When you finish CNA training and begin working in a health care facility, helping your team, and receiving help from other CNAs is common. In fact, there are some circumstances where you can’t possibly complete your duties without help from another person. Some nights you may be extremely busy and may need a CNA from another hall to catch a few of your call lights; other times you may need assistance transferring a patient into bed who isn’t very steady on his feet.
This is normal, and it’s all part of the job. But, after CNA training, it is important to avoid taking this “teamwork” too far, as your co-workers may begin to think you are lazy, unintelligent, and taking advantage of them. How do you know how far is too far? Let’s take a look at a few scenarios.
Taking Teamwork Too Far After CNA Training
You’ve just finished CNA training, and are working in a nursing home. After a long day of caring for your patients, you need to obtain vital signs for each one of them. With one particular patient, you are having trouble obtaining a blood pressure. After trying several times, you can’t seem to get one, and you ask for help.
Your View: You haven’t had much practice obtaining blood pressures, and aren’t confident in your abilities after CNA training.
Your Team’s View: You aren’t used to the busy and hectic schedule yet, and simply want someone else to do your work for you.
What to Do: In a situation like this, you need to be honest and let them know exactly what is going on. Tell them, “It hasn’t been that long since I completed my CNA training, and I haven’t had as much experience as you taking blood pressures. Could you please show me how to take John Doe’s blood pressure; I can not seem to hear anything.”
During a particularly chaotic second shift after CNA training, you’ve found yourself running all over the nursing home, helping out with the workload of all your co-workers. When you notice that one the patients your co-workers is supposed to be taking care of is still sitting in her room, waiting for help getting dressed in her nightclothes and getting in bed. You quickly find the co-worker and let her know before you rush off to care for the rest of your patients. An hour later, you are catching your breath and getting ready to clock out, when you notice the patient is still sitting in the same spot, and your co-workers has already clocked out and gone home for the night.
Your View: Why cause drama?
Your Team’s View: If you don’t take care of the problem by letting management know, the same problem will happen again.
What to do: You need to remember that you began CNA training to care for patients, and that mentality hasn’t changed. Although it may be hard, you need to tell your supervisor exactly what is going on so your patients can receive better care. Many CNAs try to avoid drama, and would just go in and take care of the patient themselves; You need to think about two things though before you do this. The first is that if you take care of the patient, you will be encouraging the other CNA to continue the bad behavior. The second thing you need to consider is your facility’s policy for overtime; you were about to clock out, which means your shift was over. In most facilities, overtime is only acceptable after CNA training if it has been approved. For the approval, you will need to speak to the nursing supervisor anyway, or risk disciplinary action or termination from your job after CNA training.
CNA Training and Taking Advantage of Your Team
As you can see in these two scenarios, the difference in the way teamwork is used is significant. In the first, you simply need more experience after CNA training, and asking for help is understandable and encouraged. In the second however, you can clearly see that the second CNA is taking advantage of the team by heading home before all of her patients were cared for. Make sure you know the difference and are able to understand how far is too far when it comes to teamwork after CNA training.