After CNA Training: Flu Prevention in Nursing Homes

cna trainingAfter CNA Training

During CNA training you could be kicked out of the program if you went to a clinical location while you were sick. When you work with the sick or elderly you are working with people who do not have a strong immune system. A simple cold is often very hard for them; something as serious as the flu can be deadly. In an effort to keep patients from contracting the flu or any other contagious disease, CNA training graduates must learn, remember and practice the simple rules that follow.

A Quick Refresher from CNA Training

Before the CNA training instructor allowed you to begin going to any clinical experience site you had to prove you understood some basic procedures to keep from spreading disease to your patient. You may be done with training, but they are as important as ever, and probably even more so.

  • Get immunized. Before you will be allowed to enter any patient’s room, you will need to have proof of immunization, to include a current flu shot. Having gotten a flu shot last year will not be sufficient for this year. Each year the virus changes a bit, allowing it to spread to people who were previously immunized.
  • Do not work when you are sick. It is very inconsiderate to show up to work with people when you are ill. No matter how careful you are, you are still likely to give whatever it is you have to your patient. It could get you kicked out of CNA training and could get you fired from your job.
  • Stay healthy. Take care of yourself and avoid contact with people you know are sick. Make sure you eat well, get enough sleep and exercise regularly. Anything that lowers your immune system puts you at risk for catching a disease and spreading it before you are aware you are ill.
  • Wash your hands. Every time you walk into a patient’s room you should wash your hands before doing anything else. If you cough, sneeze or touch something unclean wash your hands again. You learned this in CNA training but bad habits can often creep in.

To Consider during CNA Training

Now that you have finished with CNA training, you will be handling more than one patient a day. Sometimes one patient will be sick, putting you at risk for carrying that disease to other patients. If you know someone has a cold, the flu or another illness that could be spread to others, wear protective clothing and gloves while handling the sick patient. Be sure to remove them and put them in the proper hamper as you leave the room. When you shop for scrubs, buy the antimicrobial type to keep from spreading disease.  Do not carry equipment between rooms without being sure to sanitize it. When you rush into a room because of a possible emergency and have no time to wash your hands, grab a pair of gloves and put them on as you move.

Every health care professional has the absolute responsibility of doing everything they can to avoid spreading disease. It only takes a few seconds to wash your hands or grab a pair of gloves. You were taught what to do in CNA training, make sure you do it.

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