Your Career After CNA Training: Understanding Professional Boundaries and What Can Happen When They Are Crossed

cna trainingAfter CNA Training

After CNA training, you are going to be working with a variety of residents, some of whom you will grow quite close to. Although it is natural for anyone who has completed CNA training and who works day in and day out with specific individuals to develop long term relationships with those patients, there are certain professional boundaries that must be established and kept. Without these boundaries, relationships with patients can become unhealthy for the resident, their family, you, and other patients you are assigned to take care of.


Before you begin working with patients after CNA training, you must understand what your professional boundaries should be and what could happen when they are crossed.


Professional Boundaries After CNA Training


  • Over Attachments- Unlike in hospitals, where patients check in and checkout often, nursing homes provide those who have completed CNA training with the opportunity to care for patients long term. Unfortunately, this often means that CNAs who work with the same patients every day can more easily become attached to them. They may become upset if they aren’t assigned to take care of certain residents or claim they cannot be moved to other floors or units because of their relationship with a resident. As a result, other residents are shortchanged, as the patient the CNA is attached to is given all of the CNA’s time and care, and other nursing assistants end up having to take up the slack and care for the other residents. Residents in long term setting can also develop attachments to certain CNAs that are not healthy. They may become dependent on seeing and speaking to the CNA each day, and are unhappy when they are not given the opportunity to do so. The resident may refuse to work with other nursing assistants as well.


  • Losing Objectivity- When individuals who have completed CNA training lose their objectivity, this is a big concern. After all, it is a CNAs job to observe, evaluate, and report any changes to a resident’s behavior or condition. A loss of objectivity often results when CNAs become too close to their residents. They are unable to accurately see and report what their resident’s abilities truly are because of their attachment. When CNAs lose their objectivity, it can have a great effect a resident. For instance, if a resident can’t walk by herself, but a CNA who has lost his or her objectivity may report that the resident can indeed walk by herself, the resident may become frustrated when other nursing assistants try to motivate the resident to walk by herself. The resident’s care plan may end up containing the wrong information, and families may be told a resident is capable of performing acts they haven’t been able to do in quite some time.


  • Over Advocacy- Over advocacy occurs when personal friendships with residents are taken too far. Individuals who have completed CNA training and are too attached to residents may end up demanding care their resident doesn’t truly need, like extra attention, medical procedures, and therapy.


CNA Training and Careers


After CNA training, it is essential for you to understand what professional boundaries you will need to comply with as a CNA and make sure you don’t cross them. If you do, they can have lasting impacts on your career, the residents you care for, and other nursing assistants you work with after CNA training.

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