How to Survive as a CNA
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The job of a CNA is far from easy, you will be tested from day to day with tasks varying in difficulty, and no two days will be the same. And although just starting off as a CNA can seem rough, it gets progressively easier the faster you build resilience
and bounce back from hardships. But to get you through the initial stages of life as a CNA, we decided to put together some pointers that can help you not only grow as a CNA, but as a person as well. With that being said, here are some tips on how to survive as a CNA.
How to Survive as a CNA
- The workplace is a constant place for growth. You won’t be able to learn or know everything, but you can certainly learn and adapt a little every day to new situations. Change doesn’t happen in one huge leap but in small, progressive steps.
- There will be tough times ahead, there’s no doubt about it. Whether it’s the stresses of work, life, people, or priorities, there will be times where you may feel a little overwhelmed. You have two choices here: let these stressors slowly take over you or roll with the punches and keep on swimming, with the current (of life) instead of against it.
- You may have heard that people working in the nursing industry often have conflict and drama with each other. If you step into the workplace believing this is true, you will only prolong the idea that the nursing field is comprised of nothing more than high school cliques. What can you do differently to avoid this? Become friends with all staff members and treat them as pillars of strength and support, not as enemies.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ever. If you feel embarrassed or inexperienced when asking questions, just ask yourself this. Would you rather be a bad nursing assistant whose performance suffers because of a fear of asking questions or an amazing CNA who is open to learning and continual growth?
- Don’t over-complicate things, keep things as simple as they need to be. This means that you should refrain from using jargon when speaking to patients and their families, try to explain things so that they are easy to understand by a person who doesn’t know much about the medical industry.
- If you are a student on your way to becoming a CNA, don’t procrastinate and leave things until the very last minute. This is a good attitude to have not only as a student but also throughout your career. This is crucial on how to survive as a CNA.
- Go above and beyond by helping your co-workers whenever needed, especially for new CNAs. It helps build stronger relationships between co-workers, creates a better work environment, and your co-workers won’t hesitate to help you when you need it. It might be tough explaining the things you already know to new CNAs, but once they are fully trained, they won’t forget the help you lent them.
- Purchase a high quality pair of shoes. The extra money you spend on them will help you save time and frustration of possibly missing a shift as well as keep you comfortable while on the job. Good posture and arch support, speed, flexibility, durability, and slip prevention are invaluable.
- Learn how to write the best possible nursing report you can possibly write. The better you are able to document data, observations, and changes, the better other staff members will be able to understand the patient’s health condition, leading to better care and easier assignment for them.
- If a patient is acting unusual or you feel something is off, don’t hesitate asking the charge nurse or supervisor to find what’s going on. Don’t dwell on it until it’s too late.
- Take good care of yourself by eating and sleeping properly. Find ways to relieve stress, such as exercising, taking up a hobby, or some other healthy activity. This may be How to Survive as a CNA, but it’s also How to Survive as a Person.
- The real learning starts in the workplace with real life situations. Even though it’s important to do well on your tests and study, don’t worry if you can’t remember everything when stepping up to the plate. Training will quickly solidify what you’ve learned, and oftentimes the skills you’ll need will depend on where you work.