The most difficult part of getting through CNA training and moving on to a professional career is generally the awkwardness of some of the duties we are expected to perform. No one really likes to discuss it, but CNA training involves a lot of red faced, weirded out moments where you really have to come up with a script you can pull from (a mental one) or you’re going to have trouble repeatedly. Sure, some patients are pretty free about what they say and do, especially in a health care situation, but what about the ones who aren’t? Why don’t they teach you how to talk to a patient about their bowel movement, menstruation, or any number of things I would consider a vital part of CNA training. Well, today we’re going to go over them. Not only that, but we’re going to give you a little script that you can use time and time again, to turn awkward into awesome!
Ready for this CNA training? I bet you’ve never thought of the following situations, but you are definitely going to have to face them. They way you choose to do so will determine your level of awesome:
CNA Training Tips for Awkward Moments
- You interrupt two residents engaging in sexual behavior in one of their rooms. Depending on the policy of the facility, you would either say, “Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt but it’s time for dinner, lunch, your medication, or whatever. Sexual drive is a normal part of life. Just because someone is in a nursing home doesn’t mean they won’t go on living their lives in a manner that would bring them joy. Developing relationships that lead to love connections is just a part of it. Don’t be alarmed and there won’t be any awkwardness.
- You interrupt a resident engaging in sexual behavior alone. Again, a part of life. I would excuse myself and come back later.
- Addressing a patient who needs to be cleaned up but isn’t aware of it. Sometimes we have accidents. Whether it’s fecal matter, urine or blood, simply act as if it’s not alarming. “Excuse me Ms. Smith, but there appears to be some attention needed to your backside. Let’s get you to your room and clean you up. You’ll feel better when you’re fresh.” If the patient acts irritated and like they don’t understand, go ahead and pull them aside and let them know there is fecal matter or urine on their clothing. It’s probably not the first time and you are more alarmed than they are.
- A patient has a menstruation accident. Treat this just like the patient above, but be sure you do not come in direct contact with the blood. Direct your patient to the shower and allow them to clean up as much of it themselves as they are able.
- Enemas. Giving an enema to a patient is sometimes required. Usually this is administered by the nurse. If you are asked to assist with a Fleet enema, simply provide instructions for your patient, letting them know what you’ll be doing and what they can expect. As you learned in CNA training, your patient always has a right to refuse treatment, so letting them know what you’ll be doing next and following that with, “Ok?” is a good way to comply with their rights.