After CNA Training: 24/7 Visits in the ICU

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Did you manage to score a position in the ICU after CNA training? While this area of the hospital will always keep you on your toes, it can sometimes be overwhelming. When patients are admitted, things tend to get really busy. Assessments must be done, nurses will need to do lab work, and a variety of other emergency procedures must be accounted for. You’ll be expected to monitor the patient’s vital signs, empty their catheter, address any bowel movements that occur, and report any changes in the patient’s behavior or status to the charge nurse. The problem is, ICU visitation is often 24/7, and the patient’s family will want to be in the room as much as possible. This is a problem because it often creates expectation for the family. They think that because visiting hours are all day, every day, they need to be there all day, every day. As a result, they sometimes forget about taking care of themselves. While a patient’s family shouldn’t be your main concern after CNA training, their health and well-being should be a concern. Here’s how to ensure their visit goes well.

Patients’ Families: After CNA Training Tips

  • Be Careful how you Word Things After CNA Training- While informing patients that visiting hours are 24/7, make sure to let them know that it would be a good idea if they went home for the night and got some sleep. If you tell them they can stay overnight (without them specifically asking if they can,) they will feel as if they should stay overnight. After CNA training, you’ll soon find that sleeping soundly in the ICU isn’t easy. Nurses have to come in to take blood often. You’ll be going in and out of the rooms often to check vitals during the night. If the family is going to get some rest and be helpful to their loved one, it’s best if they can go home to sleep.
  • Give Them Access- Even if the families go home, make sure to provide them with access to the patient after CNA training. Let them know the phone number to the unit or to the specific room the patient is in, so they can talk to the patient or get an update from the nurse while they are away.
  • Give Them a Head’s up- If you’re going to be changing the patient’s brief, giving the patient a bed bath, or the nurse will be doing an exam, make sure to give the family a head’s up whenever possible after CNA training. This way, they won’t come back to the room and worry when they see a closed door or the curtain drawn. If possible, give them a time frame as well.
  • Refer to the Nurse- Any questions about the patient’s medical problems, tests, or treatments won’t fall into your scope of practice after CNA training, so don’t try to answer them. Instead, let the family know that the nurse or the doctor should be the one discussing those issues, and then go get your charge nurse. Exasperated, impatient, and worried families can be pushy, but don’t let them push you into talking about things you shouldn’t after CNA training. This will only get you in trouble, and if you say something wrong, it could be upsetting to the family.
  • Stick to the Rules- To ensure that patient care is a top priority (and possible) in the ICU after CNA training, visitation is typically limited. Don’t be lax about these rules, as avoiding them can create havoc. If there’s a special circumstance and the rules are bent, make sure to tell the family that the relaxation of the rules are a temporary thing, and they shouldn’t expect that all 15 members of the family will be allowed back at three o’clock in the morning.
  • Remind Them- Sometimes family members forget to take care of themselves when their loved one is in the ICU. If you have a few moments, make sure to ask them if they’ve eaten, gone home for a shower, or had any sleep. Sometimes a gentle prompt can make all the difference after CNA training.

Working in the ICU After CNA Training

Are you working in the ICU after CNA training? Pay attention to the families that are visiting and make sure you know how to help them and deal with them. By doing so, you’ll have an easier time ensuring your patient is taken care of after CNA training.

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