Working with someone who has completed CNA training, but is less-than-competent on the job is a frustrating reality for many CNAs. You’re never sure if they need help, more training, or just a good swift kick in the pants. Whatever the reason for their incompetence, they can make your life miserable and can make you dread getting up and going to work every day.
If you are working with an individual who has obtained the CNA training she needs to do her job, but still doesn’t seem to know how to do anything, we have a few tips that might help.
Dealing With Incompetent CNAs After CNA Training
- Offer to Help- The first step you should always take is to offer to help an incompetent CNA. She may have the skills to do the job and the CNA training, but she may be overwhelmed by the work itself. She may not understand that she needs to take the initiative and recognize her priorities. Start by approaching her and discussing your concerns. If she’s been on the job and out of CNA training for a while, she should know what she is doing and be able to work more independently. Talk to her about priorities, the schedule, and what she is having trouble with. Help her identify when she should ask for help and when she should do the job herself. Correct any mistakes she makes, but be gentle. With a little time invested, you may find she simply needed assistance figuring out where she was supposed to be and what she was supposed to be doing.
- Speak to the Charge Nurse- If the CNA isn’t willing to accept help from you, or you are concerned that she may need more than a few kinds words and pointed in the right direction, you may need to speak to the charge nurse. Express your concerns about the CNAs work ethic and abilities, but try not to complain or be condescending. The charge nurse may have a few suggestions she can discuss with the other CNA to help.
- Speak to the Director of Nursing- If the first two options don’t work, you and the charge nurse may need to have a meeting with the DON of the health care facility. Inform the DON what has been occurring in detail. Let him or her know if the other CNA has been standing around, watching you do all the work, if she is afraid to touch the Hoyer lift or help patients stand up off their beds, or if she is performing procedures she learned in CNA training incorrectly. The DON may need to make sure the CNA receives more CNA training, may need to help build up the CNA’s confidence with patients, or may need to have a stern discussion with the CNA about her job duties.
CNA Training and Your Career
Working with less-than-competent CNAs after CNA training can be very frustrating. Whatever you do, don’t do their work for them. You’ll only burn yourself out. Instead, discuss the situation with her, the charge nurse, or the director of nursing to ensure she receive the kick in the pants or additional CNA training she needs.