Now that you’ve completed your CNA training and have made the decision to work as an in-home health care CNA, there are a lot of different issues you’ll have to learn to deal with. As a CNA training graduate, you are prepared for the basics, but what about helping a family decide that in home health care is no longer an option for their aging parent? Have you thought about how you would address an issue like this?
Here’s a scenario your CNA training probably didn’t prepare you for. Let’s say your job is coming by once per day and helping an elderly patient with light cleaning, cooking, grooming, bathing, and taking vital signs. Your normal shift at the home is four hours. What if suddenly, or even over the course of a few months, you notice distinct changes that may mean your patient may require a more serious level of care, such as full time nursing home care. Here are the warning signs. As we mentioned, your CNA training may not have prepared you for these determinations, but your first mission as a CNA training graduate should always be to improve the quality of life of those you care for. Keep that in mind as you look for these signs:
After CNA Training – Signs Your Patient May Need Additional Care
- Poor hygiene or untidy appearance. Has your patient suddenly stopped caring about his or her appearance? Maybe he or she doesn’t realize they are no longer practicing hygiene. Ask questions as you help them with their daily grooming. “Did you forget to brush your hair today? Did you misplace your hair brush?” Take note of the answers. Do they make sense? Does your patient seem disoriented or depressed?
- Isolation and reduced activity. Has your patient stopped making phone calls to friends and family? Have they become more isolated than usual? Did they stop taking part in crafts or activities they used to take part in?
- Have they changed eating habits, either reduced or increased? Reduced food intake can be a sign of depression or illness and should be treated with concern.
- Neglected finances or unopened mail can be a sign of confusion or disorientation.
- Falls or unexplained bruises or injuries should also be treated with concern and reported.
All of the above should be documented to discuss with family members during regular progress sessions. Never leave the judgment up to yourself. Your CNA training may have prepared you for basic care but never leave yourself liable for another person. Report everything.
After CNA Training – Discussing Concerns With Relatives
If any of these statements above are currently taking place at the in home daycare where you provide CNA services, call a meeting with relatives immediately. As you learned in your CNA training, your patient does have the right to privacy and to live their life freely, but it is also your duty to report any concerns you have to family members to allow the family to work out a plan of care together.
We hope this has helped you to recognize conditions and situations where your CNA training may not have directed you. As a CNA training graduate it is your duty to provide your patients with the best quality of life possible.