After CNA Training: How to Maintain the Dignity of Your Patient

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When we begin working after CNA training, our days can often become repetitive. We walk through our tasks like mindless zombies, often forgetting that a patient, a human, is laying in the bed, listening to us and watching our every move. While you may have completed CNA training with flying colors, that doesn’t mean you are automatically the best CNA in the world. Despite your knowledge and sharp skills, you need to understand how to maintain a person’s dignity and treat each patient like they are a real person instead of a lump on a log.

It isn’t easy for many, but it can be with these five tips.

How to Maintain Dignity After CNA Training

  • Be Careful When Touching Them- After CNA training, be careful in the way you touch your patients. Whether you are practicing a first-time skill or are simply in a hurry, always take a breath and be mindful of your hands. Use gentle pressure at all times and don’t forget to warm up your hands.
  • Understand Their Feelings- Just because needles and hospitals don’t scare you doesn’t mean your patient isn’t trembling with fear. While you may have been through the process of changing an occupied bed a thousand times since CNA training, that doesn’t mean they have; be gentle and treat each interaction like it is your first.
  • Avoid Embarrassment- While some patients like to laugh off embarrassing odors and events after CNA training, that doesn’t mean you should join in. While they may be smiling and laughing, they could be covering up really hurt feelings. Don’t join in. In fact, try not to draw any attention to the problem at all if possible. Let your patients know that you don’t feel embarrassed about the situation and reassure them that they shouldn’t either.
  • Cover Them Up- During CNA training, one of the biggest problems students have during the skills exam is remembering to close their imaginary curtain to maintain a patient’s privacy. This forgetfulness often follows students into the workplace and can cause big problems. When caring for a patient, put yourself in their shoes. Would you like a complete stranger staring at your private area from the hall? Be respectful of their feelings and dignity: close the curtain or door. After all, they are there for a reason.
  • Cover Them Up- Speaking of privacy. It’s always frustrating to see a CNA working with a patient who is lying on a hospital bed wearing nothing but what God gave them. Not only is this embarrassing for your patient, but it can also be embarrassing for everyone else who see them. While you may have to investigate a leaking catheter or change a brief, always cover your patients as best as you can with a towel or blanket while their gown is off.

A Patient’s Dignity: Your Journey After CNA Training

Patients don’t care how much you know after CNA training. They do, however, care about how much you care for them. Pay attention to what you’re doing and maintain their dignity after CNA training.

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