by: Barb Rebischke
Tanya Schleeter, Care Manager at the Cottages, faced her fear of being in front of hundreds of people to share her viewpoints at the May 25th, Leading Age, Workforce Solutions Conference at River’s Edge Convention Center. Leading Age of Minnesota hosted a Statewide Workforce Conference for Administrator’s, Directors of Nursing, and Human Resource staff to talk about what are some of the key factors related to hiring, on-boarding and retention of staff. Tanya along with 3 other Nursing Assistants from around the state participated on a Nursing Assistant Panel. They had the opportunity to share their honest and open viewpoints to key questions Administration staff wanted to hear about.
Tanya and the team of presenters were asked a number of questions about what it is like to be a Nursing Assistant. Questions included:
- What factors are most important to you as an aide when seeking employment?
- What things do you feel people in administration might not appreciate or understand about being a nursing assistant?
- What do you know now that you wish you would have known about on your first day?
- What is one thing that leadership could implement or change that would have a positive impact on you and the work that you do?
Each panelist had received the questions a day in advance and each were allowed to share their personal responses as the microphone passed back and forth. The panel shared many of the same viewpoints including: when thanking us make it personal and have it relate to what we are doing; allow us to ask questions; talk to us about what we are doing right but especially talk to us about what we are not doing right, we want to know, do not wait for evaluation time; understand that being a Nursing Assistant is a stressful job and we too have many demands; allow us more time to train if we need it and take the time to get to know us for who we are.
Angela Brown, VP of HR, Elim Care, in her thank you message to panelist’s said, “Several people came up to me afterwards and said that what you shared was very impactful! It was eye-opening for them to hear what you felt was most important to you. Know that your honest and courageous words will lead to improved communication and positive change/impact in numerous communities within older adult services.”
We applaud Tanya for her willingness to share her very heartfelt and honest message in front of so many. Although Tanya noted she was very nervous, she never let it show. Thank You Tanya!