So a week and a half ago I started a CNA training class at a local LTC, which is 4 weeks long and then I am assigned to a shift. So far, I've worked some on the floor, since Monday. The beginning of our second week began being able to work with mentors and start practicing our skills. (Not lifting, or using machines, just feeding, toileting, bathing, dressing, etc.) I really love working with residents, absolutely, it seems so rewarding, but aside from that, the whole aspect of the job seems so overwhelming and depressing. I know you're my supposed to think of it as depressing so I feel terrible. By no means, is a single resident I've met or taken care of has been a burden to me (even the ones who've swung and yelled at me.) I genuinely care for them and want them to feel good, and will do everything in my control to ensure that. It's just that everyone realizes how much I emphasize quality time with residents and it makes me kind of slow, because aside from that I'm insanely nervous, I'm scared of hurting someone, and everything is new to me and I lock up and forget everything when I get out there. Everyone tells me that if I'm already stressed I'm never going to make it on the floor and that I can't take so long. I don't work so fast. And that makes me feel bad. Is this not for me? I want to take care of people, but I'm having trouble. I broke down crying yesterday after a couple hours working on the dementia unit just because I feel helpless in caring for residents, I feel like I'm so terrible at it and I feel so terrible for them. I'm feeling a lot of things, I guess and I'm just overwhelmed at how to process everything. Should I just quit?
No you should not quit and you also should never lose that heart you have for your patients. Being a CNA is really hard work. It's physical. It's emotional. It's challenging. What you are experiencing is what everybody experiences when they are new. If someone criticizes you ask them to show you how to improve. When someone says you are too slow ask them to show you how they do it faster. You'll soon find your groove and things will get better.
No sweetie you should not quit. Don't feel you need to give up because it's difficult and you're feeling the "new CNA pressure" from the other CNAs. Working as a CNA is a tough job all around mentally, emotionally and most of all physically. Let me share with you that you are not alone in how you are feeling. Because when I was a fresh grad from my CNA training and worked my first CNA job, I felt the same exact way you are at this very moment and questioned myself if I made a mistake to become a CNA? But you know with the support of people who love me, they told me "I got this and those people need you..." We who work in healthcare share a common denominator taking on jobs such as being a CNA and that is because we enjoy caring for people who can't for themselves. It's a rewarding and fulfilling work that makes us feel our purpose. Regardless of the title, we hold in healthcare.
Don't let this first couple days, weeks, months and beyond deter you from striving to be that person who loves to care for others. Don't worry about other CNAs trying to pressure you, work at your pace that you can do your job correctly so there will be no issues after you leave your patients when you go home. Patient safety first and over time when you get used to things, you'll figure out how to efficiently manage your time to care for all your patients, without feeling so much pressure. Over time you expose yourself to all kinds of situations while working, you will build up your speed and it will be a breeze. Trust me on that:-)
Also, communicate with your patients if you're able to with them. If they know what is going on with your time they can predict when they would see you again (for example it takes about 20 - 45 mins to give someone a shower, time varies depending on the patient). That way your patients know when you'll be available instead of them wondering and not seeing you at all, it will create the perception in their minds that you don't care. It will alleviate any "I been calling on my call light for x amount of time and no one came!". Also, check the total dependent patients first that are not able to call for help, and then prioritize who needs what (based on urgency) and that will help you organize the chaos in your mind:-) I hope this helps you to hang in there, and remember your not alone we all have been there:-D
Good luck to you!
Last edit by logue on Mar 8
The first week of clinics are always the hardest! Its a sad realization seeing how depressing it is in nursing homes and how they really dont get the best care. Remind yourself that as a student you are there to help the CNA and give their residents extra attention. Once you get used to the nursing home more I have a feeling you will have a better time being more proactive and cutting the stories with residents short. Remember there is a way to make a resident feel good without spending 20 minutes with them. Again, I do not think you should quit, there are many companies out there that hire CNAs to go to homes and give clients one-n-one attention, and with that you can converse with them as much as you want!!
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