by Gwenell Hill, NAHCA Contributor

The numbers we need are outstanding, especially considering the turnover rate we have now. No matter how big the numbers are, we must reach them to give our elders the care they need and deserve. The main way to do this is recruit and retain. This is my theory on how to do that.

We must work together to get rid of the stigma that goes along with being a “CNA”. We have all seen the looks or heard the little laughs when people hear we are CNAs. You can turn on the television. and hear horrible stories about our profession. We have to let people know what and why we love about our profession. Yes, I do not fun stuff and its hard. We must let the public know not all CNAs are bad. By doing this stuff I think we can recruit more CNAs to do this job. Let’s tell them how we wake up each morning to do our passion. I get to make others life better, I get to hear about our history, about true love, about real-life lessons. The smiles, hugs, thank yous, are priceless. There will be good times and bad; however by telling our stories we can make our profession be one that will make others want to become a part of! This is the definition of working together.

Once we recruit them, we must retain them by changing our attitudes and training. In other words, we have to make sure we have positive attitude in the workplace. We can say it all say but we have to practice what we preach.

Remember your first day on the job; it was scary and intimidating. We have
to welcome them in so they feel comfortable enough to learn. Also, to retain them, once we make them comfortable must give the correct training. If you train a CNA right the first time you save time, money, and their self-esteem. Train them with patience and understanding, use love and kindness. right from the beginning show them team work is the only way to get the job done.

The only way to recruit 7.8 million direct caregivers is to change ourselves. In other words, we must learn how to recruit by being proud of our profession. We must learn to retain by changing our attitudes and training people the correct way. We can do this together if we try and we will!