As CNAs, our jobs require us to put a lot of effort into patient care. We are their advocates, speaking up for them when no one else is listening. We are their friends, giving them a shoulder to cry on when the doctor delivers bad news. We are their caregivers, those who ensure they receive the help they need for activities of daily living when they can no longer help themselves.
While patient care is our number one purpose, that doesn’t mean it is the only one. Have you ever stopped to wonder what your purpose may be when it comes to your patients’ families after CNA training? While your CNA training may not have trained you in how to properly care for these individuals, their care is just as much part of your job description as the patients themselves.
Caring For Your Patients’ Families After CNA Training
In our line of work, we interact with patients’ families often. Sometimes they are present when we check on patients, and other times we simply walk past them while they sit waiting for news in the hospital waiting room.
What is our responsibility to these individuals? As with our patients, it is our responsibility to make sure they are taken care of and to make sure they understand they can trust us to care for their loved ones. After CNA training, however, many CNAs find this area of the job difficult. They don’t know how to interact with the families or even how to approach them. If this sounds like you, these tips may help once you have completed CNA training.
- Imagine yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if your family member were in a nursing home or hospital? Would you have what you need? Would you know where to find what you need?
- Show a little kindness. Let them know where they can find water, coffee, food, and the restrooms.
- After CNA training, make sure to explain shift change. You will find after CNA training that in many medical facilities, patients’ families are asked to leave the patients’ rooms during shift change. This can be very stressful if there is no prior warning.
- Find out what resources are available to families in the hospital. If a family is in need of help, knowing what direction to point them in is critical.
- Talk to them and see if they are in need of help. See if they would like to talk to a grief counselor, social worker, or an individual in the facility that can help them sort out any billing problems.
- Offer to contact the counselor, social worker, or chaplain for them. Then, make sure to check back to see if help has arrived. After CNA training always remember that when the family is stressed, they can’t help a patient recover.
- Encourage them to make use of hospital volunteers so they can get out of the patients’ room, take a walk, use the restroom, or eat. Make sure they understand that sitting for too long is bad for their health.
- Take the time to visit a family or parent room or house after CNA training, like the Ronald McDonald House. Seeing how these families survive and understanding their struggles will help you in your career and will help the families put their trust in you after CNA training.
No matter what steps you decide or decide not to take, remember that patient family care is just as much a part of your job description as patient care after CNA training.