So I just finished up a CNA course and I had three clinical days. I was working in a nursing home and I helped a lady go back to her room and she said that she needed to go to the restroom before she got back into bed. Simple enough, right? Wrong. I managed to majorly screw up. She said that she could pull her own pants down, and it was obvious that she felt a little uncomfortable with having help so I respected her wishes and let her pull her own pants down. Unfortunately she didn't get them all the way, but I didn't notice in time. Then, as soon as she sat down I noticed a beeping. I thought I might be a pressure alert to let people know if she was getting up without help but then I noticed a box with rubber tubing and a patch that was disconnected from her back. It was a wound vac. Ugh. To make matters worse, the poor lady soiled herself and was even more embarrassed. I felt so horrible. I did the only thing I could and I transferred her back into her wheelchair so that she was safe while I got help from her nurse. I feel like a complete MORON!!! How could I mess up so many things? First of all, I had no idea what a wound vac was or that she had one. Then by "respecting her privacy" I totally tramped all over her dignity and made her feel terrible. I went home and cried for hours. I am so sorry and embarrassed that I messed up. How do I come back from this? Does everyone have these errors in the begining?
Meh, it's ok... I did my clinicals and some work at a nursing home, and some mistakes are expected when you're new and still learning the ropes. Worst mistake I ever had was transferring a resident wrong and he slipped out of his wheelchair and fell...thankfully he was OK and didn't have any injuries. Still, though, it made me feel horrible... it made me think just how much worse things could've been if he had seriously hurt himself. It definitely inspired me to be more cautious in the future.
Main things to keep in mind when you're new and still in the learning process are patient safety + infection control. You want to make sure of basic things like -- keeping a patient free of infection or skin breakdown, making sure they don't have a bad fall and hurt themselves, etc. Things like speed, efficiency, doing everything properly and correctly, etc. are only going to come with practice and time. It's frustrating because you WANT to be good and able to do everything for your residents, etc. but the sad fact of the matter is, it's just not gonna happen until you're experienced and know how to do the job. I felt the same frustration when I was brand new but I just had to deal with it.
When I did my clinicals, we had 4 days where we basically just shadowed a CNA and did little by ourselves, other than the basic, low-liability stuff like wheeling a resident and feeding. It was easy and low-stress for that reason, but also made me sort of ill-prepared for the actual job because I hadn't practiced skills on actual people that much. I had to learn most of the skills like bed-making, turning, cleaning and changing the residents, etc. on the actual job. Which made me suuuuuuuuuuuuuper awkward and slow at first, but I did feel as if I was surely but slowly getting the hang of it.
Last edit by TurtleCat on Feb 17, '13
Quote from i_love_patient_care
I could not agree with turtlecat more. I had an assignment in LTC once as a float CNA with almost all of them needing a hoyer lift to transfer. No one would help me, so I told the LVN in charge and said either someone helps me transfer these people or they get bed baths and stay in bed. She ended up helping me and I was never assigned to that side again. I know the regular CNA was using the hoyer lift by herself. Not me. Never. Be careful about stuff like the other people have posted when you become a CNA.
I would NEVER hoist a patient alone. EVER.
Last edit by JDZ344 on May 14, '14