Working in the field after CNA training can have its challenges, especially when you find out that you’re expecting a baby. This hasn’t happened to me as of yet, but I have been an outside observer to the changes that take place when this occurs after CNA training. I’ve found that for many new moms who have gone through CNA training, this changes can be a little tough.
Consider for instance, one of the girls I worked with, Rachel. She found out that she was pregnant early on in her pregnancy, and told our DON immediately. Things quickly changed for her. She was no longer allowed to help lift patients out of bed, enter certain rooms where patients had contagious illnesses, or wipe down the doorknobs and railings at the end of each shift with cleaning products. That didn’t mean that her work life ended, though. She became what we liked to call a ‘float.’ Her new responsibilities included:
- Taking and recording vital signs for each of our patients
- Passing out fresh water and ice
- Restocking supply closets and supply carts
- Recording input and output for patients
- Passing meal trays to patients who couldn’t get out of bed and come to the dining hall
- Answering call lights and helping patients with certain tasks that did not involve lifting
- Making beds in the morning
If you find out you’re expecting after CNA training, don’t automatically assume that your career is over. If you still want to work as a CNA, there are things you can do. You just have to be willing to make a few changes while you’re pregnant.
After CNA Training: if You’re Expecting
- Tell the DON Immediately- Don’t wait to tell the DON if you’re expecting, even if you’re waiting to tell everyone else. They need to know as soon as possible so they can change your work schedule and incorporate tasks that are more suitable to your current state. After CNA training, this is important, as the tasks you’re asked to do on a regular basis can be harmful to your unborn child. By reporting your pregnancy, you can have an easier workload and still earn the paycheck you need.
- Be Willing to Step Back- It may be hard watching others do all the tough work and not be able to join in and help, but you shouldn’t feel bad or step in and hurt yourself or your baby. While taking vitals, making beds, and passing ice may not be thrilling after CNA training, they are a perfect way of helping. In fact, most of us appreciate it. We would much rather have a few extra minutes to convince Mrs. Cooper to get out of bed in the morning than have to worry about rushing around to take everyone’s vitals.
- Know When to Stop- Another co-worker I worked with after CNA training became pregnant and found out she had a high-risk pregnancy. She was no longer allowed to come in to work, and instead had to lay in bed all day. I remember her complaining to me once that she was worried about leaving us all short-staffed. If this happens to you- don’t worry. We’ll figure things out and get along just fine. We just want you to be safe.
Having a Baby After CNA Training
Are you expecting? If you’re finished with CNA training and on the job, make sure to keep this advice in mind. You have to consider yourself and your baby first, and the only way to do that is to be honest, be open to changes, and understand that having to step aside isn’t the end of the world after CNA training.