When you’re a CNA, your everyday life will vary from one moment to the next. However, every single circumstance will be the same after CNA training: you’ll be busy.
As you hurry from patient room to patient room, answer calls lights, chart intakes and output, take vital signs, pass ice, and make sure every patient is where they are supposed to be, it can be hard to remember to grab something to drink, which can quickly lead to dehydration. In fact, we sometimes cause this ourselves by drinking too little. After all, with such a busy schedule, you don’t know when your next bathroom break is going to be, so why would you drink a lot?
Dehydration and you After CNA Training
While it may not seem like forgetting to take a drink every once in a while would be that damaging after CNA training it is. Dehydration can lead to a number of problems, like headaches, irritability, blurred vision, fatigue, and mood swings, none of which you want to happen when you’re on the clock after CNA training. If dehydration is allowed to get worse, it can also cause more severe problems like dizziness or low blood pressure- you may even faint.
Have you ever taken a moment to consider how dehydration could be affecting your work after CNA training? Maybe in the the latter part of your shift you’re suddenly more snappy at your co-workers, more impatient with your residents, or you feel completely exhausted for no apparent reason.
When you’re working after CNA training, dehydration is the last thing you want to occur because it means your patients aren’t getting the care they need from you. And if you aren’t there for them, who will be?
Taking Care of Hydration After CNA Training
- Drink More Water- While this may be a “duh” kind of answer, knowing how much to drink every single day is difficult. The 8 glasses of water a day isn’t for everyone; it all depends on your weight. You’ll want to aim for half your weight in ounces. For instance, if you weigh 160 pounds, drinking 80 ounces of water a day will help to keep you hydrated. Listen to what your body is trying to tell you as well; it will help you determine how much to drink and how often.
- Carry it With you- If you can, carry a bottle of water with you during the day after CNA training. At my nursing home, we have carts that stay on our hall and we move from room to room. We’re allowed to have a bottle of water on the top of the cart, as long as it doesn’t come into contact with any of the supplies that we are using. By carrying water with you after CNA training, you’re much more likely to drink more and refill more often.
- Listen to Your Body- And really pay attention. Are your lips cracked? Do you have a headache? Are you feeling down and “out of it?” Watch for physical signs that your body is trying to give you after CNA training in an effort to get you to drink more.
- Use the Bathroom- Take some time to yourself during the day and use the restroom. Remember, you have to take care of yourself if you’re going to be any good for your patients.
Running around all day leaves little time for you to drink as much as you should. After CNA training, fight back and prevent dehydration from affecting your work life. With these tips, you can stay hydrated and ready to go after CNA training.