It’s the first day of CNA training clinical experience, and you can’t help but be nervous. Up until now, you’ve practiced your skills on dummies and on other students. You’ve read about caring for patients, taken notes, and taken tests. Today, however, you will actually be working with real patients who need your help.
This stage of CNA training can be nerve-wracking for students. You might be worried you will hurt someone, perform a procedure wrong, or get sick to your stomach the first time you see an open wound or a bowel movement.
Take a deep breath. All of this is normal, and there are a few steps you can take to ensure you survive your CNA training clinicals.
Tips for Your Clinicals During CNA Training
- Get Some Sleep- You are going to function better, remember more, and avoid a lot of nervousness by making sure you get enough sleep during your CNA training clinicals. This doesn’t mean you can’t spend an hour studying your textbook and practicing skills you don’t excel at yet for a few hours before bed, but get at least eight hours of sleep.
- Conquer Stress- Before you enter the medical facility you are performing clinicals at during CNA training, you need to understand one thing: you are still a student. You are still learning, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to be perfect. While your CNA training instructor expects you to know and understand the basics, she isn’t going to fault you for asking questions or feeling a bit overwhelmed your first few days. This knowledge alone should reduce your stress greatly.
- Wash Your Hands- Every time you enter a room, start a procedure, finish a procedure, leave a room, take a vital sign, or do anything, wash your hands. This is one of the most important parts of being a CNA, and your CNA training instructor will be watching to make sure you remember.
- Avoid the Smells- If you have a queasy stomach, come prepared for your clinicals! Spread a thin layer of mentholated vapor rub, lavender oil, or other oil under your nose before you walk in. This will ensure you avoid those scents that could turn your stomach and are able to concentrate on providing proper patient care.
- Things Aren’t Always as They Seem- When I began my clinical rotation during CNA training, our first medical facility was a nursing home. I was instructed to follow one particular CNA throughout the day, and I soon realized this facility and its staff were anything but perfect. Trash was left on the floor, breaks were taken every ten minutes, and hand washing was almost obsolete. When the day was done, our CNA training instructor gathered us all around and asked us about our experience. Most of the students commented on what a poor facility it was and asked why we were brought here for our first day of clinicals. The CNA training instructor smiled and informed us that she wanted us to see exactly what we should not do, and to remember this experience when we were working as CNAs, so we could avoid becoming the same way. Needless to say, the facility was soon visited by the state and had to go through a complete overhaul of staff. If you are taken to a clinical site that does not provide the proper care to its patients, keep this in mind.
CNA Training Clinical Help
Your clinicals are an important part of your experience and training. While they can be overwhelming, these tips will help you overcome your fears and make the most of this area of your CNA training.