Things they didn't teach you in CNA class.

  1. Seems like there's something new every day and it makes me nervous to think that I'll be in charge one day when I become a nurse.
    Since becoming a CNA, what are some things that you've learned while working the floor? Either relevant to CNA work or something you've learned from your nurses.

    I just found out that the air beds are not supposed to have fitted sheets put on them because it restricts the air flow.

    You can't keep a stack of towels and wash cloths in the shower room for all of your showers. It's cross contamination. (never thought about it!:-)

    Just to get it started. I'll post more as I think of them. Hopefully this will help some of the brand new CNAs and me too!

  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   yousoldtheworld
    That you will promptly forget 90% of the rules and steps you learn in your class once you are working, because if you were to follow all of them, you would never finish. Ever.
  4. by   reussir1
    i could never figure out why all my residents kept sliding down in bed after repositioning...crank up their feet first.
  5. by   yousoldtheworld
    Draw sheets are like gold, put them under every resident, or you will hate your life when it's time to reposition or roll them.

    If someone has a major blowout in their bed, it might just be easier to toss them in the shower than to try to get mountains of poop scrubbed off of them in bed.

    When you put a brief on a male resident, make sure his weiner is pointing down. Seriously. You will regret it if it isn't.
  6. by   reussir1
    shaving cream can work wonders when you're trying to get off old, crusty dried bm.
  7. by   studnur
    Great tips...I just got done completing my CNA course work and starting the internship in 2 weeks...nervous as I need more practice with the skills before the board exam, I hope the Nursing Home will help me with hands on care.

    Also did any of you have to do BP in your state exam...I am having such a difficult time with BP...I was told the brand of stethoscope the school sold is bad so I am considering purchasing a littman to practice...any BP tips?
  8. by   futurenurseheather
    if your resident gets a suppository, go ahead and put a peach pad or a brief on them just for the time being until the suppository does its work. you will thank yourself later.
  9. by   CoffeemateCNA
    If a resident has an alarm, you cannot leave them alone in the bathroom, etc.

    Room trays, including drinks, have to be covered while taking them from kitchen to the resident's rooms.

    You can't leave the residents alone in the dining room. Someone needs to be in there at all times in case someone chokes.

    Always keep an extra pair of gloves in your pocket.

    Briefs -- the side with the tabs is the BACK. Pull-ups -- the side with the colored strip is the BACK.

    Use hand soap on the residents' stockings/TED hose when you are cleaning them. Don't just rinse them with plain water and call it good.

    Do NOT use the residents arms to pull them forward -- put your hands on the small of their back instead.

    ALWAYS make sure the toilet seat (the very top cover) is UP before you put a resident on it. I only made this mistake ONCE because it took me quite awhile to clean it up.

    Do NOT leave chux and draw sheets all wrinkled under the resident. If they are heavy and tend to "wad" up the chux when you are laying them down, then take the chux off the bed before you put the resident down, and put them under them AFTERWARDS.

    Drinking from the same watercooler the residents drink from is a mistake.

    Management gets perturbed when you tell people that you are "short-staffed."

    You're not supposed to tie call lights or bed controls around the side rails to make sure they don't fall off of the bed (no idea why).

    Having water wars with syringes of saline is quite fun -- just make sure management isn't around for it.

    Never tell a resident "I'll be back in just a minute." Always say "I'll back as soon as I can."
    Last edit by CoffeemateCNA on Aug 10, '10
  10. by   fuzzywuzzy
    These tips aren't by the book, but they help.

    You don't have to take off someone's pants or shoes just to put a new pull-up on. Just put one leg through, shove it underneath the pants, then stretch the other leg hole of the pull-up down through the other pantleg and around the foot.

    Before you close up a brief on a man, wrap his peen in a pantyliner. Then he won't pee out the side of the brief and there is less contact between urine and skin when he does go.

    When putting someone heavy on the commode, pull the bucket out first and put it on the floor. Then you'll know if and when they actually do something, and you can wipe them while they're sitting down instead of struggling to do it after you stand them up.

    Put a plastic bag under the seat of the shower chair (where the bucket usually goes) if you think someone is going to poop and leave a trail in the hallway or a mess on the shower floor. Then tear it off at the last minute before you wash their butt. If they did anything just tie up the bag and throw it away!

    If someone is in bed or on the toilet it's easier to put a skirt on over their head and let it fall down when they stand up than it is to put it on from the bottom.

    When giving a bed bath, a bedpan is good for putting under the person's head when you wash their hair. Just make sure you mark what that bedpan is for. And a few water pitchers dot he trick for rinsing someone off... they make more of a mess than wet washcloths but I think they're better.

    Always put jobst stockings on before you get the person OOB... it's easier.
  11. by   Poi Dog
    I wish I had been told that 98%, OK 99.9% of my coworkers will not be like the ones in the lame dvd's. You know the ones where you ask them to help you and they say, "Yes!" (with a big smile and overflowing enthusiasm). In reality, you will get a scowl and hear a lame excuse and be told, "No, because I have not taken my break."

    How valuable an extra pair of scrubs can be.
    Last edit by Poi Dog on Aug 10, '10
  12. by   reussir1
    Quote from CoffeemateCNA
    You're not supposed to tie call lights or bed controls around the side rails to make sure they don't fall off of the bed (no idea why).
    our management tells us to tie them to the rail...maybe because we don't have those little metal clips to attach them to something.
  13. by   Dorali
    Rub lotion on the legs before putting on TED hose. It helps the hose to slip on easier.

    Put an inch or so of water in the bottom of the beside commodes. It keeps the BM from sticking. Adding a little handsoap from the bathroom helps with odor.

    If the resident has a walker, use it! It's a lot easier to let them stand and hang on to the walker than it is to hold them and try to reach around to wipe them, pull up briefs & pants, etc.
  14. by   yousoldtheworld
    If a resident's butt isn't far back enough in their chair, reach down and give a little tug to the back of the waistband of their pants. Their butts will scoot back a lot easier than if you try to do it any other way.