Nursing Assistant Relationships with Other Staff

Hospitals and medical facilities can be both large and organizationally complex, with responsibilities that cross job descriptions and frequently require working with colleagues from outside your normal area of expertise. As a nurse assistant the likelihood of having to work with a wide variety of specialties is high, and you need to be able to work effectively and in harmony to avoid friction in the workplace.

The essential skills needed by any person working in complex environments are patience, respect for others, abilities to listen and empathize, good speaking and writing skills, and being non-judgmental. Typically people who choose to become nurse assistants will have many or all of these skills already, though refining them to work well with others might take time and experience.

If you find yourself working in a hospital, clinic, or residential facility you can expect to working closely with janitors, nurses, and doctors, or liaising with lab technicians, specialists, and pharmacists, and probably come into contact with administration staff every day as well. From outside the organization you will probably come into contact with paramedics, the patient’s GP, police, lawyers and insurance agents, and of course social workers.

Each will require something different from you or the patient you’re caring for, and as frontline medical staff you will have an obligation to ensure information is correctly passed onto the appropriate people, whilst at the same time being aware that sometimes a patients need for privacy and respect will require discretion on your part.

Bringing all of these demands on you together isn’t easy, and will probably mean you’ll refer questions to your supervisor, but in time you’ll develop the knowledge and experience to handle much more yourself. Legally there are certain questions you can never answer, however you’ll discover techniques that allow you to handle these types of requests respectfully without upsetting patients or causing further anxiety.

The most important communication skill a nurse assistant can ever develop and improve on is the ability to communicate quickly and effectively, you’ll hear others complimented on their succinctness, this means getting essential information across to others with the minimum of words. At times this style of communication can seem abrupt, but in emergency situations every second wasted is another second where a patient could suffer.

The danger is that many nurse assistants, especially when new to their careers, can be overwhelmed by responsibility, and don’t communicate well at all. Try to remember that nurses and doctors are your colleagues, not your enemy, so put aside the fear that you can’t speak to them, be part of the team and you’ll find that communication flows more easily. In the event that your report isn’t taken seriously by a colleague, remember that it is part of your job to monitor a patient, and a significant aspect of monitoring includes speaking with more qualified and experienced medical practitioners.

Leave a Reply