After CNA training, there were a few emergency drills we had to perform in the workplace to ensure we were ready and capable of helping our patients if a problem occurred. Because of the location, we performed tornado drills, where we would quickly and carefully bring our patients out into safer areas of the nursing home, away from doors and windows that could hurt them. Another frequent drill was for fires.
Between 2006 and 2010, there were an average of 5,000 fires in health care facilities, resulting in about half a dozen deaths and one hundred and seventy-one injuries to patients. Half of these fires occurred in nursing homes, and cooking equipment was the cause of about 61% of them.
CNA training and drills afterward can help to eliminate some of these injuries and keep your patients safe.
After CNA Training: Reasons for Drills
It may seem silly to you to perform fire drills after CNA training. After all, you’ll know exactly what to do, right? Unfortunately, getting to a safe place during a fire can be a bit more difficult after CNA training than you might realize. Some of the residents you’ll care for will have physical limitations, meaning they might not be able to move away from the fire or even notice that it’s there. Other patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease may not respond to the fire as you might expect. Their diseases can impact their depth perceptions, eyesight, hearing, response to heat, sense of smell, and their judgment.
In addition to these problems, the prescription medication the patients are taking can also impact their ability to be aware of their surroundings and their judgment as well.
Because of this, practicing what to do in a real fire after CNA training is important. You need to know who to alert, which patients need assistance getting away from the fire, and where you should go.
After CNA Training: Fire Safety
If a fire should occur, it’s import that every CNA takes action without any delay. It may be scary, but your first priority should be to get your patients and yourself to safety. To do this, you should follow the RACE strategy.
R- Rescue all of the patients who are in immediate danger. Be sure that you understand the fire plan your facility has laid out after CNA training so you can transfer the patients do a safe and secure place. In many facilities, this will involve moving the residents to another part of the building, as long as the fire is contained. If there isn’t a safe place inside, you will need to move your residents outdoors and away from the area.
A- Pull the fire Alarm.
C- If possible, confine the fire as much as you can. You can do this by closing as many doors and windows as possible. Fire doors should be closed after CNA training, as these doors are built to constrain fire and smoke in small zones, preventing them from easily moving to other parts of the building.
E- Extinguish the fire if it is small enough and if you are able to do some without putting yourself or others in danger. Learn how to work a fire extinguisher after CNA training. Many small fires can easily and safely be put out without incident. If the fire is too large, pull the fire alarm and get everyone out.
Are you ready if there’s a fire in your facility? Make sure your patients are protected by ensuring you know what to do after CNA training.