After CNA training, every nursing assistant should know about, understand how, and be able to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. This is a lifesaving skill that no healthcare worker should go without.
In order to learn CPR and become certified in it, however, you will need to take a class for it and practice on dummies with a certified instructor. Many CNA training courses offer these classes at the same time as your CNA training, but some will not. If your CNA training course doesn’t provide you with the opportunity to learn CPR, you must find classes elsewhere after you have completed your training.
After CNA Training: Why is CPR Needed
Heart disorders and disorders related to an individual’s breathing apparatus can result in breathing and hearts stopping. When a person’s heart stops beating, it is known as cardiac arrest, and when he or she quits breathing it is known as respiratory arrest. When these problems occur, oxygen is unable to reach the brain, and an individual quickly begins to lose heart muscle and tissue.
Within just a few minutes of this occurring, individuals can suffer from brain damage and even death, so it is important to act quickly and provide oxygen to the heart and brain.
During CPR, you can increase and decrease the amount of pressure in a person’s lungs in an effort to pump blood through his lungs. This allows the blood to pick up oxygen in the lungs and carry it throughout the body and to the heart.
How to Perform CPR After CNA Training
If you discover one of your patients is not breathing after CNA training, there are several steps you must take.
- Tap and shout the patient to verify they are not sleeping. Sometimes when individuals sleep, they can stop breathing for a short period of time, but will begin breathing again on their own. The last thing you want to do is begin CPR after CNA training when your patient is simply sleeping. If they don’t respond to you, however, you must take action.
- If you are working in a hospital or nursing home after CNA training, you should immediately call for help by shouting and pressing the call button near your patient. In some facilities, you may also need to pick up a phone and call an operator in the hospital.
- If you working in home health after CNA training and are at a patient’s home or on the street, call 911 or, if there is anyone around, ask someone else to call 911 for you. Keep in mind that personalizing your request will help you obtain a better response. For instance, if there is a man in a blue shirt standing nearby, say “Man in blue shirt, dial 911.”
- Begin CPR by implementing chest compressions, just as you learned in CNA training. Make sure the patient is on a flat and firm surface before you begin. Place the heel of one of your hands on the patient’s chest, between their nipples. Place your other hand over the hand on the chest and lock your fingers together.
- Kneel next to the patient, and with your arms straight and do 30 compressions. You should then tilt the patient’s head back, pinch their nostrils, and breath into the patient’s mouth two times. You may also use an ambu-bag and protective barriers if they are available. While you are giving the rescue breathes, watch the patient’s chest to ensure it is filling with air. If not, there may be a blockage you need to remove, like dentures, food, or other objects.
Learning CPR during CNA training is essential to ensuring you can provide your patients with the lifesaving techniques they may require. Save a life; make sure you know how to perform CPR after CNA training.