When you first graduate from CNA training and start a new job, it won’t take very long for you to realize that you are no longer in the lab. These aren’t mannequins or even fellow students pretending to be patients. These are real patients you are dealing with, and you aren’t as prepared as you thought you were.
Instead of dummies, you are now dealing with hot-headed doctors, stressed co-workers, and volatile patients, and you are on your own. While you might have read a few chapters about this situation in CNA training, there was no way you could be ready for the actual experience. The question is, once you are in this position, what can you do to stay safe?
Staying Safe in a Volatile Work Environment After CNA Training
- Know Your Environment- The location in which you work can play a large role in the workplace violence you experience after CNA training. For instance, you are at an increase risk of violence exposure if you work in the psychiatric unit or emergency department of a hospital. You are also at risk if your medical facility is continually short staffed after CNA training; this not only creates extra tension among your co-workers, but it can also means patients and families are often more frustrated about the care they are receiving. Certain medications can also make patients more prone to violent outbursts; make sure you understand what each patient’s diagnosis is and the medications they are taking before you enter their room.
- Know Your Rights- Medical facilities create policies to protect their staff for a reason. Educate yourself about these policies to understand how your facility wants you to handle violence in the workplace and then exercise your rights. If, after CNA training, your facility dictates that hospital security must be called to assist you if a patient becomes unreasonable, then make sure you know the codes and phone numbers necessary to call them. Make sure you also know who to contact if you experience violence and what paperwork you need to complete to document the situation.
- Be Smart- If you know a patient is prone to physical or verbal attacks, don’t enter their room alone. Be smart about your care and recruit a co-worker to enter the room with you. This also applies for unsecured areas like parking garages or anywhere outside the building. Also, make sure you know where all the phones are located in your facility so you can quickly call for help if you need to. You should feel safe when you are working after CNA training.
Stay Safe After CNA Training and Feel Secure
When you are employed by a nursing home or hospital after CNA training, it can be difficult to feel secure and safe when violence is around every corner. If you are prepared, however, and know what might happen, how to protect yourself, and who to call, you won’t have as much to worry about. Stay safe by following these tips after you complete your CNA training.