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Nursing Week: What makes a good Health Care Aide.

“This year's theme, Nursing: A Leading Force for Change, celebrates the role of nurses at the forefront of effecting change in the quality of health care. May 6-12.” . . . Canadian Nurses Association

(SNN) - Anyone can put a meal together, open a can of this or that, warm it up and serve. But to put a great meal together one must be able to cook from scratch. A great cook will pick out the best choice of meat for the meal. They will select the freshest herbs and vegetables, they will also know what spices to use and will use a good wine to give their creation a robust smell and taste.

You're probably wondering what a great cook has to do with being a good Health Care Aide (HCA). I have been an HCA for the past sixteen years, it takes good listening skills, compassion and a lot of patience. It is a hard job, mentally and physically. Every client has their own personality along with their own personal issues. I believe it is a calling; not only does it require the skills I just mentioned but also a desire to improve the lives of those in their care. We may not have all the answers for the client, but showing and expressing kindness and real true empathy for those in need will definitely prove to have a more satisfactory outcome.

Each year our society recognizes the hard work and dedication of the Registered Nurse (RN). Unfortunately, the Health Care Aide (HCA), the eyes and ears of the RN, is not part of this recognition. Although the HCA partakes in the week long awareness, it is usually the RN who is celebrated. When my mother and father fell ill, mom at the Cross Cancer and dad at the University of Alberta Hospital in the Intensive Care Unit, the care and dedication both my parents received from the Registered Nurses was exemplary.

However, in long term care the role of the RN is much different. Much of the work they used to do, has now been taken over by the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and the of HCA's role is to assist with client care, report to their team leader any significant changes to the client, and document those changes.

If you have a loved one in long term care, please remember the HCA, for without them, the care they receive would not be complete.

Photo by: Army Medicine's flickr photostream, Some Rights Reserved, The Sage nor this article endorsed.

DISCLAIMER: The above article is OPINION.The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the authors of The Sage Opinion and forum participants on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the The Sage News Network or the official policies of the The Sage News.
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