LNAs, CNAs, & Medical Assistants are Vital Links to Safe, Compassionate Care!

If you’ve sought help from the healthcare system, chances are you’ve been assisted by one of  these invaluable human resources.  Whether in a doctor’s office, hospital, longterm care facility, or in your home, these people on the frontlines can make a huge difference in the care you receive.

  • Licensed Nurse Assistant (LNA)
  • Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)
  • Certified (or Registered) Medical Assistants (CMA or RMA)

Although job descriptions, supervision, education, and skills vary among these paraprofessionals, they are often the people that patients, residents, or family members interact with the most.  This means that in addition to their particular caregiving tasks, they are likely to learn about important concerns and limitations the people they are caring for have.  Not only that, but they are likely to have their fingers on the pulse of needed supplies, issues with equipment, and the dynamics in the office, clinic, or facility.

Communication Skills are Essential 

Keeping patients, residents, clients, and families safe is an essential goal for anyone providing care including these frontline staffers   Bringing concerns to busy doctors and nurses and communicating with family can make a huge difference in patient care.

  • Doctor, Mrs. Smith told me she fell in the Bathroom the other day.  She’s embarrassed to tell you. 
  • Mr. Smith, your nurse is on the phone right now with the doctor to see about a better pain medicine.  I will let her know you’d like to find out what the plan is right away. 
  • Nurse, I’ve tried to get Mrs. Jones out of bed, but she seems weaker than usual.  Please come take a look. 

Assertiveness isn’t always easy!

Doctors and nurses may be rushed, short-tempered, or even rude.  Patients and families may be anxious, impatient, or yes, even rude.  People are often stressed whether they are working in healthcare or getting services. Rudeness or abusive behavior isn’t ok and there should be channels to address that, but speaking up clearly, respectfully, and effectively even in the face of challenging behaviors is a must!

Not only is assertiveness challenging for these reasons, it also requires self-esteem, self-awareness, self-respect as well as confident body language and tone. One way to develop these skills is through Medical Improv, an innovative new teaching strategy for developing and practicing essential interpersonal skills. I’ve been teaching communication-related skills for over a decade and improv activities offer us the most fun, engaging, and effective way to build these skills that I know of.

I’m excited to partner with Dartmouth Hitchcock this Spring for a full day training for LNAs, CNAs, and Medical Assistants!  If you or someone you know are interested, check out this event flyer!

Posted in Assertiveness, Communication in Healthcare, Listening, Nurse Leadership, Patient Safety, Teambuilding | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Promising Statistics For The Nursing Profession

by Tim Becker

The number of students entering a nursing program has increased significantly over the last 15 years. Although some may worry about market saturation, there’s good reason to believe the nursing profession is a solid career choice that will continue to have many available positions.  For example, the fact that salaries of nurses is increasing is a positive sign that this vital career is here to stay.  (Note: Infographic follows post.)


While nursing is was one of the most rewarding professions available, that doesn’t mean that the level of stress and the amount of work involved is easy to handle. There may still be a ways to go with compensation but in 2016 the nursing profession saw an increase in pay for both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.


Other promising statistics show that work conditions may be improving for many nurses across the country. In a field where overtime hours are often considered fairly normal, statistics are showing a decrease in the number of them worked for 2016.

Union Representation

Unfortunately, the majority of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses remain without any union representation. The rise of salaries and decreased overtime hours are a positive sign for the profession, yet with so many nurses lacking representation through a union, it will likely be a difficult battle for most.

The outlook for the nursing profession looks great though. If there was  ever a time to enter the field, with the rise in salary and current needs of the county, this is definitely it!

Author Bio:

Tim Becker Partner at Minneapolis’ Johnson // Becker PLLC, and lead sponsor of WageAdvocates.com. He is committed to providing clients effective, aggressive legal representation, and has prosecuted numerous individual FLSA violation claims.

Thanks to WageAdvocates.com for infographic!

Nurse Wages
& OvertimeMedical Improv:

The Voices of Healthcare

Posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Medical-Legal, Nurse Leadership | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment