Nurse aides more effective at managerial decisions for long-term care patients

iStock | monkeybusinessimages
iStock | monkeybusinessimages

We’ve looked at what RNs should never ask of CNAs, but a new study shows that RNs should be asking CNAs a lot more when it comes to long-term care of older patients.

Research published recently in the Journal of Applied Gerontology found that when nursing assistants were given managerial-type decision making power, quality of service was rated higher by patients’ family members.

“Among nursing staff, the empowerment of nursing assistants improved service quality more than the empowerment of nurses,” according to the abstract of the study.

The types of management decisions observed in the study ranged from meal planning to expansion of the facilities, according to McKnight’s, and were made without micromanagement from higher-level staff.

“Empowering the NAs, who spent more time with the residents and their families, was more effective for improving service quality than empowering other types of employees,” said Darla J. Hamann, PhD, leader of the research team from the University of Texas-Arlington.

Research was collected from 33 nursing homes in the United States. Surveys were given to more than 1,000 employees at the facilities, and surveys were mailed to family members of patients.

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