CNA training, –it’s what all aspiring certified nursing assistants must complete before starting their new career. Although we’d like to believe that the hands on and clinical portions of CNA training will fully prepare us for our new jobs, there are three things that CNA training (regardless of how thorough) cannot truly prepare a student for. Here they are:
- CNA training can not prepare you for death – During your CNA training you will learn things like, the signs of death, dealing with the death of a patient, preparing families for death, how to inform a family of the imminent death of a loved one, and more. As much as we’d like to believe that CNA training can prepare us to deal with the reality of the loss of life, it can not. In fact, death of a patient is one of the top reasons why nursing assistants decide this is not the career path for them, second only to dissatisfaction with the job or the pay. So, what can you do to determine whether you’ll be able to deal with the death of a patient or not? You may want to talk to other CNA training graduates who work in Hospice centers or who have first hand experience with the death of their patients. Much of the ability to handle it involves the way you view death and what your end of life beliefs are. It is a good idea to fully research and investigate this aspect of the job before you decide to become a CNA. Of course, much dealing with death can be avoided by working in medical facilities such as walk-in clinics, certain floors or wards in the hospital, etc.
- CNA training can not fully prepare you for working with bodily fluids – As you know, some of your position after CNA training will involve dealing with bodily fluids, such as blood, excrement, urine, vomit or wound secretions. None of this is pleasant and whether or not you have the ability to get beyond it, to detach from it, will determine your ability to be a CNA. Again, you can choose to work in a facility where direct contact with certain bodily fluids will not be an every day occurrence, but you will have to deal with some of it, so be sure you have a strong stomach and the ability to detach.
- CNA training can not fully prepare you for the over-stimulation – Wow, you didn’t expect that to be on the top three list, did you? It’s true though. At some point after CNA training, there you’ll be, just doing your job and all of a sudden it will hit you. The charge nurse will give you a list of extra duties, the patients you are caring for will be extra loud and extra smelly. All of a sudden you’ll experience sensory overload or over-stimulation. It doesn’t happen every day but sometimes the foul smells, the disturbing sounds, and the work load will simply get to you. CNA training can’t fully prepare you or explain it. This is something you’ll have experience and learn how to handle.
Although CNA training can’t fully prepare you for everything, you will learn the basics. The rest you’ll have to experience.