Got thrown in the deep end!

  1. I am in training and have done an hour here or there of direct pt contact and today was a full day (7-3) and was thrown in the deep end. I was assigned only a couple of residents and they expected us to make ourselves busy when there seemed to be nothing to do. I know that's not true, even thought the CNA's at the facility said it was down time and they even usually used that time to relax and simply answer call lights. Housekeeping was doing their rounds, most of the residents were sleeping, and even still my residents were immobile. Items were restocked, rooms cleaned, beds made...I mean I only had a couple to take care of. I can see how having 10 or so would take up the time...but 2 and then what? So after making every single bed and doing everything that I have been cleared for I was lost. What can I do during this time to make myself "busy" as my instructor wants us to use "critical thinking" and not wander aimless, not chat with other workers or trainees, and not just hang out in a residents room. I know there's other things to do, but can someone give me a heads up while I'm still new at this? Thanks guys!
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    About DesertRain

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 445; Likes: 32
    Full-time student
    Specialty: CNA, RN Student


  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    One thing i would do is straighten up nightstands and closets. Most residents' closets and drawers were so messy it was hard to tell what clothes they had.
  4. by   shadchan
    Amen to that, Marie!

    Go through their drawers and make sure things are orderly. Make sure the residents have enough towels and such in their bathroom. Take vital signs, even if it's not requested, and check with the charge nurse to see if she needs it recorded somewhere.

    If the residents use bedpans, kidney basins, or wash basins of any kind, clean them!

    If the residents are bedbound, or even just relaxing in a wheelchair, ask them if they would like you to apply lotion to their skin. Take your time and massage them gently as you do it. They will love it! You can also use this time to do a skin check; arms, legs, etc and make sure they have no skin tears or the like. ESPECIALLY important to check are their heels and between their toes and if possible, their back/buttocks. So many CNAs miss those areas. I recently found a really painful blister on the heel of one gentleman that had flown under the radar for days, judging by the fact that nobody had reported it and now more than a week later, he is still being treated for it.
  5. by   lovingtheunloved
    I work in a SNF, we're well staffed, and rounds just don't take that long. There's a good amount of down time. Which is awesome, because when work is done we play! Our activites department sucks, so we get to have fun. It's so cool to actually have time to hang out with the residents and have contact with them other than just their care. They need so much more than physical care.
  6. by   arpeggiated
    See if your instructor/facility staff will let you look at charts. My class looked at our patient's charts during downtime, and it really helped us get a "big picture"... plus, a lot of us wanted to go on to become RNs, so the more exposure to charting language the better!
  7. by   DesertRain
    THANK YOU so much guys! GREAT ideas. I even jotted them down in case I forget some. I totally thought about how messy the nightstands and drawers were but was so caught up in the moment, I didn't think to clean them! And the chart reading I will definitely ask about! You guys are awesome....thank you thank you!
  8. by   followyourbliss
    [font="comic sans ms"]hey there..having just gradded myself three months ago and being a new r.c.a in a long term care facility i can suggest a} getting the next days clothes ready which saves lots of time in the am!!!especially if you cannot find matching shoes,socks,etc like me this morning!!!so that is a good time to take away soiled clothes as well,i work in complex care so we deal with ressies with dementia etc who will soil themselves,,change and hang up soiled clothes!i like to read the charts and get to know who has allergies etc which ressies[ have diabetes etc to be on the can also wash out the diabetic stockings,make sure they have appropriate personal products...i can't tell you how much it rubs my fur the wrong way when i go into a residents room and they don't have....a toothbrush,or a brush,or someone has left the gloves empty or the sproam bottle oh yes.....not a pleasant thought but i check the wheel chairs for yes b.m!!!i have a lady who takes herself in and out of the bathroom/ and trust me when i say i always try to "time" "finding" het going to the biff because if not i spend alot of time cleaning b>m off everything everwhere!!!ok good luck and take care
    Last edit by jb2u on Feb 10, '07 : Reason: fixed color