New CNA Job

  1. Hi. I am 24 and I just got out of a 10-day CNA program and passed the state exams...skills and written. I was hired at an LTC facility and started working there on Dec. 2nd. This is my first job working in the healthcare field. So obviously, I am very nervous about what to expect. I've worked there for 4 days now and am slowly getting the hang of it. I want to know if someone could give me some advice. What are the most important things for me to be aware of while I'm working as a CNA? I am so worried about doing the slightest thing wrong because there are so many things I am still learning, and I don't know what I should focus on the most. I hope I am making myself clear. For example, I seem to take longer than most of the CNAs when I change a patient or put them to bed because I always try to make sure before I leave a patient's room that I have done everything perfectly, to the last detail. I feel like I am missing the big picture b/c I'm too focused on details. I know it's good to focus on details, but when I compare my work to the others around me, I can see that I get a little TOO obsessive. In fact, the CNA who trained me told me I need to be in the "get her done" mentality to do this job. Just do it and don't worry too much about little things. That really goes against my nature, but hopefully, with time I will stop worrying so much about minor things and be able to get things done more quickly.

    Can you tell me what you would look for in a CNA to decide if they were giving the best patient care possible? Thanks a lot. I appreciate any advice I can get.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   vampiregirl
    Congrats on your new position! When I read your post, it reminded me so much of myself when I first started as a CNA. First of all, my advice you to is continue to pay attention to the details. That can make the difference between "getting the job done" and "providing the best care possible". While this attitude can make you a bit unpopular with your coworkers (which is frequently jealousy), think about why you are there... you are there to take care of your residents and ensure their safety and wellbeing (actually the safety and wellbeing of the residents should be the most important thing of all!). It's the residents who will notice that you go the extra mile for them and the nurses will see that you are providing quality care. Get to know your residents are you care for them. Learn about their care plans (ask your nurses). Yes, it may be easier initially to do things for them, but if you help them and encourage them to do everything they can do themselves, over time it will make your job easier. Give yourself time to build up your speed. As long as you are doing your share of the work, don't worry if it takes you longer. Ask for feedback from your nurses- any good nurse should be willing to help you improve your patient care. They can help you prioritize what details can be left out temporarily. As for the worrying, try to figure out whether a concern affects the safety or wellbeing of a resident, if it doesn't try to let it go. Just do the best job you can and give yourself time (and I mean months!), the rest will come. Good luck.
  4. by   Harleygirl
    Quote from Becky718
    Hi. I am 24 and I just got out of a 10-day CNA program and passed the state exams...skills and written. I was hired at an LTC facility and started working there on Dec. 2nd. This is my first job working in the healthcare field. So obviously, I am very nervous about what to expect. I've worked there for 4 days now and am slowly getting the hang of it. I want to know if someone could give me some advice. What are the most important things for me to be aware of while I'm working as a CNA? I am so worried about doing the slightest thing wrong because there are so many things I am still learning, and I don't know what I should focus on the most. I hope I am making myself clear. For example, I seem to take longer than most of the CNAs when I change a patient or put them to bed because I always try to make sure before I leave a patient's room that I have done everything perfectly, to the last detail. I feel like I am missing the big picture b/c I'm too focused on details. I know it's good to focus on details, but when I compare my work to the others around me, I can see that I get a little TOO obsessive. In fact, the CNA who trained me told me I need to be in the "get her done" mentality to do this job. Just do it and don't worry too much about little things. That really goes against my nature, but hopefully, with time I will stop worrying so much about minor things and be able to get things done more quickly.

    Can you tell me what you would look for in a CNA to decide if they were giving the best patient care possible? Thanks a lot. I appreciate any advice I can get.
    Becky,
    I takes a little while to work up to speed. Being detail oriented is not a bad thing. And your charge nurse and DON notice details. The biggest things that impressed me were CNA's that were team players, working well with others, and making sure the residents were clean, appropriately dressed, smelled good, got their cares done, and if they had alarms on that they were attatched and switched on. A CNA that is really in tune with their residents is a huge asset to the nurse. You are the eyes and the ears of the nurses, and a lot of times you will be the one to see a change in behavior, changes in urine, how they are eating, sleeping, etc. Notifying the nurse timely about a resident change is valuable.
    Don't beat yourself up about not being as fast as the other CNA's. That comes with time.

