past work accomplishments and write down how each CNA plays a unique role in supporting patient care. Finally, give a quick list of each CNA’s likes and dislikes in a fun and playful way, for example, “Nurse assistant Sally loves lost and found pens and dislikes night shift break room coffee.” Ultimately, a CNA wall of fame is a great idea for anyone looking to build company bonds and recognize the everyday efforts of CNAs.
Put Together a Gift Basket
Putting together a CNA gift basket is a thoughtful way to show your appreciation for a CNA. Luckily, making a CNA gift basket is simple! Just start by selecting useful nursing items such as pens, badge reels, mini hand lotions, and stethoscope accessories. Next, add some snacks like healthy granola bars and a reusable water bottle. You can even include a heartfelt gratitude note that tells a CNA in a few ways how much their work is appreciated. Then arrange everything neatly in a basket or a tote bag. Finally, don't forget to add a bow or ribbon for that extra touch of endearment!
Host a CNA Award Ceremony
A healthcare facility can organize a CNA award ceremony to recognize the work of a team of CNAs in a formal manner. In order to host a CNA award ceremony, management should identify a venue suitable for the size of the audience. With that in mind, a CNA award ceremony could take place in an outside venue or be organized less formally and take place in the break room or meeting space available on the healthcare campus. In either scenario, management should define the event and send out invitations to CNAs and the rest of the nursing team. Next, management should define all the categories of awards as well as the selection criteria. From there, catering, decorations, and any audiovisuals should be organized to support the event. Management should delegate one staff member to host the ceremony; this could be upper management, such as a chief nursing officer (CNO). Finally, awards in the form of certificates or medallions can be distributed to recognize and celebrate the achievements of CNA recipients.
A Simple Thank You Will Do
A CNA plays a significant role in providing high-quality care and support to patients in a variety of medical settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. At the end of the day, the dedication and perseverance of a CNA to uphold great patient care should not go unnoticed.
On that note, whether it is a patient, coworker, or healthcare employer recognizing the work of a CNA, a simple “thank you” can go a long way. Likewise, preparing a few special ways to recognize the work of CNAs in front of their colleagues can help boost morale and encourage CNAs to keep up the great work!