Managing multiple pts

  1. As I mentioned here previously, I'm going to be starting a job as a nurse assistant very soon. I may have up to 8 pts at one time. Only had one at a time in clinical. I'm sure that every pt will not be total care, but they'll all need some kind of care. How long did it take you who are/have been CNAs/PCAs etc. to feel comfortable and able to manage your tasks?

    Also, I'll be on a med-surg floor. Do you think this will make Med-Surg I any easier when it comes time for that? I guess it depends on what kind of pts/situations I encounter on the job.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Genista
    Congratulations on your new job! I hope you will get some sort of orientation with another nurse assistant before they start you out on your own. That will help you figure out your role & managing your time. You can take care of 8 pts as a nurse aid, but remember your role as nurse assistant is different than your role as a student nurse.

    Your student nurse experience will help you as a nurse assistant, but remember, as an aid, you won't be responsible for total care of the patients...no med pass, no dressing changes, no physical exams (other than your observations, which are important).

    Most likely you will start off getting vital signs on the patients, and maybe do blood sugars if your facility permits. Let the nurses know immediately if you find any abnormal vitals or blood sugars, or anything else concerning (like patient c/o pain or SOB).

    Call lights will be going off all the time, so you fit those in between your other duties. You will try and help with bed baths (coordinate with the nurses so you can get some help in that area). Pass meal trays. Second set of vitals. Ambulate pts or do other various tasks, like getting people up at meals, etc if appropriate. Finally, empty foleys & drainage, etc & refill pitchers for end of shift.

    This can be a great experience for you! It won't take long to get the hang of it. Good luck! Remember to ask for help if you need it.Communicate with the nurses to find out pt diagnoses and/or NPO status, etc. Nursing care is teamwork. Let us know how it goes.
  4. by   Ortho_RN
    I think Kona has pretty much covered everything.... I also work as a PCA and we can have up to 15pts each, and I work on a Orthopedic floor, so it can get kinda hectic when you have 3 or 4 total hips or knees that can't get up to go to the bathroom, but it is doable... Just don't be afraid to ask for help....
  5. by   Nurse No-L
    The main suggestion I have is to just stay organized. One way is to make a sheet (or some hospitals already have them printed up) with the patient's name, spaces for blood pressure, pulse, respirations, temperature, and pain scale. Also write bed, bath, and mouth care, and check them off when complete. Just be nice and always smile, even when it's been a tough day! Good luck to you!
    :roll
  6. by   JohnnyGage
    I remember starting off as a nursing assistant even before I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I think the biggies have been covered -- remember that you're not a student nurse, but a nursing assistant. Look at this as a learning experience. While managing eight patients as an NA isn't the same as having four or five as a nurse, the organization skills that you'll develop as an aide will be forever valuable as you advance in your career.

    Also, when you have down time, let the nurses you work with that you're a student and are looking for learning experiences. When I first started out I let all of the nurses know I was interested in learning and it paid off big! I watched bedside craniotomies, c-sections, helped out in codes ... all stuff that I was grateful for.
  7. by   CountrifiedRN
    I worked as a CNA on a med/surg for a couple years. It's important to have a good orientation to the unit, and to make sure you understand how things are done. A good preceptor will ease you into caring for an increasing patient load. Maybe start you out with two patients, then as you feel comfortable, give you more.

    Once you are there for a short while, you will start to get a feel for a routine, and having many patients will get easier. I think that being a CNA in an acute care setting has been a great help to me as a student. As Johnny said, I also let the nurses I worked with know that I wanted to go on to become a nurse, and they always came looking for me to help with procedures, or to let me observe if something else was going on. I learned a lot from them.

    Congrats on the new job, and good luck! Keep us posted on how it goes!

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