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10 Tips to Become a Better CNA

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Health Tips

10 Tips to Become a Better CNA

The work of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is rewarding, demanding, fast-paced and varied. If you are a CNA or aspire to be one, then you know there’s never a dull moment. Time passes quickly on any given day.

Honing your professional abilities will ensure you bring your best for the care of your residents. Continuing to learn and grow professionally will also position you for advancement in your career. Here, we offer ten professional tips to excel as a CNA.

  • Be prepared with a plan for each day. At the top of any list for an effective CNA is the importance of being organized and prepared for your day.
  • Share your compassion. Your work usually involves assisting residents with highly personal tasks such as toileting and bathing. By remaining compassionate with your residents, you establish a climate of mutual respect.
  • Be a patient listener. Hand-in-hand with compassion comes the ability to be a good listener. We honor each other when we fully listen to others and demonstrate that they have been heard. At no time is this more important than when a person needs care. Take a pause, breathe and pay close attention to what your resident is saying about their needs and concerns.
  • Pay attention to details. You have a significant relationship with the resident. You have ongoing communication with the resident, and your work will often entail keeping a thorough and accurate record of the care you provide as well as essential health data you obtain from the resident. Your log of those details is what ensures uniformity of service, as well as changes which may need to be made in the future.
  • Understand basic medical terminology. The more you understand of the language used in medicine, the more you’ll understand your resident’s specific needs and the care you provide in your role.
  • Use your strongest communication skills. As you observe and receive information, make sure to pass it along accurately when required by family and staff.
  • Ability to follow protocols and work independently. You’ll work and communicate within a team as you serve your residents. But many times, you’ll provide care by working independently. Be sure you know the standards for all the services you conduct, as this protects both you and the residents.
  • Continue your education! Make it a point to learn more about the work you do, from the latest safety tips to any ongoing education offered through your employer or community college. Continued learning will keep you fresh and engaged in your career and prepare you for opportunities of advancement as well.
  • Take good care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet and make sure to get good sleep at night. The right nutrition and rest helps protect you from getting sick, or (just as dangerous) burnt out. Physical conditioning in this job is important, as work as a CNA requires lifting and bending. Make sure you treat your body right with regular exercise and stretching.
  • Do something positive for you. Find time to enjoy activities that give your mind and body either rest or excitement (or a little bit of both). The care you provide for others doesn’t always end when you complete your day of work as a certified nursing assistant, because you should take care of yourself, too. Making time for yourself gives you the energy and mental resources to go at it for another day.

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