During CNA training, you will learn how to treat many different types of patients. At times, you may be called upon to be a safety companion for patients who are agitated, confused, or suicidal.
A safety companion is an individual who provides one-on-one care and attention to patients who are demonstrating risky behaviors. This type of care is often used as an alternative to restraints and medications, which may cause more harm in that particular situation. If you are asked to be a safety companion after CNA training, you will be responsible for ensuring the health and safety of your patient through direct care.
After CNA Training: When Does a Patient Need a Safety Companion?
Many times, hospitals and nursing homes will ask those who have completed CNA training to assist in the care of at-risk individuals. These individuals typically display certain behaviors.
- Behavior that may result in harm to the individual themselves or others
- Behaviors that interfere with necessary treatment
- Behaviors that may cause damage to property
- Behaviors that increase the risk of falling
If the behavior might worsen with the use of medication or restraints, or these solutions might interfere with the patient’s regular treatment, an individual who has completed CNA training will be asked to sit with the patient.
Tips for Safety Companions After CNA Training
As a CNA training graduate, f you are asked to be a safety companion, here are a few tips that may make your responsibility a bit easier.
- Be Aware of Anxiety in Patients- If you notice your patient is pacing, fidgeting, or using a louder voice than usual, they may be becoming anxious. When this occurs, be watchful of your body language, avoid arguing, remain in control, and be proactive.
- Be Calm- Agitated patients can quickly become upset if they think they are not being understood or you try to rush them. Be calm and patient with them, using a quiet voice and avoiding excess stimulation and noise.
- Be Respectful- Always maintain dignity and respect of your patient. Remember patient’s rights you learned in CNA training.
- Be Safe- For your own safety, it is important to always face the patient you are caring for, provide constant supervision, and position yourself between them and the exit. Remove any items from your neck, like stethoscopes, jewelry, or ties. Avoid discussing any personal information and keep track of eating utensils and writing instruments.
- Maintain Your Patient’s Safety- If your patient is suicidal, be sure to always stay within arms reach of the patient, whether they are sleeping, toileting, bathing, or simply resting. Remove any laces, belts, cords, toxic substances, or sharp object from the room, and ask dietary to exchange their regular utensils for plastic ones. If family members visit, be sure to check any packages brought in thoroughly.
- Provide Entertainment- Agitated, confused, and suicidal patients may be combative, may attempt to pull out their central lines, IVs, or even Foley cath, or may just be restless and want to climb out of bed. Provide him with distractive activities too keep him entertained. You can read him a story, sing with him, play cards, or even play a board game.
After CNA training, you might be asked to be a safety companion for a suicidal, agitated, or confused patient. Working one-on-one with a patient can eliminate the need for additional restraints and medications, while keeping the patient safe and comfortable. If you find yourself taking over the role of safety companion after CNA training, consider these tips to ensure the safety of your patient.
CNA Training & Careers