As National Nursing Assistants Week draws to a close, Debra Newman, a certified nursing assistant at Presbyterian Village North in Dallas, shares some advice on how to succeed in the position:

  1. Have confidence in what you are doing. If you don’t know something, don’t be afraid to ask.
  2. Keep in mind that all older adults are not the same. Some will be happy and you can joke with them, whereas others might not feel well or are having a bad day.
  3. Be mindful of your attitude, and work to maintain a cheerful demeanor no matter what the situation. If the job gets to be too stressful at times, try stepping away after a particularly challenging moment, taking a few minutes to regroup and collecting yourself.
  4. Treat residents/seniors how you would treat your own parents or grandparents if they were in your care.
  5. Share kind words, and make thoughtful gestures. Residents remember how you treat them, and when you regularly do nice things to help them, it makes them happy.
  6. Build and maintain meaningful relationships.
  7. Give it your best.

Newman has worked at Presbyterian Village North for 32 years, 27 as a CNA.