Meet Charity: A Dedicated Restorative Skilled Nursing Assistant
Name: Charity Booher RNA
“Working as a nursing assistant has changed my life. It brings me deep satisfaction to work with people on their mobility, range of motion, and activities of daily living to get them to the best possible version of themself as possible. lt’s great to look back to just a few months before I began working with a patient and recognize all the progress they have made.”
Background: Charity is not your average nursing assistant. After working with patients in the long-term care setting for nearly a decade, management at her facility recognized her potential and decided to offer her an opportunity to play a different role in the lives of the patients. What is this role you ask? Restorative Nurses Aide (RNA).
Inspiration: Charity never pictured herself as taking any type of career in healthcare, until her older sister Michelle became a nurse. When Michelle started working at a local nursing home, she encouraged Charity to come to work with her as a nursing assistant.
“The truth is, I never even heard of a nursing assistant until my sister encouraged me to look into it. I decided to give it a shot and see how it went and it felt so natural for me taking care of other people. In the area that I live, there are not many opportunities for decent employment besides factory work. Working as a nurse’s aide provided me with steady employment because there are always opportunities for CNAs.”
What is a Restorative Nurses Aide: A restorative nursing assistant (RNA) is a certified nurse’s aide (CNA) who has completed additional specialized training in the field of restorative nursing care. An RNA helps residents and patients improve their quality of life by working with them to increase their mobility and strength.
Professional Experience: After Charity completed her specialized training, she took on her new role as an RNA. Her work as a restorative nursing assistant is in conjunction with physical and occupational therapy. Exercises that do not require the direct supervision of a nurse or therapist are performed by the RNA and include:
- Performing range of motion exercises on patients who are unable to do so independently;
- Instructing patients on how to do range of motion exercises (those who are able);
- Walking patients in the halls;
- Working on transfers with patients and mobility; and
- Helping patients use their adaptive equipment effectively.
Charity’s Advice for a Future Restorative Nurse’s Aides:
“Patience. It’s all about patience. Residents are not always up for doing their exercises. I know from my professional experience how important it is for them to maintain their current level of functioning or improve that level. You know the old saying, ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’? Well, this saying is especially true for us as we age. It takes a lot of coordination on the part of the therapists, nurses, and restorative aides to make it practical and comfortable for the resident to part in their restorative treatment. For example, if I know a patient experiences pain during our session, I will talk with their nurse beforehand to be sure they are medicated before I begin working with them. If they are not ‘in the mood’ or up to it, it’s important to be a cheerleader in their corner and encourage them to do their best. When all else fails, I would dedicate our session time to pampering them with massages, foot rubs, range of motion, etc.”