Learning how to perform indirect care skills for nurse aides well is sometimes considered to be one of the least important priorities for applicants, which is definitely not correct. Nursing assistant students often tend to ignore this particular aspect of the training and prefer to just go through them as quickly as possible before taking the certification exam. Since it only involves the easiest tasks to perform, they can well be reviewed just before taking the certification exams.
What these nursing assistant students do not understand however is that these skills are important and performing them well is a vital part of the job. They are small tasks indeed but without them, you can never give the proper care that your resident will be expecting you to perform. They involve communication skills, resident rights, safety and comfort, and infection control. They are skills which will not provide the direct performance of clinical skills but will be an important part and aspect of delivering such skills.
The first is about communication skills. The important thing that you will need to learn about this skill is the proper way of communicating with a resident. You need to give them the proper respect that is due to them. It is important not to offend them by addressing them in an informal or familiar way. You also need to greet and introduce yourself when you enter their room and explain to them why you are there. Discuss to them the process that you will be performing so they will not feel violated and for them to understand the process.
The next is about resident rights. This includes the very significant right to privacy, as well as their rights to choose what is done with their body such as those which are involved in grooming and the type of meal that they will eat. You also need to respect the resident’s feelings by not calling them names and also, you need to help them establish a sense of independence which is a very important human right.
Safety and comfort are two very important aspects when it comes to providing care. Making your patients safe should not entail great discomfort to them and that their comfort should not also stand in the way of their safety. Make sure that before you perform a procedure, your patient is not at risk of falling or injuring himself during the process. Check if the side rails are up if you will be rolling your patient; that wheelchairs and beds are locked when they need to be locked; or that call lights are within their reach.
The last but not the least is infection control. This includes all the tasks that you need to do in order to make sure that you will not be spreading sources of infection near your patient or in his or her immediate vicinity. It involves using gloves, washing your hands, avoiding surfaces which may contaminate you or your patient’s things, and using clean materials for any procedure that will involve direct care with your patient.