After graduating from an excellent CNA training course, I was desperate to walk into the nursing home I had been hired to and blow them away with my knowledge and CNA training skills. That, of course, didn’t happen. I thought that I would have a leg up. After all, I’d been working in the kitchen and the activity room for the last month or so, and I’d already had the opportunity to meet many of the residents I would be caring for.
Little did I know, knowing the names of some of the individuals wasn’t the same as actually knowing them. When I was assigned my orientation partner and given a hall to work on, I suddenly felt as if I had gone back in time, to before I began CNA training. My mind blanked, and my hands suddenly had forgotten every skill they had repeated, over and over, for the last three weeks.
This eventually passed, as my orientation partner helped to jog my memory and get me moving, but I quickly learned that I shouldn’t assume I knew anything when it came to working as a CNA. There was always more to learn; it didn’t stop after the CNA training class.
One of the most important lessons I learned during my time working there was about communication and how quickly it can cause problems. Problems can occur when you don’t communicate, but they can also occur when you do. We’re all human, and we make mistakes, especially when we open our mouths.
Have you ever had a communication mishap in the workplace? Maybe you took care of two patients with the same last name and accidentally assumed one’s care plan was the others? Or perhaps you forgot the abbreviations you were taught during CNA training and accidentally misunderstood what a care plan was really telling you? If you’ve ever had this issue, here are a few things that might help you get back on track and deal with the mistake after CNA training.
Communication and Your Life After CNA Training
- Apologize- The first step you should always take is to apologize for the misunderstanding. This doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be in trouble, but at least you’ll have voiced your sorrow for the mistake. If the mistake wasn’t earth-shattering, the issue may end there, and you will simply need to learn from it.
- Laugh- Don’t do it in front of your patient, but be able to laugh at yourself in private, especially if the mistake was a minor one. It’s okay to find humor in communication issues, especially if they caused no harm to the patient or anyone else. For instance, if you were told to help Mrs. Brown get dressed, but tried instead to assist another Mrs. Brown on the floor, who obviously didn’t need your help, it’s alright to laugh it off and move on with your life. This sort of mistake isn’t one that will haunt your career after CNA training.
- Figure out Where you Messed up- One of the most important steps to take with any communication mistake is to figure out where you messed up. The error may not have been solely your fault. Your charge nurse may have failed to provide you with all of the details you needed to complete the task after CNA training.
- Don’t Mess up Again- Next, you need to take steps to avoid another communication mishap again. Maybe you need to ask more questions next time to make sure you’re going to help the right patient, or perhaps you need to take another CNA training review course to brush up on your medical abbreviations. Whatever the problem is, find a way to avoid it again in the future.
Communication After CNA Training
Communication is a big part of your life after CNA training. No matter what, do everything you can to avoid problems that might occur, but don’t be too afraid to make mistakes. Most aren’t going to be earth-shattering, and they will help you grow as a stronger and more capable assistant after CNA training.