Resident Centered Meals After CNA Training

cna trainingCNA Training

When I finished CNA training and began working in the nursing home, I did my best for quite a while to stick to what I had learned in CNA training and avoid all those big “no-no’s.” Over time, however, as I began to get comfortable with my work, schedule, and the CNAs I worked with, I began to slip- and I wasn’t the only one.

This was especially true during meal times. During CNA training, we are taught to focus 100% on our residents. After all, it was their meal time, not ours. Over time, though, it became easier to focus more on what my co-workers were doing. We’d discuss our personal lives, brag about our latest adventure in dating, and much more.

We really didn’t notice how much of a change we had made, until our director of nursing held a in-house session that opened our eyes. With a few admonishing words, she let us know this wasn’t appropriate. We have breaks to catch up on each other’s lives. When we are working, our sole purpose, our sole focus, should be on the residents themselves.

Focusing on the Patients After CNA Training

Do you find it difficult to focus on your patients during meal times? While meal times are social times, they should always be light, fun, and resident focused. Here’s how to make it happen.

  • Discuss What the Resident Wants- Don’t just slap a plate of food down on the table and say “have at it” after CNA training. Talk to the resident. Ask them if they want any condiments, like pepper, salt, or butter (only offer condiments they are allowed to have.) See if they need help opening their straw or cutting up their food.
  • Sit Down- CNAs should never be standing when residents are eating. They should be sitting right next to the residents, assisting them as much as possible after CNA training. It should feel like a normal meal to the residents, and that can’t happen if you’re up walking around.
  • Turn on Background Music- A little background music, as long as the music is appropriate, is a great idea for meal times. This automatically eliminates silence, which can be a barrier for discussion and provides a warmer, friendlier atmosphere after CNA training.
  • Talk to the Residents- Meal times are social times. While you shouldn’t be discussing last night’s date with your co-workers or your residents, that doesn’t mean you can’t talk at all. Fill your residents in on the latest in current events. Talk about upcoming holidays and ask them whether or not their family is going to be able to visit. If you have pets and know the residents love animals, talk about their latest antics and ask them if they have any advice for training or playing with them. Find a topic that peaks the interest of the residents and go with it.

Meal Times After CNA Training

No matter what, meal times should always focus on the resident, their needs, and their wants. Make these meals as fun, enjoyable, and stress free as possible after CNA training.

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