After your CNA training is complete, it’s time to walk out the skills and rules that you’ve learned. It will become easier over time, as you become familiar with your daily routine and have experience dealing with different situations, emergencies, and procedures behind you. But what about right now? If you’re fresh out of CNA training and a bit apprehensive about your first few days or weeks in your new career, it’s good to know what to expect. We’ve put together a list of the most common pitfalls to help you avoid any mishaps and place you on a sure foundation in this rewarding new position.
Top Pitfalls to Avoid After CNA Training
- Turning a Patient – If your patient is relatively bedridden, it is absolutely vital to follow the chart for turning. Generally the patient chart will instruct you to turn a patient every two hours. Never skip this! Even if the patient seems comfortable and you’d rather not disturb them, bedsores are a natural result of having too much pressure on an area and are difficult to deal with once they appear. Not turning a patient according to chart instructions can result in a charge of negligence and the possibility of losing your job. Stay on the right path after CNA training by following chart instructions to the letter.
- Lifting and Moving a Patient – A two person move is by far the best and safest way to move your patient. Depending on their weight and mobility, a request for a two person move may be noted on the patient’s chart. If you ignore the charted instructions because you are new, afraid to ask for help, or just because you may feel that you can complete the task on your own, you are putting yourself, your patient, and your career in danger. Things always seem okay until something goes wrong. One fall can easily injure a patient beyond repair. Don’t put your job at risk after CNA training. Always find another staff member to assist with lifts and moves.
- Breaking Confidentiality – Everyone likes to vent and unwind after a long day at work. Sometimes there are interesting stories involved with a particular patient and you may be tempted to share the details during a conversation with a friend or family member. Keep in mind that by doing so you are breaking medical confidentiality rules and this has serious repercussions. It can even land you in jail. After CNA training, you are considered a medical professional. Never forget that. You may have discovered that one of your old classmates is fighting cancer or the mayor has been diagnosed with an STD but it’s absolutely vital that you keep this information to yourself. It’s certainly not worth it to risk the time and effort you put forth during your CNA training by sharing confidential medical information. Also keep in mind that you are not allowed to look through a patient’s chart. This information is for the RN only and a CNA has no right to it. HIPPA laws specifically protect the patient from prying eyes and if you allow curiosity to get the best of you, the end result may involve choosing a new career.
- Covering Your Mistakes – Your CNA training taught you the right way to do things. Don’t fall into the highly illegal habit of making up numbers on your patient’s chart. Were you supposed to take certain vital signs at 3 p.m. but missed it by two hours? Let the RN in charge know. You may be tempted to cover your mistake by filling in a normal blood pressure reading, especially if you see the patient seems to have no problem with high blood pressure. But what if the patient just started new medication or is developing an infection that raised their BP? You could actually become responsible for a patient’s death by covering a mistake. Yes, by telling the RN in charge that you missed a reading you may suffer disciplinary action or a warning, but this is far better than being ultimately responsible for a patient’s death. Always think about the long term possibilities, the effect on the patient, and the risk you’re putting your career at before making a decision you’ll regret.
After CNA training it’s your responsibility to conduct yourself as a professional medical staff member. Avoid these pitfalls and enjoy a long and rewarding career as a CNA.