What knowledge do CNA’s have of feeding techniques in nursing homes?
In a study conducted in the AJSLP, it was found that CNA’s overall had poor knowledge of technical skills, safety, and communication across all facilities studied.
Most CNA’s did demonstrate use of verbal/physical prompts for feeding, wiping the face, and removing food from clothing.
They were also aware of choking or coughing and difficulties with chewing food. A wet or gurgly voice was only mentioned by one CNA in the study.
Overall they demonstrated adequate knowledge.
CNA’s had limited knowledge of how to communicate with the residents while they were feeding them.
The CNA’s spoke mainly only to residents who spoke back, but were quiet with the ones who didn’t speak.
CNA’s had limited information on knowledge of dysphagia and how to feed the residents.
The researcher noted that although the professional can be educated on proper feeding techniques and communication, research has shown that this will not necessarily improve their techniques. It is known in the literature that asking a health care worker to change his/her practice techniques is difficult.
She suggests improving feeding skill techniques with a combination of education and supervision.
For more information on this article, please see the journal as noted below.
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Pelletier, C.A. (2004). What do Certified Nurse Assistants Actually Know about Dysphagia and Feeding Nursing Home Residents? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13, 99-192.