If you are a brand new CNA working in a residential facility, you’ll soon discover there is always something to learn. Although there are plenty of issues to deal with on a daily basis, don’t become overwhelmed. Here are some solid tips and time savers that will help you thrive in your career.
Doing Your Job Effectively
Avoiding costly mistakes is one of the best things the new CNA can do. The first thing you should do in a residential facility is to find out which residents you will be working with regularly. Take the time to go over their care plans and to get to know their individual needs.
Becoming familiar with information such as allergies, likes and dislikes, dietary specifics, and other facts will help you care for the residents in a safe and confident manner.
If there is something in their care plan that you don’t understand, you’ll have time to meet with the nurse to ask questions. If the unit nurse is not available, write your questions down to go over later. If you are being mentored or trained by another CNA or staff professional, be sure to observe how they work with each resident. Observation is a key part of learning.
Priorities and Time Management for the New CNA
After you are familiar with the residents, be sure to take time at the beginning of your shift to plan out and prioritize your assignments. Prioritizing will take practice, but soon you will have developed your own personal system and be able to meet everyone’s needs.
Little things, like gathering your supplies and linens before entering a room, keeping several pairs of gloves in your pocket, and carrying a thermometer with you, are all helpful time saving tips. Investing in your own blood pressure kit instead of having to hunt one down is also helpful.
Extra Care Goes a Long Way in Keeping Residents Happy
Instead of rushing through your tasks, keep in mind that each resident needs positive interaction with their caregiver. Little things go a long way.
- Be sure to use lotion on dry skin if it is allowed.
- If a food plate gets cold, take the time to reheat it.
- Many residents will eat better if they begin with a clean mouth. Provide oral hygiene before meals.
- Meal time should be a pleasurable experience. Never force feed your residents and don’t rush through meal time. Have a conversation with them, even if they don’t respond.
- Self feeding residents sometimes have trouble keeping their plate in place. A piece of rubber shelf liner placed under their plate is a quick fix.
- A 10 inch by 10 inch square of rubber shelf liner also helps residents from slipping down into uncomfortable positions when seated on certain surfaces.
- Be the advocate. If you notice that your resident likes certain foods while refusing or spitting out others, be sure to pass this information on to the meal planners.
Tips for Peer Relations:
Here are a few quick tips to help you work well with other staff members. First, always treat others as you would like to be treated. Be gracious and helpful to those who are new and figuring things out. Offer helpful tips, but never display a superior attitude. Remember, you were the new kid on the block once.
Try not to discuss your peers with others or find fault with anyone. Instead find the good in others and offer praise.
Developing solid peer relationships will help you in the long run. When short staffed, you can buddy up with someone and take care of your workload together.
Don’t abuse your break periods or meal times. or meal breaks. Don’t carry around your cell phone at work, trying to squeeze in a text message or check your FaceBook status. You are a respected professional who has been given lives to care for. Take it seriously.
As a final note, have fun. This is your chosen career path. You may have good days and bad days, but keep a positive state of mind and remember, you are there to serve others. Everyone appreciates a positive attitude.