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Nurses are at the heart of Christian Health’s mission, where philosophy becomes reality. They are focused on the health, healing, and wellness of the individuals entrusted to our care.

Lead CNAs: Caring, Coaching, Motivating

I am a coordinator of good harmony. I embrace my team. I am a role model of good skill and attitude. I am a coach. And, I coordinate efforts through team participation.

This code, built around the mission of Christian Health, provides guidance and motivation for the Lead Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in Heritage Manor, Southgate Special Care, and Ramapo Ridge Behavioral Health.

Lead CNAs are team captains for their respective units/wings. At the start of their shift they review resident/patient-care reports from the charge nurse and provide input regarding CNA assignments. They ensure that assignments are communicated to and completed by CNAs, that high-quality care is provided, and that patient needs are met. Lead CNAs make rounds on their assigned units, confirm that replacement and/or relief staff have arrived, and transfer patient-care information to the next shift. They identify and coordinate, with the RN and other team members, any patient-care needs or concerns. This coordination and communication are instrumental in facilitating teamwork.

To succeed in their roles, Lead CNAs are provided with extensive leadership training, including communication skills, coaching, decision-making, motivation, and team building.

Lead CNAs make each unit/wing a more unified body working in a collaborative effort. The end result is optimum patient and resident care.

Educational Opportunities Abound for Nursing

Education contributes significantly to the delivery of quality, efficient, and effective health care. At Christian Health, every nursing staff member, from nursing aides to registered nurses with advanced certification, participates in continuing clinical education throughout the year.

Providing the nursing staff with opportunities to develop skills, learn about advances in health care and technology, and review familiar information helps ensure that the Center’s patients, residents, clients, and consumers receive the best – and most compassionate – care.

Educational opportunities are extensive. Courses include new nurse orientation; annual education and clinical competencies; certified nursing-assistant training; instruction in new practices and procedures; updates and review of medications, illnesses, and diseases; and instruction in electronic medical records and computer use. Some courses provide continuing-education credits, which are required yearly to retain licenses and/or certifications.

Determining educational needs of the clinical staff is an ongoing process. Some courses are required by state and federal agencies. Others are developed based on research, recommendations by the Nurse Executive Leadership Council, and communication with, and input from, the nursing staff.

Educational formats vary. A large number of classes are taught by the Clinical Education staff. Others are available free-of-charge online through CE Direct, a web-based learning module. Attendance at off-site workshops and classes is encouraged, as well as at professional meetings and conventions. Membership in state and national clinical associations is also promoted.

Education helps nurses improve assessment and clinical skills and provide effective patient and family education. The result is the continued improvement of quality of care.

Mental-Health Nursing Assistants

Knowledge about and treatment of mental illness has made dramatic strides over the past several decades. Part of this success is credited to an expanding team of mental-health nursing professionals.

At Ramapo Ridge Behavioral Health, registered nurses (RNs) are complemented by psychiatric nursing assistants. Psychiatric nursing assistants ensure that personal needs are being met and assist with activities of daily living. They encourage and work with patients to help them achieve individual goals and participate in therapeutic activities. They are trained in behavioral interventions.

RNs in Southgate Special Care, Christian Health’s behavior-management unit, are supported by certified behavior technicians. Their responsibilities are similar to those of psychiatric nursing assistants, with the addition of helping to implement behavior-management techniques.

Senior-Life Nursing Assistants

The increasing senior population is not only changing the face of America, but the nursing profession, as well. By 2030, the number of individuals 65 and older will reach 70 million. This exploding elder population has varied health needs and is consequently motivating the development of distinct and specific nursing professionals in an effort to collectively provide comprehensive care.

At Heritage Manor, the nursing staff includes restorative dining aides (RDAs), all of whom are certified. RDAs provide one-to-one assistance to residents who may have swallowing difficulties resulting from such illnesses as stroke and dementia. The aides assist with training residents to modify posture while eating. The goal is to enhance residents’ enjoyment of food and enable them to dine in the social company of their fellow residents, family, and friends.

The nursing staff at Longview is enhanced by personal-care assistants and certified medication aides. Personal-care assistants, who are graduates of an approved nurses’ aide training program, ensure that individual needs are met by helping residents with bathing, dressing, toileting, oral hygiene, hair care, nail care, and dining, when required. They may also assist with daily activity programs, transport residents within the facility, and perform housekeeping duties, such as making beds and doing laundry.

Some personal-care assistants elect to continue their education and receive certification as medication aides. Such staff administer medications and maintain appropriate documentation for medical records. Their certification represents a knowledge of medications, side effects, adverse reactions, and techniques of drug administration, as well as physiology of and common diseases related to the body’s system. Certified medication aides, along with personal-care assistants, also demonstrate an understanding of assisted-living principles.

Nurse Executive Leadership Council

Christian Health is the only healthcare facility that offers expertise and superior care through its Nurse Executive Leadership Council (NELC). Uniquely developed specifically to meet resident, patient, client, and consumer needs, the NELC ensures the delivery of safe, quality care by competent and compassionate nurses. At Christian Health, nursing services and clinical education are led by a collaborative group of nurse leaders incorporating diverse skills, experience, and perspective, in providing person- and family-centered care.