    Harleygirl
  5. by   Becky718
    Thanks so much, to both of you! I feel so much better just knowing that you understand what I am saying and that it's normal for it to take months to get comfortable with the job. I was starting to feel really stupid because it was taking me so long to get the hang of it.

    I am definitely going to take your advice and give myself more time to learn all of this and try not to put too much pressure on myself. I tend to expect myself to learn everything all at once when I start something new, and it always stresses me out like this. I appreciate your responses and welcome anyone else to put in their two cents! Thank you so much for the good advice!
  6. by   CoffeeRTC
    Just curious, what do you think is taking so long? What are the extra things you do? I was a very slow CNA, but I think I provided great care. The extra things I saw myself doing were appying lotion (dry skin and esp feet), brushing teeth at night, straightening their room/ bedside stands etc. Washing hands and face with pm care. Inct care, to me, meant cleaning and drying then applying a moisture barrier. Yep all these things take time and I always did them.

    Funny note, an other thing that took time was my changes. I never found out why until I became a nurse there. I put the briefs on backwards:chuckle with the tags in the front. OMG how I used to struggle!! I had no clue since I never changed a baby diaper and never went to school for CNA (I was in BSN program and just needed to take the test for certification) No one wanted to tell me I was doing it wrong, since I was to be a nurse at that facility.

    Ask questions, obsereve the other aids. It takes time.
  7. by   katy_kenemy
    the most important thing for you to know, IMO, is that this year next time you will be totally confident and will have learned and accomplished so much, not from knocking yourself out or being overly critical or trying too hard, but just from showing up every day and doing your best. also, if you feel too freaky at work, show up on your free time and enjoy the residents. they'll grow to know you and trust you and your job will be easier for it.
  8. by   10ACGIRL
    Quote from Becky718
    Hi. I am 24 and I just got out of a 10-day CNA program and passed the state exams...skills and written. I was hired at an LTC facility and started working there on Dec. 2nd. This is my first job working in the healthcare field. So obviously, I am very nervous about what to expect. I've worked there for 4 days now and am slowly getting the hang of it. I want to know if someone could give me some advice. What are the most important things for me to be aware of while I'm working as a CNA? I am so worried about doing the slightest thing wrong because there are so many things I am still learning, and I don't know what I should focus on the most. I hope I am making myself clear. For example, I seem to take longer than most of the CNAs when I change a patient or put them to bed because I always try to make sure before I leave a patient's room that I have done everything perfectly, to the last detail. I feel like I am missing the big picture b/c I'm too focused on details. I know it's good to focus on details, but when I compare my work to the others around me, I can see that I get a little TOO obsessive. In fact, the CNA who trained me told me I need to be in the "get her done" mentality to do this job. Just do it and don't worry too much about little things. That really goes against my nature, but hopefully, with time I will stop worrying so much about minor things and be able to get things done more quickly.

    Can you tell me what you would look for in a CNA to decide if they were giving the best patient care possible? Thanks a lot. I appreciate any advice I can get.
    Sweetheart, you sound just like me whne I took my first CNA job, it was in a SNF (Skilled Nursing Facility), if you want any place to work as a CNA, i recommend an Assisted Living Facility where the residents are a bit more independant and les dependant on you. I help assist with baths, giving them their meals,(its like a small restraunt diningroom),drink refills, . but the only diff. is, I am not certified to pass meds. Most showers are that you just have to help them in and was their back and they do the rest. When they get out, help to dry them off an assist w/ dressing if they want or need it! They worked me too fast too hard. They expected a 8 hr. shift to be done in 6 hours, was how I felt. Hopfully you will be able to catch on better than me, other than that is.... try an ALF (assisted living facility)!
  9. by   Snow1278
    Quote from Becky718
    Hi. I am 24 and I just got out of a 10-day CNA program and passed the state exams...skills and written. I was hired at an LTC facility and started working there on Dec. 2nd. This is my first job working in the healthcare field. So obviously, I am very nervous about what to expect. I've worked there for 4 days now and am slowly getting the hang of it. I want to know if someone could give me some advice. What are the most important things for me to be aware of while I'm working as a CNA? I am so worried about doing the slightest thing wrong because there are so many things I am still learning, and I don't know what I should focus on the most. I hope I am making myself clear. For example, I seem to take longer than most of the CNAs when I change a patient or put them to bed because I always try to make sure before I leave a patient's room that I have done everything perfectly, to the last detail. I feel like I am missing the big picture b/c I'm too focused on details. I know it's good to focus on details, but when I compare my work to the others around me, I can see that I get a little TOO obsessive. In fact, the CNA who trained me told me I need to be in the "get her done" mentality to do this job. Just do it and don't worry too much about little things. That really goes against my nature, but hopefully, with time I will stop worrying so much about minor things and be able to get things done more quickly.

