The State’s Here! Staying Calm After CNA Training

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Every year after CNA training, there comes a time that strikes fear into every new and seasoned CNA: the visit from the state. They invade your facility, scrutinize every aspect of your work, pour over your records, and ask never-ending questions. During this time, things tend to work a little differently. Managers who you’ve never seen outside of their office are suddenly very helpful. They wipe down tables in the dining area, push wheelchairs, and actually talk to patients. At the same time, everyone, from housekeepers to nurses, try to continue about their days as normal, without showing how nervous they actually are.

While it may seem like the state is there to catch you making as many mistakes as possible after CNA training, it simply isn’t true. Their job is to ensure patients are being taken care of correctly and to ensure you know what you’re doing after CNA training.

What You Should Know About the State After CNA Training

  • They are not There to Intimidate- Ensuring quality care for residents is their only goal. In fact, when surveyors are trained to evaluate facilities, they are taught to NOT make workers feel bad or be aggressive.
  • They Have to Follow the Rules- When facilities receive citations, many CNAs believe that the facility itself is terrible. This isn’t necessarily true. State surveyors have to ensure every aspect of care follows the Code of Federal Regulations, and they have to be objective and factual while doing it. If they see anything wrong that goes against these regulations, they will cite the facility. This doesn’t mean you did a terrible job. It just means some things need to be improved.
  • The Questions Aren’t Personal- When a state surveyor takes you aside and begins asking you questions after CNA training, try to not let your emotions get the better of you. They didn’t pick you because they suspect you aren’t caring for your patients correctly. They simply need information. Try to be factual and avoid giving your opinion on any question they might have.
  • They Won’t Fix Problems- In most cases, you’ll be much too nervous to ask anything of the state surveyor after CNA training. If you do have a question, keep in mind that most won’t give you any kind of answer. It isn’t their responsibility to tell you how to comply with state regulations or to walk you through what you did wrong. They are there to see the facts and determine if a citation is necessary. That is all.
  • They Will Take Notes- It’s incredibly nerve wracking to provide peri-care after CNA training for a patient while a state surveyor is standing beside you taking notes on her tablet. When this happens, focus your attention on patient care and keep in mind that note-taking is part of the surveyor’s responsibilities. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong.

Surviving a State Visit After CNA Training

Whether you’re a new or seasoned CNA, the state visit will be an emotional and difficult time after CNA training. Just remember that these surveyors are there to ensure you and the rest of the health care team are providing the best care possible for patients according to state regulations. They aren’t there to make you look bad or to dig up dirt. With these thoughts in mind, you may find it easier to perform your duties during a state visit after CNA training.


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