Completing CNA training may make you feel as if you have all the knowledge you will ever need. After all, you now know exactly how to care for each and every patient in your care properly now; you can bathe them, help them eat, dress them, and you can even measure their input and output.
Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case.
After CNA training, you will find that many bits of knowledge can’t be learned in the classroom, but are actually learned from experience. If you don’t want to wait for that knowledge, however, you should consider these little nuggets of wisdom.
What Experience Can Teach You After CNA Training
- Don’t Argue With Dementia- When you are working with patients after CNA training, you will most likely work with at least one that has dementia or Alzheimer’s. When I finished CNA training, I was employed at a nursing home, so I worked with many Dementia patients. I can remember one in particular (let’s call her Anne.) Every day, she would carry around a baby doll. It was her “baby,” and she believed she was actually caring for her daughter. Occasionally, she would ask one of the aides to babysit the baby. In the 90’s, we would have been taught to rudely yank her back to reality (one CNA tried this once and was slapped upside the head with “baby.”) Today, however, you will find that many CNA training centers and medical facilities advocate accepting the reality of confused patient, rather than trying to destroy it. After all, if the life they believe they are living back in 1950 makes them happier than living in a nursing home, why not allow them to be happy?
- If Your Patient Says he is Going to Die, Believe Him- While your patient’s vital signs may be perfect and he looks healthy as a horse, if he tells you he is going to die, believe him. Tell your charge nurse and keep a close eye on him. Your patients know their bodies, and somehow many of them know what is going to happen before their bodies show any signs of it.
- Patients are More Than Their Diagnosis- After CNA training, you may find that many doctors, nurses, and other CNAs view patients differently based on their diagnosis. They might be reluctant to care for individuals with sexually transmitted diseases, may think that every patient suffering from back pain is just another pill addict, and may steer clear of patients who are “easy” to take care of, like those with dementia. Don’t let others change the way you act and care for your patients. They are more than just their diagnosis. They are human beings in need of your help.
- Love What You Do- While most CNAs begin CNA training because they want to help others, some don’t have any passion for the work at all. They are simply there for the paycheck. You can’t work as a CNA this way; you’ll just end up becoming jaded and cynical. The job is too hard to perform it without passion and purpose!
Wisdom After CNA Training
While you might think you have learned everything you need to during CNA training, you can gain a lot of knowledge from experience. Keep your eyes open and be willing to keep learning after CNA training.