    Can you tell me what you would look for in a CNA to decide if they were giving the best patient care possible? Thanks a lot. I appreciate any advice I can get.
    I have been a CNA for six years and the little things matter a lot. Not just to you but to the residents. It makes their day so much better and makes your job so much easier. Even with the confused residents if you are patient and you take the time to do all those things for them it is so much easier to care for them. As for speed and the "get her done" mentality, I have trained lots of people and each person finds their own pace and gains speed. You will develop a routine and find what works for you. Like others have said while the resident is washing their face or brushing their teeth you can make the bed. You will gain speed with time, just hang in there you will do fine!!
  10. by   BigB
    The CNA job is one that gets very little credit, yet is very important. People will cringe when you tell them your job and remark with comments like "I would NEVER do that!!" It comes with the territory. My advice is work with your fellow CNA. Team up as many patients can be very big and you can hurt yourself trying to move them alone. Focus on providing the best care you can and keeping the patients clean and dry. If they are bedridden then a turning scedule is very important.
  11. by   rouqie
    OKay just to let you know where I am coming from I am a LPN in a LTC, I was a CNA for almost 5 years before that. I am a firm believer in doing all the little steps of the job but I am also a very big believer in time managment. YOu have to learn what your priorities are. People need to be changed and repositioned every two hours. NO matter if you have 6 or sixteen people that you are taking care of. Also remember you have your whole shift to take care of these patients you can lay them in bed and get them relaxed and then come back when you do your next rounds and make sure they have their lotion on thier skin or the proper night clothes on. THen when you come in for the last time make sure that the room is clean, unless of course it's really dirty then you need to clean it up before. ONly a couple days on the floor, don't worry so much. I trained many CNA's on the floor and they sometimes could only handle a couple of patients and didn't do good care on them.
    Also don't worry about getting along with other CNAs if they see that you are getting your work done they will start to help and appreciate you. Just don't get snotty with them and tell them all the things they are doing wrong because odds are they already know. Good luck
  12. by   Kristyn, RN
    I too was a SLOW aide when I started. It seemed like I could never keep up with my coworkers and still get the job done. Here's the thing: if you are actually doing the job right, you will never keep up with the people who are cutting corners. But the details do matter, and residents can tell if you are just rushing to "get her done" or if you really want to provide quality care for them. BUT--time management is important too! If you have eight residents to care for and you can only get four finished in time, half of your work is still not getting done. Ask for help from your coworkers when you need it, eventually you will be the one helping them. As you get more experience, you will get faster at all of the little tasks that need to be done, and you will be keeping up and providing quality care. Since you are new to the job, this is the time to set your habits. Bad little habits of corner-cutting can be very hard to break, so make the right decisions now. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. I know you will be good because you care that you're not keeping up yet. Bad CNA's don't care if the job isn't getting done, honey, but you do!
  13. by   LPN1974
    Some of my thoughts are observation of the patient, how they're feeling, are they eating or refusing to eat, bowels and urination...is that acting okay,
    the patient's skin color, skin warm, dry, cool, clammy, pale, sweaty?
    Are they alet, oriented, responsive, or not?
    And changes in skin condition....any reddened spots on pressure points? Get on this one quickly.....I hate bedsores.

    And congrats on your new job....sounds like you'll make a great CNA....you're concerned enough to ask what you should be looking for. Alot don't even do that, much less actually attempt to do it.
  14. by   Becky718
    I just want to say thank you to all of you who have responded for the great advice you are giving me. The more I work this job, the more I see what you are talking about. Most of these CNAs I work with really don't seem to care if they do the job right. Their goal for the day seems to be to try to get by with doing as little as possible and get paid for it. There are some good ones who I enjoy working with, of course. But the others are lazy and just plain rude. I am not letting their habits rub off on me, though, and the residents really appreciate it. They are the only reason I still enjoy the job and are the only reason I can imagine wanting to continue doing this. I'm about to leave for work right now actually. I am keeping in mind all of the things you all are telling me, too. I look forward to reading more posts. Thank you all!

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