CNAs, or Certified Nurse Assistants, are some of the hardest-working individuals that are downright crucial to the entire healthcare industry. And unfortunately, they aren’t always paid enough to reflect their importance.
I learned very early on as a nurse that CNAs were doing some of the most challenging tasks on our floor — from literally getting soaked giving our patients their morning showers and rallying their spirits in the midst of linen changes to tracking the seemingly small details that make all the difference, like what kind of pudding each resident preferred or whose family missed their weekly visit again.
CNAs are the extra-strength glue that keeps a care team running. With June 13-20 being the official 42nd Annual National Nursing Assistants Week, now is the time to to thank a CNA in your life, whether you’re a nurse, PA or administrator. Here are a few ways that to show your appreciation.
- Just say “thank you.” Honestly, you don’t have to make it complicated. The next time you pass a CNA just doing his or her job, take a second to say thanks. Everyone deserves recognition for a job well done, and a little gratitude goes a long way.
- Be extra “charming.” If you’re a manager or supervise a team of CNAs, you express your thanks with a special charm and card.
- Help ’em wine down. Etsy has a plethora of adorable hand-crafted items that you can gift a CNA in your life with, like this “CNAs: Because even nurses need superheroes” wine glass.
- Give them a penny. A penny to scratch off their lottery ticket, that is! Download a printable thank-you lottery card, just for CNAs, pick up a few lottery ticket scratch-offs, and hope they win it big.
- Arrange a group lunch. Or breakfast, late-night snack, or mid-day break. Regardless, show your thanks with food. Some crowd-pleasing options include a nacho bar, crockpot burritos, a chili cook-off, or order-in a favorite pasta dish.
- Post your appreciation. Share your gratitude for your CNAs on social media with the hashtag #CNAAppreciationWeek. Everyone loves a shout-out!
- Make their morning. Surprise your CNAs with a little morning treat. Bring in donuts, muffins, and some carry-out coffee for a bright-and-early pick-me-up. Don’t forget the creamer!
- Make a poster. With input from your floor, highlight some of the ways the CNAs you work with have made a difference with a poster and display it in the common room or by the nursing station for a little PDA.
- Gift cards = great deal. It could be as simple as a coffee, fast food, or sandwich gift card, but to a busy CNA, that small gesture of kindness really means a lot. And who wouldn’t want their morning coffee or lunch covered?
- Nothing to sneeze at. One essential item on any nursing unit? Hand sanitizer, of course! Gift your CNAs with some moisturizing hand sanitizer and “hands-down,” you’ll get great reviews.
Although the “official” CNA Appreciation Week might fall in June, it’s always important any time of year, to show your gratitude for all CNAs do. Whether your treat them to lunch, surprise them with a special gift, or offer to cover them so they can have an extra break, if you make a gesture from the heart, it will make a difference.
And when in doubt, may we suggest you go with the donuts? You just really can’t go wrong there.
Last updated on 10/8/19.