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Help Your Patients By Helping Yourself-Counseling For Nursing Assistants

Apr 18, 2008
The day to day activities of a Nursing Assistant can be rewarding and draining. Most of us only know that they offer assistance with feeding, dressing, and bathing patients. However, they do so much more. They develop ongoing relationships with the patients as they have more one on one time with them than any other medical staff. They also provide comfort to the patient and their family. They do all they can from reading to them, helping them write letters, and holding their hand as they move from life to death.

Experiencing the negative activities that occur in the Nursing Assistant profession can really take a toll on an individual. It is especially hard when someone they have been caring for takes a turn for the work, becomes terminally ill, or dies. They still have to go on with their other patients, but they can be left feeling empty and at a loss.

Many medical facilities are aware of this issue. With being compassionate comes true feelings of friendship and loss. Counseling is a good way to help Nursing Assistants deal with the events that take place in the working environment. This counseling can be conducted through the employer or at the expense of the Nursing Assistant from an outside resource.

Counseling services offered on site to Nursing Assistants is generally offered free of charge, as long as the information being discussed is work related. The employer may have several paid counselors that only provide services to employees. Others use their counselors to provide services to their employees, patients, and the family and friends of patients. You will need to look into how it is set up at your place of employment for specific details.

These counseling sessions can be ongoing or set up only when a Nursing Assistant feels the need to do so. It is important to understand that the information you discuss with the counselor at your worksite will not be shared with your employer. Too often, Nursing Assistants avoid this type of support and help because they are afraid their boss is going to get a transcript of the entire session. All counseling sessions are held in strict confidentiality. They only time anything is reported is if the counselor feels you are in danger of hurting yourself or others.

Since counseling is important in the medical profession, you may be able to encourage administration at your place of employment to set up services for employees. While they may argue that it is costly and not in the budget, be prepared to discuss the benefits to the overall effectiveness of the staff. Employees with good mental health will do a better job. They will also choose to continue employment longer than staff that needs counseling but does not receive it.

If your employer does not offer counseling services, it is important that you look into an outside resource for such services. The Nursing Assistant field can be draining and emotional. A key to staying on top of the game is to take care of yourself. This means both on a physical and emotional level. In reality, you aren't going to be effectively caring for patients if you haven't been taking care of your own needs. Counseling services can be expensive, but most health insurance plans cover them. If yours doesn't or you don't have health insurance, check in your area for discount programs and sliding scale fees.

Counseling services for Nursing Assistants is a vital key to staying compassionate and interested in your work. If you let the dark side of the profession consume you, then you will no longer be contributing to the well being of the patients you care for. Being a Nursing Assistant is a great opportunity to care for others and give something of yourself to society.

However, it can't be stressed enough that you must take the opportunity and time to properly meet your own needs. This is one of the biggest reasons so many people in the medical field suffer from burnout. They simply do not take their own needs into consideration at the level they should.
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