After your certification, you will be responsible for obtaining a certain number of hours of additional CNA training each year. For many CNAs, this means attending lectures and workshops. For some however, continued CNA training is a bit more hands-on.
A few Illinois nursing facilities, named the Aviston Countryside Manor and the River Bluff nursing home, have established a contest for certified nursing assistants that challenges them to walk a mile in their patient’s shoes. While a monetary prize is awarded at the end of the challenge, the real benefits of this continued training are worth so much more than the money.
CNA Training Graduates: Through The Looking Glass Challenge
While many CNA facilities provide their staff with several hours of continued CNA training, the unique “Through the Looking Glass” challenge offered by Illinois nursing homes provides certified nursing assistants with the unique opportunity of stepping into their patient’s shoes and observing the health care center from a different perspective. There are several purposes for this challenge, including:
- Help CNAs obtain the hours they need to maintain their certification
- Helps establish a bond with both employees of the facility and residents
- Help CNAs become more empathetic and compassionate
- Help nursing assistants become more understanding and attentive of residents’ needs
With this challenge, CNAs volunteer to spend at least 24 hours living as a resident in a medical facility. Some even vow to stay in the facility for months. They are given an illness or affliction they must live with during their stay. For instance, one CNA may ‘suffer’ from heart disease, one from blindness, and another from a stroke.
The CNA training graduates are required to act as if they actually have this affliction during their stay. They may be confined to a wheelchair or may not be able to use their arms or legs. They must learn to live with these issues, and live life as an actual resident of the nursing home during this continued CNA training. The CNAs must go to bed and wake up when other residents do, eat the same types of food, participate in the same activities like Bingo, and even go to physical, occupational, behavioral, and speech therapy.
A Revolutionary CNA Training Technique
According to the Administrator of Aviston Countryside Manor, who spent 24 hours herself as a resident in the nursing home, this continued CNA training is an experience that can assist CNAs and other medical staff in thinking of better ways to care for individuals who live in the facilities they work in. Since the challenge at this nursing home, the nursing home has developed a stand against the misuse of personal body alarms and psychotropic medications.
Many nursing homes around the United States are supplementing regular continued CNA training, such as lectures and workshops, and have begun their own form of “Through the Looking Glass.” Many nursing schools and medical schools have also begun using the same type of training to help their health care staff better anticipate and appreciate the needs of their patients.
CNA Training & Careers