Restorative Skills Study Guide for the CNA

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General Information

Restorative skills for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) differ from Restorative Nursing Assistants (RNAs) in several ways. An RNA is required to have CNA training, with additional restorative training. CNAs, however, are simply required to acquire a basic competency level with restorative skills, in addition to all expected CNA duties. Because a CNA is typically involved with clients in the long term, a basic understanding of restorative and rehabilitative skills is necessary; as a CNA, you will be required to perform a multitude of duties, including assisting your clients with rehabilitation and therapy.

Understanding Restorative Skills

Restorative skills are ultimately designed to assist clients in achieving preventive care. Through therapy and rehabilitation techniques, a CNA may expect to serve as an encouragement for their clients, as well as providing direct restorative care, ranging from assistance as small as emotional support in therapy to actually assisting clients in achieving healing goals.

Included in restorative care is observation. To utilize therapeutic techniques and enact preventive care effectively, a CNA must observe clients carefully to identify any problematic areas, or any potential issues with the client—physical or mental.

While you may not be expected to perform actual physical therapy exercises alongside your client, you essentially serve as an emotional and physical support to your client. This may mean encouraging your client to complete all necessary exercises or may mean actively assisting your client to fulfill all therapy requirements adequately. Because restorative skills encompass many different techniques, approach clients with patience and positivity.

Restorative Care and Client Interaction

When engaging in restorative care, you must regard your clients as adults in need of assistance. While your clients should not be treated like children or forced to undergo therapy or rehabilitation they do not want to attend, they should be strongly encouraged to attend all therapy sessions and work their hardest while there.

Before and after therapy, motivate and encourage the client, while assisting with any physical needs related to preventive care. This may include transporting the client to the resident therapist, assisting with physical therapy techniques, and observing the client for any signs of trouble or relapse.

Restorative skills also include basic client care and transferable skills. Basic client care may involve assisting with toileting and hygienic needs, and encompasses teaching clients how to care for themselves following hospitalization or significant medical treatment.

As a CNA, you must be respectful, diligent, and client with your clients, as many may resist rehabilitation efforts and may be inclined to dismiss some recommended treatment plans and follow-up care. When dealing with difficult clients, remember to treat them as adults. clients treated with disrespect or condescension will likely not listen to your advice and may be able to pursue legal action against staff members—including any resident CNAs.

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