By Barb Cape, President – SEIU-West

Hello and Happy Nursing Week!

We are well into our celebrations within SEIU-West…whether there has been a cake in your facility, or you’ve participated in our Nursing Week contest or you are simply enjoying a collaborative nursing team…all of these things matter.

Earlier this week, I talked about the role of the LPN in continuing education and the skills brought to their work as part of the nursing team. Today I want to talk about the role of our CCAs.

The Continuing Care Assistants bring experience, knowledge and training to their daily work. With a certificate program that covers different aspects and environments of care, there is a focus on the technical aspects of the work. But the people who work within this classification also bring a considerable amount of compassion to the care they provide.

I have always said that it’s a special person who works in health care or related fields, regardless of classification. But for the CCA, they are with people during the most vulnerable point in their lives, whether it’s at the end of life, or daily care, or during truly difficult medical situations – they provide the hands-on role of care provider that we seldom see elsewhere.

RNs bring a level of knowledge and skill specific to more involved health care needs; LPNs provide a practical and immediate knowledge for assessment and care plans; and CCAs are the eyes and ears of the team; providing invaluable observations and contributing to the overall ability of the health care team to use their respective level of knowledge and skill in the field via hands-on care.

I believe that there is a need for a reboot of how we look at nursing teams. There is an opportunity for a greater degree of collaboration in the team itself; a recognition of the knowledge and skill that each member brings to the overall provision of nursing care.

We all have a role in this system; we do not operate in silos. Each person who works in health care is a front-line expert and we should acknowledge and respect both their unique role and their responsibility.

For today during Nursing Week, join me in celebrating the Continuing Care Assistants who provide dignity, comfort and care to those they serve.

To enter the Nursing Week Contest, click here.

To download a PDF of the Nursing Week Poster, click here.

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