CNA training teaches many things. One of the most important topics covered during this course is compassionate care for all types of patients. This includes those who suddenly become or are frequently agitated.
Agitation occurs for a variety of reasons. No two situations are the same. However, the necessary steps to calm a confused or agitated patient are similar in almost every scenario.
Remember, the goal of helping a patient, in this state of mind, is to defuse the situation before it gets to the point that you have to use restraints and or additional medication to reduce their stress level.
CNA Training Touches Upon the Signs of Agitation
Recognizing the signs of agitation is the first up to calming someone who is extremely upset. The sooner you start to make the person feel at ease, the easier it is to rectify the situation. Common signs of agitation in patients include:
- attempting to hurt themselves or others
- interfering with personal care and treatment procedures
- wandering around aimlessly
- damaging property
- acting fidgety
CNA Training Reminds Students to Remain Respectful
Although this will never be a problem for the majority of CNA’s, it is imperative to remain respectful at all times. Patients often feel agitated because of their illness or the fact that they are unable to properly care for themselves. They may lash out in a very disrespectful manner.
Always remain calm yourself. Take control of the situation, by speaking gently and with authority. Reassure the individual that you are only doing your job and want to make them feel as comfortable as possible.
As you will be reminded, during the course of your CNA training, arguments should be avoided at all costs. Not only will it make matters worse, it may be cause for termination.
CNA Training Teaches Safety First
Safety, both your own and that of the individual you are caring for, is paramount. At the first sign of a problem remove anything from the patient’s room that might cause danger. This includes items such as:
- sharp objects
- belts and shoelaces
- toxic substances and medication
In the case of dealing with a combative patient, try to stand between him or her and the doorway. If you have time, remove any jewelry you may be wearing along with medical equipment such as a stethoscope. These items have the ability to injure the person, in the event that restraint is necessary.
CNA Training Teaches You the Benefit of Entertainment
One way to help ease levels of agitation is to try to take your patients mind off of what is bothering them by providing some kind of entertainment option, if he or she is up to it. This includes things like reading a book, going for a walk or watching a favorite movie.
As you’ll learn in your CNA training, even the most experienced CNA has to deal with agitated patients, from time to time. It is unavoidable. However, by remaining calm and defusing the situation as quickly as possible, it will be easier to keep these individuals safe and hopefully ready to face a brand new day.
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