Sexual Needs

Like other people, patients also have a right to express their sexual needs and the need for intimacy. The CNAs should ensure that these needs are not ignored. According to the facility protocols, the patient should be provided opportunities and privacy to express their sexual feelings. Sexual needs include love-making, affection, cuddling, caressing, or touching. The CNA will be able to address the sexual needs of the patient better if he/she is aware of his/her own sexual needs. The CNA should ensure that they do not make the patients uncomfortable when they express their sexual needs. They should not judge the patient and instead work with the awareness that aging does not end the sexual desires of a person.

However, any unwanted sexual advances made towards the CNA should be confronted and explained to the patient that they are unacceptable. The patient may display affection according to the common social etiquettes. However, if the patient is flirting with the CNA, and defends such behavior as mere teasing, the CNA should inform the patient to stop such behavior immediately.  The best practice is to be as specific as possible so that the patient does not repeat that behavior. Even if the patient is under the influence of medication or has an altered mental state, any sexual advances should be reported immediately to protect yourself and others.