The week of October 5th- 11th is Resident Rights Week. Mark your calendars.
These are Residents Rights, with info and guidelines for CNA’s to follow when caring for residents after the first few.
The right to be fully informed—by word and in writing—of the policies and procedures that protect the person’s other rights
All of the rights of citizenship the person has in the United States
This includes voting in all elections.
The right to know all of the services available at the facility, including whether it is certified for Medicare or Medicaid residents, and the right to assistance in applying for those benefits
The right to be fully informed about the person’s own health condition
Believe or not, some residents do not know what their medical conditions are. Some families wish to keep this from the resident. Or, residents are not informed of disease progress (such as a cancer spreading). While the CNA should never disclose this information to ANYONE, we need to be extra careful when discussing it at the Nurses’ Station and other not-so-private areas.
The right to choose one’s own physician
The right to refuse medication, treatment, or care
Indeed. A resident can refuse to be medicated, to have dressings changed, to be weighed, bathed, fed, dressed- we cannot force them to do these tasks or allow us to assist them. When we do, against their wish, we are violating their rights and in some cases it would be considered abuse. It is very important to document these instances. Make sure the nurse is aware of the refusals.
The right not to be forced to perform therapeutic activities
These include PT or OT sessions, activities, special baths and the like.
The right to be free from punishment and involuntary isolation
THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM. CNA’s often take it upon themselves to remove residents from dining and other rooms and place the resident in their room. This is involuntary seclusion and in some cases is considered abuse. Don’t do it. Wait for the nurse to direct you on this. It is never within the scope of a CNA’s practice to make decisions like this. Withholding food, drinks, delaying care, when used to punish a resident is abuse.
The right to be free from verbal, physical, sexual, and mental abuse
For some residents, the sweet little nicknames we have for them is a form of verbal abuse. Others love to tease and tell jokes- but for some this is mental abuse.Yelling includes raising your voice. Or using short, sharp words- it’s all verbal abuse. Many aides don’t understand the varieties and the subjectivity of this. If it offends a resident, often it can be called some form of abuse.
The right to be free from chemical or physical restraints except on a doctor’s order and as a last resort for the person’s safety
This includes being put to bed against the will. It also includes placing residents into recliners and other furniture that they cannot freely get up from. Being tucked into a table so close movement is not possible is a restraint as well.
The right to be treated with courtesy and respect
Manners. Use them. All the time. Please, Thank you, Excuse Me, I’n Sorry. Referring to Sally Smith as Mrs. Smith until she asks you to use another name…
The right to privacy when receiving treatment or personal care
The right to get and send mail and to make and receive phone calls without anyone else’s interfering
The right to associate with anyone the resident chooses, in private if the resident requests privacy
The right not to be sent to a new room without a good reason, advance notice, and sufficient preparation
The right to keep medical and personal records confidential (except as needed to evaluate the facility and follow up on complaints about your care)
The right not to be transferred or discharged without good cause, advance notice, a discharge or transfer plan, and the right to a hearing to stop the proposed change
The right to make suggestions and complaints and to have the staff act promptly in response, and the right to be free from retaliation of any kind for making complaints or suggestions
The right to inspect the person’s own records, and the right to purchase copies of all records
The right to participate in any social, religious or community activity the person chooses
The right to keep and use personal clothing and belongings, as space permits, and to have lockable storage space for personal belongings
The right to be reimbursed for belongings lost or stolen by facility employees
The right not to sign any contract or agreement that claims the person agrees to give up any of these rights