Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Social Work (M.S.W.)

Degree Program

School of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Paola Leon

Second Advisor

Dr. Lihua Huang

Third Advisor

Dr. Sally Pelon

Academic Year



This qualitative exploratory study involved individual interviews with three certified nursing assistants (CNAs) working for skilled nursing facilities within the West Michigan area. Using semi-structured questions, the researcher asked the CNAs about the different critical incidents (CIs) and job demands they experience. CNAs were also asked about the support resources they currently have through their SNF employer, if those resources are meeting their needs, and if CISM could be a beneficial resource option. Thematic analysis was used to code and interpret the data from the interview to find four main themes: Burnout, Communication, Inconsistency, and Teamwork. Participants identified physical and emotional burnout, lack of communication on available support resources, not being able to confide in management, inconsistencies in resident care and the treatment of staff, and a work environment where teamwork is limited and CNAs are underappreciated, as their main stressors and CIs. This study's findings emphasize that although increasing wages for these workers is necessary, interventions, resources, and an empowering environment is just as essential to retain and recruit CNAs.

Included in

Social Work Commons